You're hosting a murder mystery and you want to create some simple but effective place settings for your guests. There are a number of ways you can do this, but try these for size...
1) Making the most of standard bi-fold cards! You can buy place setting cards from most good stationers or you can make them yourself by simply folding over a piece of card! You could print or type their name onto the card, but how do you make them that little bit special...
- pen and ink - Never discount the simplicity of pen and ink. A good piece of calligraphy can add a lot to a place setting. You can also use pen to colour in shapes, draw cartoon images or simply colour in a printed picture. If you have a gold or silver marker, then a simple sparkling border around the name is elegant all on it's own.
- Glue-ons - Yes, the all time favourite for home-crafting... those glue-on extras! This can be anything from sticking on confetti, glitter and punched out shapes, or if you use a hot glue gun then you can really go to town with bulky bits, crafting jewels, ribbons, bows, or even small novelty daggers and old cluedo pieces.
- punch outs - there are a number of different ways of punching out shapes from card. You can buy special scissors that will cut a fancy edge, and also small punches that will cut any number of shapes. But if all you have access to is a hole-punch then don't despair! Use the large hole it creates to thread through some ribbon, or crime scene tape to give it that extra bit of pizzazz.
- sewing - beware of the point of the needle - but it IS possible to sew card to make all sorts of interesting designs. Just thread up a sharp needle with sparkly thread and away you go! If you aren't sure about sewing thread - then why not just repeatedly punch the card using the needle to create simple but effective pergamot edging.
- embossing - you can buy embossing tools from most crafting shops and use these to emboss your card. But if you don't have anything fancy to hand, why not find an interesting shape in the house and rub the card hard over that. It'll give the surface of the card an embossed feel without the expense of buying any tools. For example, try the inside (unsharpe side) of a nutmeg grater for a great bumpy effect.
2) Small gifts Attach the guest's name to a small gift left in their place setting. The gifts could be anything from a wine charm (always useful at a party) to a specially gift wrapped present. Let your imagination run a bit wild. if you want something murder mystery themed, then check out our range of murder mystery gifts at Red Herring Games. Our mystery mini bookmarks work great as little name label gifts as you can simply clip them to the standard cards and the guests can take them home at the end of the evening.
3) Murdering knives! - you can't beat stabbing things to attract people's attention! Steak knives work the best as they look lethal, but you can use standard knives, letter openers, skewers or cocktail sticks decorated as daggers! Find some oasis, clay, plastercine or alternatively a few vegetables that you can cut up that will hold the weight of the knife e.g. a melon or potato. Cover the oasis or vegetable with a cloth / tissue / wrapping paper / or if clay, mould to a body shape, and stab in the knife. Then simply label the knife with the guest's name. You can do this on a small scale with cocktail sticks decorated as knives and if you like baking, then why not kill some gingerbread men, using red icing sugar as blood!
4) Crackers! Party crackers aren't just for Christmas! They are great all year round. You can make your own, or buy them in from somewhere like GoCrackers! which specialises in personalised crackers all year round and will even label them for you!
5) Small scale crime scenes. This is easy to do, and if you don't don't want to write on your table cloth, then you can always use paper! Simply mark out each place setting with evidence tape (yes we sell that too!) and draw a black dead body outline in the centre of each rectangle. Then write the guest's names in red pen (blood) inside the dead body. Again you may want to cut out little daggers to add to the mini-crime scene effect. Alternatively, why not use our photo evidence markers or evidence bags for name labels.
Whatever you decide to do, don't be boring! Let your imagination run wild and get your guests in the CSI frame of mind before the party even begins!