You cannot give a woman a budget and a year of lead time and not expect some papercraft all up in this piece. Thus the origami escort cards.
(There is also a tale of venue snafu and caboose-saving, but it must wait for another day.)
The origami will fit just fine in place card holders. I knew I wanted to display mine vertically, since table space was limited.
So when our duplex-mates attempted to throw out a mirror frame, I was all like, “Nuh-uh, you are getting repurposed as heck.” Me and the groom picked out some soft green paint, and over the next couple of days I primed and painted the frame in the driveway, leaving plenty of distance from cars and using ample drop cloth to keep our landlords from murdering me.
Apparently I was too excited to take process photos. Be assured it was as gripping as spray-painting a wooden frame can be. Here is a photo of the finished product instead:
Knowing we had about 70 guests, I got my tape measure and made marks for twelve evenly-spaced rows. I figured I’d staple-gun ribbon in a grid and clip the escort cards to the ribbon with tiny clothespins.
Once I saw the grid and its space limitations, I realized each card couldn’t be more than two inches wide. Maybe they could be more vertical?
They’d end up looking something like shirts on a line.
Origami Escort Cards
I knew origami shirts existed. Maybe I could do dresses for the ladies? Is it OK to enforce a gender binary if it’s super cute?
I don’t know. But I decided to do it.
I used these common dollar-bill origami shirt instructions and these less common Inklings and Yarns dress directions derived from a video tutorial by How About Orange. The patterns turned out to be simple and pretty easy to pump out.
The trick was getting paper the right size. The shirt folds down much smaller than the dress. I ended up using 4″ x 4″ (10 cm x 10 cm) paper for the dress and 6″ x 3″ (15.24 cm x 7.62 cm) paper for the shirts.
Yes, I had to cut down many pieces of nice washi paper to get the right size for the dresses. No, I couldn’t figure anything to do with the excess.
It took three or four hours of folding, which goes great with a season of Better Off Ted.
Using an extra-fine Sharpie pen, I wrote names on the front and the table numbers on the back. Even with the permanent marker, until the ink dried it was possible to smear them, so I had to take care and not rush. Also, your hand can tell when you’re trying to write carefully and will make you skip consonants at every opportunity.
I hung all the cards alphabetically by last name. Then I wrapped the frame in garbage bags and strapping tape until it was nice and secure. It made the journey to the wedding intact — unless I only think that because someone saved my bacon without my knowledge, which is very possible.
When I got to the reception and found that two clever guests launched a trend of wearing the escort cards as nametags!
It was a rad bonus and a double hoot. I recommend it!