Making a buffet meal ahead of time means I get to enjoy it twice: Once in a calm kitchen as I chop, measure and stir, and again when I present my creations to my hungry friends and family.

Be sure to taste right before serving – do-ahead dishes often need a quick seasoning adjustment after sitting. A big pinch of kosher salt or a last-minute squirt of freshly squeezed lime juice can enliven a dull plate just like that.

DIY Wine Cork Place Card Holders 

By Riche Holmes Grant

They’re an inexpensive and fun way to welcome guests to their seats.

You’ll Need

  • White cards with a solid weight to them (approximately 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches) 
  • Brush pen 
  • Wine or crafting corks
  • Utility blade 


Step 1 
Using a brush pen, write the name of each guest on the white cards. If your handwriting isn’t the best, there are tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube. 

Step 2 
Use the utility blade to slice about ¼ of an inch off the long side of the cork. This creates a flat base, so it won’t roll when you place it on the table. 

Step 3 
Once the cork is stationary, use the knife to cut a groove along the top to place the card in. Make the groove deep enough that the card won’t move once you place it in the cork, but not so deep as to split the cork in two. You may need to go over the groove a few times to widen it enough for the card to fit in. 

Step 4 
Gently ease each card displaying a guest’s name into a cork. Make one place card holder for every guest on your list. 

Step 5 
When placing name cards, seat guests who don’t know each other or don’t talk often next to each other to keep the conversation interesting.