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After years of entertaining, one thing has become clear to me: People love to see their names when they approach a dining table. Consequently, I always make sure to incorporate stylish and unique place cards, which not only direct guests to their seats, but can also serve as mementos for guests to take home.

Not long ago, one of my kids received an origami starter kit on his birthday and I thought the folded shapes we constructed would make beautiful table accents. The lotus flower was among my favourites, as it sits flat and will hold a name card in its petals nicely.

To make my own, I went to The Paper Place, a Toronto shop that carries the finest chiyogami paper. This lovely, thick paper is ideal for place cards and comes in a variety of colours and patterns. Choose versions that complement your table and get creative. The following instructions are a simplified version. You can see a detailed instruction video at

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(Repeat steps 1 to 6 using a smaller sheet of paper and glue or tape the second lotus into the centre of the larger flower.)

Sebastien Centner is the director of Eatertainment Special Events in Toronto (

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