Remember the 'Party in a box' I sent for my mom's 70th birthday back in November ... well only just now did she finally have her celebration. Once it got closer to the event, she asked if I had any ideas for place cards she could get in Germany. I told her I'd think about it .... innocently asked who was invited. as I did have an idea: I'd get mini paper lanterns and write her friends' names on there with red paint to fit the rest of the decor. These lanterns come in a set of 10 with a strand of lights. I assembled the lanterns without the strand ( I can always find another use for it), brushed on the names with red paint, folded them flat again once they were dry, and off they went .. not even in a box, but a simple padded envelope.
Apparently the party was a huge success ... so much so that they forgot to take a picture. But I'm happy to have been part of my mom's important birthday party, without physically being there.
Clearly you could use this idea for any other party as well ... I like that the simple paper lanterns are part of a fairly fancy display. But obviously they would be just as sweet on a kids birthday party ... or hanging on a branch as a centerpiece.