5 place setting ideas to jazz up your murder mystery dining table!

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 gifts. 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, Plasticine 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. We have the instructions in our information pages.

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!


@__accioash Looks fun!! Were you the murderer?
Clean white teeth again... it won't last. I like cups of tea too much.
Busy sorting supporting accessories for this year's @CrimeFest . Should all be ready for dispatch tomorrow. Who is… https://t.co/neeiMMlQ0j
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@dconama Who you going to kill? I always have this question first on my list with a wedding. Bridegroom always say… https://t.co/zTAp2Ty3fG
@devilsgalpal If you need help finding the right one just ask!
Rain AGAIN?? When will the lawn ever be dry enough to mow??
RT @GeorginaGrogan_: We’ve been reviewing a 1920s murder mystery party game and it’s so much fun! Coming to the blog next week ❤️ https://t…
RT @GeorginaGrogan_: Had a great new playing murder mystery from @Redherringgames! https://t.co/SaT8UsWe8M
Note to self.. . Remember to photograph plotting sheets. That way I can read them anywhere and work without them.

Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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