I first made these food label stands for my sister in laws Duck Baby Shower. I wanted a way to label the different dishes and have those label be up high enough to easily see. All the stands I looked at online were kind of pricey so after some brainstorming with my mom, this is what I ended up with.
-wooden pieces that are flat on one side - mine were rounded but you could also use squares or another shape
-drill or someone willing to drill holes in the wood pieces for you
-cardstock, scrapbook paper or whatever paper you want your labels made out of
-scissors or punch
-marker or pen
-tape and glue
-twine for decoration (optional)
Drill a hole in the top of each of your wooden pieces or have someone do this for you. You may also be able to buy some with holes already in them. Make sure the hole is big enough to fit your dowel in and it doesn't need to go all the way through the wood piece (just most of the way) but if it does that's not a big deal.
Cut your dowels if necessary to the height you prefer. Mine are 12 inches but they can be a tad wobbly on a tablecloth and since I have big labels attached to the top so I think before I use them again I will shorten them by an inch or two.
Cut out labels or use a punch. I used a circle punch and a scallop punch so I could layer scrapbook paper behind the cardstock to make it more colorful. I cut a bunch of extra white scallops in case those are needed in the future. I glued a scallop cutout to a circle cutout and wrote the food item name on the white scallop. I tried to keep the names somewhat generic so they can be reused for multiple occasions and parties but whenever they cannot be reused, I have the extra white scallops on hand so I can glue a new one over the old one :)
You will need two labels for each stand so one covers the back and one covers the front. Attach the two labels to the dowel and to each other using little pieces of rolled scotch tape. I found this to be the best thing for attaching and wouldn't be too hard to remove an entire label from a dowel later should you need to. This is also when you can add twine or ribbon or some other decoration if you wish.
Then you can put your dowels with attached labels into your wood pieces and they are ready to be used! I have 12 of these on hand and they are great for showers, parties, and get togethers. They are great even for sometime simple like labeling which bowl of salsa is mild and which is medium or hot when you have guests over.
I reused the stands for my friend's Cute As A Button Baby Shower as well. These could also be place settings or have lots of other labeling purposes!