Easy Napkin Folding Techniques That Will Impress

folded napkin table setting

Half the fun of hosting a dinner party or holiday get together is decorating! You get to choose a theme and color scheme, then tie your tablescape together with fun centerpieces and place settings. Whether you’re hosting a buffet brunch, casual lunch, or formal dinner, the small details will really make your event memorable.

One easy way to spice up your tablescape is by including elegantly folded napkins. Napkins add color to your place setting, and can be used to creatively display menus, utensils and place cards. To inspire you to try something new with your tablescape this year, we’re going to show you how to fold napkins six different ways.

Napkin folding is easier than you think, but before you start folding napkins, it’s best to starch and iron them so they’ll have a crisp, clean finish. This is most important for napkin folds that stand upright, like the waterfall pleat.

Geometric Fold

Simple and modern, the geometric fold immediately draws the eyes to the center of the place setting. The points on the diamond encourage your guest to look in every direction and take the whole table in.


Waterfall Pleat Fold

The pleats on the waterfall pleat fold add just the right amount of texture, making this fold feel extra refined. To ensure that the pleats turn out crisp, make sure to starch and iron the napkins before you begin folding.


Fleur de lis Fold

Make your guests feel like royalty with the fleur de lis fold. It’s great for more formal dinner parties, and allows you to incorporate fun napkin rings. If you don’t have napkin rings on hand, you can place the folded napkin in a glass and gracefully drape the wings over the rim.


Lotus Fold

The lotus fold adds depth to your place setting with all its intricate layers. Don’t worry, it’s easier to fold than it looks! If you’d like to add extra ornamentation, place a candy or flower in the center of the lotus.


Cone Fold

If you want a one-pocket napkin fold, the cone fold is the one to choose. Unlike a plain rectangular pocket fold, the cone fold has a unique shape. Similar to the diagonal pocket fold, it is great for adding menus or seasonal elements to.


Diagonal Pocket Fold

The diagonal pocket fold is great if you want to display menus or other decorative elements. You can also add seasonal touches like leaves and flowers to the pockets!




Now that you have picked out your favorite napkin folding technique for your party, it’s time to double check that the rest of your table is set up correctly. If you need a refresher on where all the utensils go or are still trying to decide on how formal you want your table setting to be, these table setting rules are a great guide. Have fun hosting in style!