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.

Geometric Napkin Fold

  1. Fold the napkin into thirds by folding the bottom third up and the top third down. Then, fold the left and right ends downward at the center point.
  2. Flip the napkin over and roll the ends up to meet the bottom of the triangle.
  3. Flip the napkin back over and fold the left and right corners up to meet the top corner.

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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.

Waterfall Pleat Napkin Fold

  1. Fold the napkin in half from top to bottom. Then, fold the napkin in half from side to side.
  2. Position the open end away from you and fold down the top layer. Accordion fold this layer up until it reaches the center.
  3. Flip the napkin over and fold in half. Then, fold the left and right ends back.

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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.

Fleur de lis Napkin Fold

  1. Fold the napkin in half. Then, fold the top corners down to touch the bottom of the napkin.
  2. Fold the left and then the right corner to meet at the top corner.
  3. Fold the top two points out to form wings and then slide the napkin ring onto the bottom.

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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.

Lotus Napkin Fold

  1. Fold each corner into the center and then fold each corner into the center again.
  2. Flip the napkin over and fold the corners into the center.
  3. Hold first layer in place and pull the second layer of fabric out from beneath the corners. Then, tug the second layer until the lotus petals form and stand up.

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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.

Cone Napkin Fold

  1. Fold the napkin in half diagonally with the top corner facing away from you. Fold the bottom two corners up to meet the top corner.
  2. Flip the napkin over and fold the bottom corner up two thirds of the way.
  3. Fold the left and right corners back.

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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!

Diagonal Pocket Napkin Fold

  1. Fold the napkin in half from top to bottom and then fold the napkin in half from side to side.
  2. Position the open end away from you and roll back the top layer. Fold the napkin in half from side to side. Repeat for the next two layers.
  3. Flip the napkin over and fold into thirds horizontally.

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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!