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Special Napkin Folding for Your Table

Add a Custom Look to Your Setting
A beautifully set table is enhanced by an artistically folded napkin at the place. See our easy tutorials on how to create 12 different napkin folds. You're sure to find one you love.

Haven't you gone to a party where the hostess has taken the time to make the table look really special? Didn't the napkins, folded to a pretty shape, add to the total feel of the setting? Some napkins are arranged so beautifully that you don't want to use them.

A special table says that you really value your guests when you make the extra effort to set the table beautifully.

Even if you've never folded a napkin in your life, these photo tutorials will make it all simple.

The napkin folds presented here are not complicated or difficult. Each one will take only a few minutes, and you'll be pleased with the results.

Start out with the easy ones and attempt something a bit more complicated when you've mastered one. Some are easy, and some more complicated, some use napkin rings, and all will look more presentable if you have the iron out when you're working.

Try all the folds to decide which one you prefer. You might feel that one style is more casual and another more formal. Choose your favorite for the occasion.

Napkin Fold #1: Scarf Fold
This quick fold is suitable for either a casual or formal table. It's easy, fast, and anyone can do it.

Scarf Napkin Fold
A casual, drapey fold.
Tip: Use a napkin ring, ribbon, or raffia bow to secure this fold.

Step 1:
Lay napkin flat and grasp center point.

Step 2:
Holding the center, let the points fall into folds.

Step 3:
Insert into napkin ring.

Napkin Fold #2: Traditional Fold
We love this easy fold that adds a touch of elegance to a table. Fan out the sides for an pretty presentation.

Traditional Napkin Fold
Use a napkin ring, ribbon, or raffia bow to secure this fold.

Step 1:
Fold napkin in quarters. Set on a diagonal with the folded center portion at the top.

Step 2:
Make 2-4 small pleats on each side of the napkin, about 4" from the top.

Step 2:
Shown with both sides pleated, ready to be inserted into the napkin ring.

Step 3:
Insert the top four inches of the napkin into napkin ring so the "wings" of the napkin can be spread out.

Napkin Fold #3: Rolling Fold
The next napkin fold is a fast and easy fold that is also good on buffet tables.

Rolling Napkin Fold
You'll need a napkin ring, ribbon, or raffia bow to secure this fold.

Step 1:
Fold napkin in quarters. Set on a diagonal with the folded center portion at the top and all open edges at the bottom.

Step 2:
Begin rolling each side toward the center, making 2 long rolls (this will be the back).

Step 3:
Shown fully rolled up from each side, ready to be inserted into the napkin ring.

Step 4:
Insert the roll into a napkin ring and turn over so smooth side is up.

Napkin Fold #4: Goblet Fan Fold
Try this elegant fold at your next dinner party. It's easy and beautiful.

Goblet Fan Fold
Fold napkins after you've set out the goblets. Though some very limp fabrics may need to be starched or ironed, this fold looks good with both soft drapey folds as well as crisply ironed folds.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin flat.

Step 2:
Begin accordian folding from the bottom, all the way up to the top. Make each fold about 3/4" - 1" wide.

Step 3:
Fold the pleated napkin in half.

Step 4:
Insert the napkin into the goblet, folding the first inch or so under (as shown) to keep pleats secure.

Finished Fold
Unfold the pleats and shape into a fan. Interlock the two center pleats if needed to keep the fan intact.

Napkin Fold #5: Knotted Fold
Try this easy knot napkin fold on an casual table. It's also great for BBQs using bandanas or colorful dish towels.

Knotted Napkin Fold
Knot the napkin very loosely so guests won't have to struggle to open it.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin flat on a diagonal.

Step 2:
Bring the top half down to form a triangle with the fold across the top.

Step 3:

Beginning at the bottom, start rolling the napkin up.

Step 4:
Roll all the way up to the folded edge.

Step 5:
Fold roll in half in preparation for tying the knot.

Step 6:
Loop end through and loosely tie a knot.

Finished Fold
Adjust the ends if necessary.

Napkin Fold #6: Tailored Fold
This is a neat fold that is simple to do and looks great on the table.

Tailored Napkin Fold
This compact fold is perfect for a luncheon.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin out flat.

Step 2:
Fold the bottom half up so the fold is at the bottom.

Step 3:
Fold again, so the napkin is folded in quarters.

Step 4:
Take 2 of the 4 corners and fold them down at an angle.

Step 5:
Roll or fold them under to make a fold about 1-2" wide.

Step 6:
Fold the other 2 corners to the back, an inch or two above the first fold.

Finished Fold
Fold the pointed sides toward the back, forming the finished fold.

Filling the Pocket
Silverware can be inserted into the "pocket" if desired.

Napkin Fold #7: Pocket Fold
This fold is often seen on buffet tables. The pocket can hold silverware, a placecard, decoration, or tiny gift.

Be aware that the fold may not stay intact unless the napkin is crisply starched and ironed. In the alternative, secure it with a ribbon tied under the pocket to help keep silverware from slipping out when carried.

Pocket Napkin Fold
Leave this fold plain, or embellish by filling the pocket with a flower.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin out flat.

Step 2:
Fold the left half over so the fold is at the left.

Step 3:
Fold up the bottom edge about 4".

Step 4:
Fold up again 4". This view shows the right side (where silverware will be inserted into the pocket. Now, turn the napkin over and fold in each side to the center. Insert one of the back edges inside of the other to secure the folds.

Finished Fold
Turn to the right side and insert silverware into the "pocket".

Napkin Fold #8: Stand Up Fan
It may look familiar to see a napkin folded into a fan shape. After all, it's an easy fold that's widely used in restaurants. Once you get the technique you'll find it simple to fold a dozen in no time at all.

Standing Fan Napkin Fold
If desired you can use starched napkins and iron the folds for sharper creases.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin out flat.

Step 2:
Fold the left half over so the fold is at the left.

Step 3:
Begin accordian folding at the bottom. Make each pleat about 3/4"-1" wide.

Step 4:
Pleat only about 2/3 of the napkin.

Step 5:
Fold the right side in half, underneath.

Step 6:
Fold the top left corner down at an angle. On the right side the edges should stick out about 1" past the fold of the napkin.

Step 7:
Fold this 1" overlap under to secure the pleats and make the "stand".

Finished Fold
Let go of the pleats and let the fan out. Adjust folds.

Napkin Fold #9: Three Point "Hat"
Here's another fold that may look best using starched napkins. Ironing the folds into place helps to set creases that can make it sturdy enough to stand upright on the table. Or, simply lay it flat as shown here.

Three Point Hat Napkin Fold

Here's an easy decorative fold that's often seen in restaurants.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin out flat on the diagonal.

Step 2:
Fold the bottom half up so the fold is at the bottom.

Step 3:
Lift each of the 2 side points up to the top center point.

Step 4:
The napkin should now look like this.

Step 5:
Turn the napkin over.

Step 6:
Fold the bottom half up to form a triangle. This will be the front of the napkin.

Step 7:
Turn the napkin over.

Step 8:
Bring the 2 side corners to the center and fold one inside of the other to secure the fold.

Step 9:
Again turn the napkin over to the front.

Finished Fold
Fold down the 2 ends to form the 3 points.

Napkin Fold #10: Cuffed Roll
This fold is best accomplished using a crisply starched napkin and will stand upright if desired.

Cuffed Roll Napkin Fold
This napkin fold is simple and takes up little space on a holiday table.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin out flat on the diagonal.

Step 2:
Fold the bottom half up so the fold is at the bottom.

Step 3:
At the bottom edge, fold under about 1-2", toward the back.

Step 4:
At one side begin rolling the napkin.

Step 5:
Continue rolling all the way across.

Step 6:
At the back, secure the left point into the folded cuff.

Finished Fold
Turn the napkin over for the finished fold.

Napkin Fold #11: Tulip Fold
Anyone can do this simple design. Insert a loosely folded napkin into a decorative napkin ring.

Tulip Napkin Fold
Here's another beautiful napkin fold that is easy and pretty.

Step 1:
Fold the napkin in half on the diagonal.

Step 2:
Holding the bottom center point fairly flat, form a center pleat.

Step 3:
Still holding the bottom center point fairly flat, form 2 side pleats.

Finished Fold
Insert the bottom into the napkin ring. Place on your table and adjust the folds.

Napkin Fold #12: A Cat's Paw
Remember folding this shape out of paper? Try it with a napkin for something different.

Although it can be folded with a soft fabric napkin as shown here, you may prefer using a starched napkin with ironed folds for a crisper look.

Cat'S Paw Napkin Fold
Use a crisp starched napkin and iron each fold for a more precise looking napkin fold.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin out flat.

Step 2:
Begin folding each of the 4 corners to the center point.

Step 3:
The napkin should now look like this, with the 4 points in the center.

Step 4:
Again, fold each of the 4 corners into the center.

Step 5:
The napkin should look like this.

Step 6:
Turn the napkin over.

Step 7:
Once again, fold each of the corners into the center.

Step 7:
Hold the center firmly.

Step 8:
Now, reach underneath each corner and pull out the loose edge.

Step 9:
You can stop at this point, or reach under again and pull out the other edges.

Finished Fold
This fold may look best with a flower, gift, roll, or pumpkin set in the cener.

Napkin Fold #13: Triangle Pocket Fold
This fold is a bit more difficult-consuming to fold, but forms a small pocket that can be filled with a tiny gift, a dinner roll, or a flower.

Triangle Pocket Napkin Fold
This fold takes more time to accomplish and forms a compact shape. Use a crisp starched napkin if you wish this shape to stand upright.

Step 1:
Lay the napkin out flat.

Step 2:
Fold the bottom 1/3 up.

Step 3:
Fold the top 1/3 down.

Step 4:
Fold the right side down at an angle.

Step 5:
Fold the left side down at a matching angle.

Step 6:
Fold the bottom tabs up to be even with the rest of the napkin.

Step 7:
Fold each corner into the center.

Finished Fold
Secure by inserting one corner into the other. This will form a pocket.

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