A Napkin Fold for Every Occasion

Napkins are for more than just cleaning up. They can be a piece of art for your table setting.

Napkins, when folded creatively, can add tons of personality to your place setting. And the great thing is, napkin folding doesn’t take long to master, it’s easy to learn and it’s fun to do!

There is a good chance that I am one of the least crafty people on the planet and I’ll admit I was a little anxious about learning how to fold napkins. But there are so many easy tutorials out there that I became confident in my napkin folding skills in no time. All it takes is a little practice.

First, you have to know what napkin look or shape you are going for. Consider varying the napkin folds to fit the occasion. A holiday dinner setting, for example, should look much different from a business luncheon. There are so many options, like the Bishop’s Hat, the Crown, the Fan, and even folding your napkin to look like a turkey or a Christmas tree. Once you decide on the shape you want, the tutorials can be your guide.

For a change of pace, you may want to vary the place setting with placemats and coordinated napkins rather than a formal tablecloth. Try using floral, stripe or bold plaid as well as plain napkins. Also experiment on all kinds of napkin rings. There is no quicker or easier way to enhance your napkin presentation than with a napkin ring. They add a nice touch to the completed setting.


Here are a few classic folds that are sure to add a stylish touch to your next dinner party. For best results, use crisply starched napkins and consider running an iron over them first.

The Bishop’s HatThe Bishop’s Hat is a sophisticated fold that looks great lying down or standing up on the place setting. You can use solid or patterned napkins.

The PyramidThe Pyramid napkin fold is a true classic and a sure way to impress your guests. Feng Shui expert Dana Claudat from The Tao of Dana says, “If you make triangle napkin folds, it’s more of a dynamic table setting as triangles are captivating to the eye.” The Pyramid fold in particular can be placed on top of plates or next to water goblets.

The ConeThe Cone is the perfect napkin shape to highlight pretty corner designs such as lace, embroidery or borders on your napkins.  It can be used to hold silverware or it can just be a simple way to present the napkin.

The Standing FanThe Standing Fan is an elegant and decorative fold that looks great from all angles. It is usually placed on the center of the plate.

Try a few different options and see what works best for your home. There’s a napkin fold for every style and occasion – what’s your favorite?