3 Decorative Napkin Folding Techniques

Welcome guests to your table with these three decorative napkin folds.

An eye-catching folded napkin welcomes friends and family to the table with a thoughtful and impressive personal touch. Dress up your table for any occasion with our simple step-by-step instructions for three decorative napkin folds.

Practice Your Folds
Practice makes perfect when it comes to folding techniques. Try a few of our ideas ahead of time to make sure they turn out the way you want.

1. The Functional Centrepiece
Display candies, condiments or dips by placing a small dish in the centre of your folded napkin to complete the centrepiece or place the napkin next to silverware for a classic look.


  1. Lay a large linen napkin flat on the table
  2. Fold each corner diagonally into the centre of the napkin, creating a square
  3. Turn the napkin over and fold each corner diagonally into the centre of the napkin again
  4. Firmly hold down the centre of the napkin or have a friend hold it down for you
  5. Carefully reach under the napkin and pull out the folded corners to form outer petals
  6. You should finish with a floral/rose shaped napkin
  7. Place a small dish or candies in the centre to hold it down

2. The Pocket
Use either paper or linen napkins for this technique, as the pocket doubles as a utensil holder and display for small decorations.


  1. Start with a large square paper or linen napkin laid flat on a table
  2. Fold the napkin in half long-ways
  3. Fold the napkin in half top to bottom
  4. Fold in half again, left to right
  5. Rotate napkin to make sure the loose edges of the napkin are at the top right and carefully fold each layer diagonally and under each other, leaving one large pocket in the back
  6. Fold the corner of the first layer under to create a straight line (or leave it open)
  7. Place utensils in the back pocket and a sprig of decoration in the front pocket

This fold can actually be used to up the appeal of your tablescape, too. Try placing utensils in the large pocket and a sprig of flowers, herbs or holly in one of the smaller folds to add life to your table.

3. The Trefoil
Use a large napkin ring to hold the napkin together at the base. Place the completed napkin on or next to plates for decoration — or inside stemware for added flair.


  1. Place a large linen napkin flat on a table and fold the bottom corner to the top corner to form a triangle
  2. Fold the bottom part of the napkin up, about 5 centimetres (2 inches) from the top. You’ll see a small triangle peeking out at the top and the bottom will be a straight line
  3. Fold the napkin accordion-style left to right (over, under, and repeat) until the end
  4. Stick the napkin into a wide napkin ring with about an inch left at the bottom. Carefully open with your hands
  5. Lay the folded napkin in the centre of a plate or place inside stemware and fan out


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