Introduction: Christmas Tree Napkin Fold

Picture of Christmas Tree Napkin Fold

Learning this Christmas tree napkin fold technique really upped my holiday table setting game and I'd like to spread the (napkin) joy. The following super simple steps result in nothing less than a modern, classy, and I can't help but say it, adorable way to work your napkins into the dinner mix.

Let's get started!


*Visit some of my other fun holiday projects:

Vinyl Record Holiday Tree
Snow Drift Cakes
Star Light Tree Topper
Ladder Christmas Tree
Snow Globe Cocktail
Brass Himmeli Ornaments
Modern Holiday Wreath

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

All you need are perfectly square green* napkins (I used 20" x 20" ones, but any 16"x16" and up size will work great). I prefer to use 100% natural fibers like cotton or linen, but using a poly/cotton blend won't make any difference to the success of the folds.

I like to iron my napkins before I get to folding. This is optional, but results in a crisper looking tree.

*These would still look great in any other color!

Step 2: Fold the Napkin in Half

Picture of Fold the Napkin in Half

Make sure the corners are lining up and smooth out any wrinkles.

Step 3: Fold It in Half Again

Picture of Fold It in Half Again

Again, make sure the corners are all lining up with each other. Smooth it out and spin it around so that all the outside corners are facing you.

Step 4: Fold the Corners Up One at a Time

Picture of Fold the Corners Up One at a Time

Stagger each corner like pictured. Aaaand smooth.

Step 5: Flip the Napkin Over

Picture of Flip the Napkin Over

Gently slide your hand under the napkin, sandwich it between your hands, and flip it over.

Step 6: Fold Both Outer Corners to Their Opposite Sides

Picture of Fold Both Outer Corners to Their Opposite Sides

One at a time, fold each upper outside corner over to the opposite side's edge, so that the tops are parallel with you and you've formed a tidy downwards pointing triangle-ish shape.

Step 7: Flip It Again

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Flip the folded napkin over again.

Step 8: Fold 'em UP

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Starting at the top, fold each flap up. Tuck the second through the fifth flap up under the one above it, hiding the pointed corner.

Nice job, the hard work is done!

Step 9: Place and Primp

Picture of Place and Primp

Once you've set the table, place the napkins on the empty plates and make sure all their folds are still in place.

I chose to leave my trees bare, but feel free to add stars and/or edible glitter or any other little non-toxic bits you can think of! I'd love to see pictures posted to the comments section if you give these a go!!

Bon appetite and happy holidays!

Step 10: Visit Some of My Other Fun Holiday Projects:

Picture of Visit Some of My Other Fun Holiday Projects:


chawe (author)2016-12-17

I used Christmas bandanas and they turned out great!

PicsArt (author)2016-11-28

I really like the idea. Very creative and useful! Thanks a lot!

notforfooduse made it! (author)2014-12-26

Made these with my sister – we used smaller, thicker napkins but discovered that the 'flaps' on the back allow them to stand up!

Lynn Hawes (author)notforfooduse2015-12-23

Love your green plaid, will try myself!

notforfooduse (author)Lynn Hawes2015-12-23

Thank you! They're really easy to make so do have a go.

What a great discovery!! A whole new dimension to the table-scape. :)

Lynn Hawes made it! (author)2015-12-23

Lovely napkin, thanks for the easy instructions!

bassmansimon made it! (author)2015-12-22

Thanks for the instructions. Also, it turns out this works just fine with paper napkins also - but obviously won't look as good as your cloth ones.

jenniferdouglas (author)2015-12-22

Lovely instructable, Thankyou !

Love the video with machine stitching etc! great fun! Will give them ago at the Christmas table this week. Happy Christmas :)

JoleneB2 (author)2015-09-28

What would be the best size for napkin for this? I might make my napkins.

Paige Russell (author)JoleneB22015-10-27

I used 20" x 20" ones!

Mdolorsv (author)2015-10-24

M'agradat molt aquest arbre fet amb un tovallò.

Mdolorsv (author)2015-10-24

M'agradat molt aquest arbre fet amb un tovalló.

Mr AbAk (author)2015-02-20

Awesome Ible ......

kgupta18 made it! (author)2015-01-28

really easy to make
thanks. :)

fronters (author)2015-01-20

Thank for sharing! :)

cat12345678910111213 made it! (author)2015-01-18

this is really cool

Instructbeck (author)2014-12-27

I did these on Christmas. They were a hit. Super easy for the kids and I to do together. I hot glued an alligator clip to the back of some small stars and clip those to the top of the trees. Also I tucked each level of the tree under cause I didn't like that u could see the seams. Thx so much for sharing!!! Gonna try ur snow glow cocktail next

Way to take them to the next level! They turned out great.

bjean.kimebachman (author)2014-12-26

I found the pin button at the very bottom to follow you. You have some good stuff! Now, to find the napkins on one of your boards....

Thanks for your perseverance bjean.kimebachman!

cindy.b.roberts (author)2014-12-25

I folded eight today. Last night when I found this and I practiced with a linen napkin which looked better and folded so much easier than the 8 cotton napkins I had to iron to uncurl the ends. But it looks great on my table. Thanks for the great idea!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

You're so welcome Cindy!

hairyhenderson made it! (author)2014-12-25

Made 12 of these in an assembly line - took way longer to iron than to make!

Beautiful! :)

bwheelerlcc made it! (author)2014-12-24

I impressed all of my guest with these. Once I got the first one done the rest went pretty quickly.

They look great! Thanks for giving them a go. :)

tanja.jovovic.9 (author)2014-12-26

deserayf (author)2014-12-26

Nice.. Will keep these around for next Christmas.... What great instructions makes it easy to do. thanks

fitandradiant (author)2014-12-23

Umm. Where is the pin button so I can pin this, and then pin it some more?????????????!!!! Love this! :)

ritajandj (author)fitandradiant2014-12-24


divaboy1 (author)2014-12-23

Absolutely love this, Paige! Thank you for the great Instructable. As well, kudos on the magazinw quality photos. Really beautiful.

Paige Russell (author)divaboy12014-12-23

Thanks divaboy1, I appreciate it! :)

swiftbird (author)2014-12-23

Paige - My daughter and I have a 6 hr. drive + a ferry to catch today to get to family Christmas. I'm not much of a cook, so this will be a great contribution I can make to the family table tomorrow night and on Christmas Day. Thanks so much for one of the clearer intructables I've ever read!

Paige Russell (author)swiftbird2014-12-23

Thank you for your kind words swiftbird! And happy en route crafting!

Hypathie (author)2014-12-22

Made it! I love this tutorial: so easy my son could help me when we had guests over yesterday. We improved on the design by adding a clothespin trunk with our guests' name.

Paige Russell (author)Hypathie2014-12-23

Adding the name place pin was genius!! Love them.

NeightR made it! (author)2014-12-22

Great instructable! The pictures were extremely helpful. The wording was perfect. We had Christmas dinner early, and I made 10 Christmas Tree Napkin Folds. I used gold napkins instead of green, but everyone got the point.

Paige Russell (author)NeightR2014-12-23

Great job NeightR! These came out so nicely and I love the gold. Happy Holidays!

ginger.osullivan (author)2014-12-22

great many are just not at all easy to follow (follow - able ?). :-).

Thanks sooo much!

Thanks Ginger! :)

KROKKENOSTER (author)2014-12-22

My wife was looking for this for a long time! She likes this!


B°Art made it! (author)2014-12-20

I made it and did a couple variations thanks for the Great instructions !

Paige Russell (author)B°Art2014-12-22

These look GREAT B°Art! So crisp with the paper napkins and the two colors makes them so graphically cool. Yay!

coll2850 (author)B°Art2014-12-21

Great idea with two colors.

pinyolet (author)2014-12-21

Your instructable will be in my Xmas table. Thank you!

Paige Russell (author)pinyolet2014-12-22


Archergal52 (author)2014-12-21

Looks MUCH more complicated than it actually is! So easy and cute -- thank you for such a good instructable!

Thank you for the kind words. :) Happy Holidays!

About This Instructable




Bio: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design ... More »
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