Introduction: Envelope Napkin Fold

About: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a degree in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since then I've done work for Mar…

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it's time to start planning your table settings! The envelope napkin fold is a simple and elegant addition that allows you to personalize your family's meal by including a greeting card, menu, or place card within the folded napkin. (See Step 10 for more insert ideas.)


All you need to make these are 20 x 20 square napkins. They can be any color and material. Although I recommend using a cotton over linen, as linen (I found out doing this instructable) has bias stretch which makes it a bit harder to get even folds and doesn't hold a crisp fold well.

TIP: If you'd like crisper, more paper-like folds, iron the folds as you go!

Let's get started!

Step 1: Open + Flat

Lay a square napkin down on a clean work surface so that it's open all the way. Iron if needed.

Step 2: Fold in Diagonal Half

Grab a hold of the right hand corner nearest you and fold it over to meet the opposite upper left corner. Straighten out the edges so that they all meet up.

Step 3: Turn It

Turn the triangle so that the longest side is parallel to you and the table's edge.

Step 4: Fold In

Fold the left corner in so that it sits JUST past the midway point of the long side of the triangle, like pictured.

Step 5: Fold in Again

Now repeat for the right hand corner.

Step 6: Fold Over

Take the lower left corner and bring it in to the bottom midpoint of the now 'house' shaped napkin. Press the new left side fold down.

Step 7: Fold Over Again

Repeat on the right side.

Step 8: Fold Up

Take both bottom corners and bring them up to rest just below the top right corners. Press down the new folds.

Step 9: Close the Envelope

Take the top point of the envelope 'flap' and bring it down (or close it) to complete the envelope.

Step 10: Add a Personalized Card

Use your envelope napkins to include a personalized 'letter' or card to each guest's plate. Some ideas for what this could be are:

  • holiday greeting card
  • menu
  • place card
  • family photos from past celebrations
  • holiday story or poem
  • coloring cards with pencil crayons for kids
  • game cards: trivia, scavenger hunt, etc.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!! And if you decide to give these a try, please send me pictures via the comments section below. I'd love to see how yours turn out!

And to get a jumpstart on Christmas dinner table setting ideas, check out my Christmas Tree Napkin Fold instructable.