Introduction: Top 9 Ways to Fold Awesome Holiday Napkins!

About: Random Weekend Projects

WARNING:  Dinner guests may become overly intimidated by your amazing napkin folding skills.  Use of video content is at own risk.

Step 1: Watch the Video!

Step 2: For Convenience...

In this project, I decided to play with the art of napkin folding, and these are the 9 that I liked the most for this holiday season.

The pictures above aren't in order of progression, but are just an overview of all the folds in this project.

Each page of this instructable is a different napkin fold, and has a written description on how to fold the napkin, as well as an embedded video tutorial.  

Or, for convenience, you can just watch all the videos below!

Step 3: Fancy Napkin #1 - the "Crown"

Making the "Crown" is as simple as following 8 easy steps. 

1. Lay out a square napkin, and begin by folding it up diagonally to form a triangle.

2. Fold up each of the bottom corners, to meet the point at the top.  If your napkin isn't perfectly square, just do the best you can with what you have. 

3. Now fold the bottom point, three quarters of the way up,

4. then fold it back on itself so the point is back at the bottom. 

5. Go ahead and flip it over

6. Take one of the back edges, and fold it a third of the way in. 

7. The other side, folds over next and is secured by tucking the corner into the flap at the bottom. 

8. Flip it over one more time, and now just peel the two sides down like you're peeling a banana. 

Open the base, stand it upright, and your cloth crown is finished. 

This simple fold is quick and easy, and can add a very elegant touch to your table settings. 

If you don't have any cloth napkins, try using paper napkins instead. 

Step 4: Fancy Holiday Napkin #2 - the "Candle"

To fold the candle, we're going to follow 8 simple steps. 

1. Start with a square napkin, and turn it slightly so that one point is facing up. 

2. Now take the bottom tip, and fold it up toward the top until the two corners match.  This should form a rough triangle.

3. The next step is fold the base up just a couple of inches and press it down flat. 

4. At this point, we can flip the whole thing over, so the triangle is pointing to the left.

5. Take the bottom point and fold it up so the tip is just past the center. 

6. Start rolling the whole thing into a tube, starting from the bottom, and working toward the top.  When your roll is finished, you might want to push the uneven ends back into the tube, then tuck the loose end, neatly into the cuff.  This should give you a nice sturdy base to hold your napkin upright. 

7. To finish off, just turn one layer of the tip down.

8. Then shape the the other layer to look like a flame. 

Now your candle looks like it's burning, with a bit of wax dripping off the top.  It's completely finished, and ready to impress. 

Now if you don't have cloth napkins, try making this with a paper napkin instead.  It works just as well, as long as your gentle, and are careful not to tear the paper.  

Step 5: Fancy Napkin #3 - Simple "Silverware Pouch"

We can make a fancy silverware pouch in just 6 easy steps. 

1. Start at the bottom of a square napkin, and fold the two corners up, so the edges line up at the top. 

2. Now take the the right side, and fold the napkin in half again, to form a square. 

3. Fold the top left corner, of the top layer, down to the opposite side.

4. Go ahead and flip the whole thing over.

5. Fold the right side a third of the way in.

6. Then fold the left edge back over top and tuck the bottom corner, down inside the pocket on the other.

When it's flipped right-side-up, you can see the pouch is completely finished, so just add some silverware and set it out to impress. 

Of course, if you don't have any cloth napkins, these folds will work just as well, with paper napkins, and plastic utensils.  

Step 6: Fancy Napkin #4 - the "Pyramid"

The "Pyramid" is simple, and can be done in just 6 easy steps. 

1. Lay out a square napkin, and begin by folding it up diagonally to form a triangle.

2. Fold up one of the bottom corners, to meet the point at the top. 

3. Do the same thing with the point on the other side.

4. Flip the whole thing over. 

5. Now just fold it in half from the top to the bottom.

6. Lift it from the center, so that it folds in on itself. 

When you stand it upright, your decorative napkin pyramid is finished. 

You can probably guess that this will work with paper napkins as well.  

Step 7: Fancy Napkin #5 - the "Elf Shoe"

We can make the "Elf Shoe" in 8 fairly simple steps. 

1. Fold a square napkin in half, from the bottom to the top.

2. Then fold it again from the top to the bottom. 

3. Now find the center, and fold the two sides in, the same way you'd fold a paper airplane. 

4. Go ahead and continue this idea, by folding the sides in again, forming a sharp point at the tip. 

5. At this point, the two halves can fold over on each other, and when you flatten them out, check which side is open, and make sure it's facing to the bottom. 

6. Now focus on the loose parts at the back, and fold the top layer up and out of the way. 

7. The bottom layer folds in half, then wraps over the top layer, tucking neatly into the little flap in the side of the shoe. 

8. All that's left now, is to turn down the loose material sticking up at the top, to form a little cuff. 

Your little elf shoe napkin is finished and ready for showing off. 

If you try making one out of a paper napkin it will probably look something like this.  

Step 8: Fancy Napkin #6 - the "Basket"

To make the "Basket", we're going to follow 7 steps.

1. First off, go ahead and fold a square napkin diagonally, to form a triangle.

2. Fold the base up about 3 or 4 inches from the bottom. 

3. Now flip the whole thing over so the triangle is pointing to the left.

4. Take the top point and fold it down so it's just short of the bottom by a couple of inches. 

5. Fold the bottom point, a few inches past the top edge, and tuck it around the backside of the pouch. 

6. Fold the point of the top layer, down over the front of the pouch.

7. Fold the back layer, down over the back side. 

Go ahead and straighten up the edges, fluff up the pouch a bit, and your basket is finished. 

If you tie a ribbon around the top, it adds an amazing amount of stability, and of course the same folds will work on paper napkins as well.  Well now you know how to fold a decorative napkin basket.  

Step 9: Fancy Napkin #7 - the "Rose"

The "Rose" can be folded in just 6 easy steps. 

1. Get started with a square napkin, and fold each of the 4 corners into the center as best you can.  Most napkins aren't perfectly square, but just do the best you can, with what you've got. 

2. The next step is to take the 4 new corners, and fold them into the center as well. 

3. Now just hold everything together at the middle, and flip the napkin over. 

4. Let's repeat the process again, by taking these 4 corners, and folding them into the middle like we did the the others. 

5. Ok, we're just about done, so to finish up, hold the center firmly with one hand, and gently pull the tips from underneath the corners, until they look like flower petals. 

6. When you've done this to each of the 4 corners, do the same thing, to the undersides of the edges.  This will make little points stick out between your rose petals, and give the whole thing a nice symmetrical balance. 

This adds an amazing decorative flare to your dinner presentation, and if you don't have any cloth napkins, these can look great with paper napkins as well. 

Step 10: Fancy Napkin #8 - "Bird of Paradise"

To make the "Bird of Paradise", we're going to follow 8 simple steps. 

1. To get started, go ahead and fold a square napkin into quarters, and turn it so the open ends are pointing away from you. 

2. Now fold the bottom end up to the top so it forms a triangle.

3. Flip the whole thing over. 

4. Next we'll need to fold the two sides in so they meet in the middle, which should be easy to do if you think of like folding a paper airplane. 

5. When the two sides are flattened out, flip it over again.

6. Fold the two triangular tabs at the back, in toward the center. 

7. Now just fold the triangle in half lengthwise, and cradle it in your hand so that the open ends are facing into your palm. 

8. Go ahead and peel back each of the 4 layers inside, and when they're spaced the way you want them, your fancy napkin, is ready to dazzle. 

This looks awesome with a cloth napkin, but I found you can make it with a paper napkin as well.  Just be gentle when you pull the layers apart so they doesn't rip.

Step 11: Fancy Napkin #9 - the "Bishop's Hat"

We can make the Bishop's Hat in 8 easy steps. 

1. Start by folding a square napkin in half from top to bottom, and crease it in the middle. 

2. Now fold the bottom left corner up to the middle of the top edge.

3. Fold the top right corner to the middle of the bottom edge. 

4. Go ahead and flip it over.

5. Fold one of the edges, up to meet the other, then pull the point out from under the top fold. 

6. To finish up, just crease the left side triangle in half, and tuck it into the fold of the other. 

7. Now flip it over again.

8. Repeat the same thing on the other side, and when that's tucked into place, gently pull the napkin open at the bottom, and set it upright. 

You can see these are simple to make, and setting them on your dinner plates, adds a dash of class. 

If you try this with a paper napkin, it will probably turn out something like what you see in the video.  

Step 12: Secret Napkin

I also had a lot of fun folding an easter bunny napkin.  

I didn't include it in this tutorial because the season wasn't right for it, but perhaps I'll do a future video on how to make it.

Well now you know how to fold 9 different decorative napkins for the holiday season, so go out and impress someone!

If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others.

Check them out at

Here's the video again, incase you haven't seen it yet :)

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