How to fold paper napkins

Written by andrew smith
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How to fold paper napkins
Use paper napkins with a fun design. (Table napkins image by cacheman from

Don't have the extra money to spend on cloth napkins when hosting a dinner party? Paper napkins are a cheaper option, and your table can look just as fancy. Folding your paper napkins correctly can create a very elegant atmosphere for your meal or event. At first glance, your guests may not even tell that the napkins aren't cloth. Here is how you can fold paper napkins.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper napkins

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  1. 1

    Begin by unfolding the napkin if it came pre-folded.

  2. 2

    Place the napkin face up if there is a front or back side. The design on the napkin should be right-side up when you begin folding the napkin. If it is two-sided or blank, you can choose whichever side to work with since they'll be the same.

  3. 3

    Fold the napkin in half from the bottom to the top so that only the back side of the napkin is visible. Make sure your fold is symmetrical and then create a crease in the middle of your fold. Once you do this, your napkin will be in 2 parts, a top and bottom part.

  4. 4

    Use your index finger and thumb on one hand to hold the napkin at the crease you just created.

  5. 5

    Fold the bottom part of the napkin down so that the fold ends at the crease you created in step 3. In other words, you'll be folding the bottom portion of the napkin in half, so that the design of the napkin (the face up portion) will now be showing. Make sure this fold is symmetrical and create a crease at the top and bottom of the fold. Once you do this, you should have the bottom part of the napkin overlapping the top part.

  6. 6

    Keep the napkin folded as it is in step 5, and flip it over so that the napkin is face down. The design of the napkin should still be right-side up.

  7. 7

    Create an imaginary vertical line at the middle of the napkin. This doesn't have to be precise and you can eyeball where you believe the middle of the napkin to be.

  8. 8

    Fold the left side of the napkin so that the end of the napkin touches the imaginary line you created in the previous step. Make a crease at the fold.

  9. 9

    Fold the right side of the napkin over the left side. The end of the right side of the napkin should lay directly over the crease you created in the previous step. Make a crease and fold the napkin over. You will notice that you have made a pocket in your paper napkin.

  10. 10

    Place your silverware into the pocket of the napkin and you're finished.

Tips and warnings

  • Buy paper napkins that match the theme of your dinner party. For example, if you're hosting a Christmas dinner, look for napkins with Christmas designs on them or red and green napkins.

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