How to Fold Swan Napkins

Updated April 17, 2017

Folding a napkin in a special way is an easy way to dress up a table setting and impress your guests. Fold your paper or cloth napkins into the shape of a swan to add a bit of elegance to the table for your next dinner party or special reception. Your guests will think you have mastered a difficult skill, but you will know that you were able to create the cute little creatures without much fuss.

Place the napkin in front of you so that the two folded edges are at the top and the single folded edge runs along the left side.

Fold the top right corner down diagonally to the bottom left corner. Crease that fold and unfold it.

Fold the top edge down diagonally so it is flush with the crease you just created.

Fold the left edge up diagonally so it is flush with the crease you just created.

Repeat the last two folds once more, only this time don’t bring the edges all the way into the crease; instead, bring them in about one-quarter inch from the crease.

Fold the narrower point of the folded napkin over to the wider point of the napkin so that the two points line up.

Pick up the folded napkin and fold it in half along the first crease you created, which you can see running down the middle of the points. The narrow point will be on the outside of the fold, not the inside.

Ease the narrower point up away from the wider point, keeping the whole napkin folded in half to create the swan’s neck and head. Press along the narrow point to create creases that will hold the napkin in place.

Lightly unfold the narrow point so that it’s not folded in half. You now see the neck and body of the swan.

Fold down the top inch of the narrow point away from the body of the swan. Crease and unfold.

Fold down the top three-quarters of an inch of the narrow point away from the body of the swan.

Fold up the last one-half inch of the narrow point.

Refold the head of the swan at the inch point where you previously created a crease.

Refold the neck, head and body (if it has come unfolded) of the swan in half along the crease. This completes the head of the swan.

Notice the four layers of the napkin at the tail of the swan and gently separate them to fan out the tail of the swan. Pinch the separated layers in their positions to create creases to hold them there.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper napkin or starched cloth napkin folded into quarters
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About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.