How to make an origami lotus flower napkin

To add a touch of creativity to a dining table, hosts and hostesses often fold napkins in clever shapes, much to the delight of their guests. It is an easy and inexpensive way to dress up a table and to keep a table setting in a particular theme. Making lotus flower shapes out of napkins is very easy to do and requires only paper napkins for materials. Spending a few minutes folding each napkin will impress your guests and give you a feeling of satisfaction.

Unfold the napkin and lay it on a table. You will see creases that form a cross.

Fold each corner in to the middle and very firmly crease the folds. Now you have a smaller square with the four points meeting in the middle.

Fold each corner in to the middle again, firmly creasing the folds. Now there is an even smaller square with four points meeting in the middle.

Fold each corner in to the middle once again, making sure to crease the folds.

Turn the napkin over and fold each corner into the middle for the fourth time. Crease the folds. The corners will not lay flat because of the thickness of the napkin, so hold them down. Now you have a small square that is pretty thick.

Fold over one corner of the small square, still holding the whole thing down. Fold the corner over about a half inch and press firmly.

Hold the half-inch corner fold down with one hand and reach under the square with the other. You will find a triangular flap just under the corner. Pull this flap up to form the first petal of the lotus flower. The folded half-inch corner will be the middle of the petal and will hold it in place.

Repeat Step 7 for the other three corners. You now have four petals sticking up from the folded square.

Reach under the folded square between two of the petals. Pull up the flap you find under there. This will form a fifth petal behind the two.

Repeat Step 9 for the other three sides. Now you have a flower with two rows of petals. There will be eight petals total.

Pick up the flower in one hand and turn it over. You will see four more flat flaps folded on the bottom. Peel these flaps toward the petals, forming another row of petals. Turn the napkin back over and put it on the table. Your lotus flower is complete.


You can use a fabric napkin if it has a lot of starch in it.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper dinner napkin, about 10 inches square
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About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.