How to make swan napkins

Updated February 21, 2017

Napkins are a necessary part of a meal. If you are setting a table for an occasion -- a family dinner or a banquet -- make napkins stand out by folding them into swans. Napkins folded into the shape of swans provide an eye-catching accessory for a table, turning these ho-hum essentials into elegant decorations.

Fold a napkin into quarters. Place a napkin on a flat surface. Fold the napkin in half, forming a rectangle. Fold the napkin in half again, forming a square.

Turn the napkin to resemble a diamond. Place the edge of the square so that the loose edges are facing up.

Fold the right and left edges of the napkin inward in a diagonal manner so that they meet. The napkin should resemble a kite.

Turn the napkin over so that the folds are facing down. Keep the "tail" of the kite facing down.

Fold the right and left edges of the napkin inward again, in a diagonal manner, so that the points meet. The napkin should now resemble a thinner kite.

Bring the tip of the "tail" upward so that it meets the tip on the top of the kite shape. Fold the very tip of the tail down -- this will become the head of the swan.

Fold the entire napkin in half vertically so that the right and left sides of the napkin meet in the back. The head of the swan should remain on the outside of the napkin.

Turn the napkin to the side. Hold the bottom portion of the napkin with one hand, with the other hand, pull the long, thin piece of the napkin upward -- this will be the neck of the swan. Set the napkin down and gently press in on the neck with your finger at the base of the head -- this will make the head stand up on its own.

Pick the napkin up by the neck. Tightly hold the napkin and spread end pieces near the tail of the swan, giving them a feathered appearance.


Remember to firmly press the napkin along the creases after each fold. This will give the swan a more structured shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Starched cloth napkin
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About the Author

Lily Mae began freelance writing in 2008. She is a certified elementary and literacy educator who has been working in education since 2003. Mae is also an avid gardener, decorator and craft maker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in literacy education from Long Island University.