How to Present Paper Plates & Napkins

Written by olivea shure
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How to Present Paper Plates & Napkins
Purchase paper plates and napkins that fit with your party theme. (Ryan McVay/Valueline/Getty Images)

Piling paper plates and napkins at the end of a table is an orderly way present these papered wares at a party or get-together but isn't the only way. Presenting a plate and napkin together as a place setting is another alternative that will take the pressure off guests to scramble looking for the plates and napkins separately.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paper plates
  • Paper napkins
  • Decorative paper
  • Adhesive tape
  • Scissors

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    Place setting

  1. 1

    Place a paper plate on the table where you want each guest to sit. Paper plates that fit your party theme can enhance the place setting. Choose plates with designs and colours that compliment the party's theme and decor.

  2. 2

    Fold each paper napkin into thirds. With the napkin laid out flat, bring the bottom edge to the centre of the napkin and crease the fold. Bring the top edge down to the newly made bottom edge and crease again.

  3. 3

    Make a napkin ring. Cut a strip of decorative paper, 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.

  4. 4

    Place the folded napkin onto the middle of the strip of paper and fold both sides of the strip in around the napkin so that the edges of the strip overlap.

  5. 5

    Connect the strip together with a bit of tape.

  6. 6

    Place the napkin with its napkin ring, tape side down, onto the plate.


  1. 1

    Stack paper plates in several easy to manage piles at the edge of the buffet table. One solitary pile can seem daunting to your guests, so keep it manageable and inviting.

  2. 2

    Place the paper plates next to your cold foods, such as salads and finger foods, reserving the end of the buffet table for hot main dishes. That way when your guests arrive at their seats, their hot foods will still be hot.

  3. 3

    Place paper napkins at the end of the buffet table in several piles. It can be difficult and overwhelming for guests to balance plate and napkin while serving themselves from the buffet so providing napkins at then end of the line will help with the flow.

Tips and warnings

  • Insert a plastic fork into the napkin ring so it holds both the napkin and the fork.
  • Fold two napkins at a time for a thicker napkin.
  • Roll the napkin instead of folding it for a different dynamic.
  • Use materials such as lace or ribbon for the napkin ring.
  • Serve utensils with napkins at the end of the buffet line.

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