Paper Napkin Folding Directions

Folding paper napkins in a clever or stylish way is an inexpensive way to dress up a dinner table or to contribute to a party's theme. An attractive folding pattern for paper napkins is the flame fold technique. It is casual enough to be used at an occasion where paper napkins are being used, but elegant enough to add a sense of sophistication to the table place settings. The guests will be surprised that you took the extra few minutes required for each napkin to add this touch to a casual event.

Open the paper napkin flat with the coloured side, if it has one, facing down on the table.

Fold each corner into the middle, creating a square shape. Turn the napkin over.

Fold the napkin in half from top to bottom. Fold it in half again from left to right. Now you should have a smaller square with a diagonal split from top left to bottom right.

Turn the napkin slightly to the right so that it appears as a diamond shape. The split should now run top to bottom. The top point should have four layers.

Roll the top layer outward and toward the middle, creating a small tube. Be careful not to crease it. Roll it until it reaches the middle and you can no longer roll it without tearing the napkin.

Roll the second layer inward, rolling under until it lays next to the first roll you created in the previous step. Now you have a diamond with two rolls across the middle. The rolls should be the same diameter.

Fold the right point under about a quarter of the distance across the diamond. Repeat for the left point, folding it under the same distance. Your flame is now complete.

Place the napkin on the table next to or in the middle of the plate.


This method can also be used to fold fabric napkins. The fabric can be starched and the finished top and bottom edges can be pressed with an iron to create sharp edges, adding to the table's elegance. Use different coloured napkins, or those that have a different colour on each side.

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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.