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How to Make Fancy Folded Napkins

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An inexpensive way to decorate your holiday table is to make fancy folded napkins. Crisply starched napkins or weighty paper dinner napkins that are folded in interesting shapes bring art to the table and can accentuate a decorated holiday table with style.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Studio-Annika 2012]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Studio-Annika 2012

Try your hand with these folded napkin designs:

Fan fold

Using a simple accordion-style pleating technique, you can do a few napkin folds that work really well with napkin rings. Place these napkins in the center of your plate at each place setting.

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This simple fold is a classic.

Fold your napkin in half. Beginning at one short end, start folding the napkin in an accordion style, making folds approximately every inch.

Insert one folded end into a napkin ring. Push the napkin ring up no further than 1/3 from the bottom. Fan out the top pleats.

Decorative pocket

Decorative pockets can hold silverware, a sprig of holly, place cards, or any other treat that you want to tuck in. You can place it in the center of each plate at each place setting, or if it’ll be holding utensils, you can place it to the left of the plate.

A decorative pocket fold is pretty as well as functional.
A decorative pocket fold is pretty as well as functional.

To make a decorative pocket, fold the napkin in half and then fold it in half again to make a square (or start with a folded paper napkin). Turn the napkin to make a diamond shape with the folded point closest to you. Separate the free edges and begin folding each layer down to the point. Continue folding down layers, leaving last layer up.

Tuck the sides of the napkin to the back. Insert your silverware or other desired item.

Buffet parcel

Try this pretty wrapping technique for when you want to accent your table with special ribbon. To do this fold, fold the napkin in half and then fold it in half again to make a square (or start with a folded paper napkin). Turn the napkin to make a diamond shape with the folded point away from you. Center the silverware on the napkin close together.

Fold the side points in to touch the edges of the silverware, making small triangles. Overlap edges over the cutlery and tie a ribbon around the center of the parcel.

Flower

The center of this folded napkin lends itself to holding treasures such as chocolate gelt for Hanukkah, sprigs of evergreen at Christmas, or a small basket with a beautifully decorated egg nestled in it at Easter.

The flower fold is deceptively simple to do.
The flower fold is deceptively simple to do.
  1. To begin, fold each corner of the napkin into the center.

  2. Repeat again by folding the newly made corners into the center. Press or crease folds into place.

    Fold corners twice into the middle.
    Fold corners twice into the middle.
  3. Holding the folds together in the center, flip the napkin over Pressing a finger firmly in the middle of the napkin to hold folds in place, reach under the napkin and begin pulling all the points out until complete.

    Pull out all the points.
    Pull out all the points.

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