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How to fold table napkins for a neat table setting

Want to spice up your table for a dinner party? Read on for our guide to basic table napkin folding.


dining table

Key steps

  • Wash your napkins in a good quality detergent like Surf to have them fresh and ready.

  • Always start with a square napkin.

  • Done a basket fold? Fill the pouch with pretty flowers or chocolate for an added extra.

  • If all else fails, invest in some pretty napkin rings instead!

One of the most effective ways to liven up your dining table is with a simple napkin. Table napkin folding adds to your table whilst still keeping it functional for your guests. Here we’ll share 5 easy and elegant napkin folding ideas for you to make at home. Our step-by-step guide will teach you basic table napkin folding techniques to make your dining table as tasty as your food.

For the best results, always work with a square napkin and make sure you fold at the table, so you don’t have to worry about transporting it there after folding!

How to fold table napkins: 3 easy, elegant napkin folding ideas

Read our simple guide with napkin folding steps for 3 types of napkin folding you can easily do at home. Each requires you to work with a square napkin.

  1. The French pleat. Follow these steps to fold your napkin into a French pleat.

    • Fold your square napkin in half.

    • Fold it in half again.

    • Ensuring the under-layer remains flat, fold the top right corner of the next layer towards the center.

    • Move to the next layer and repeat the above step.

    • Fold the remaining layers until they meet up to the bottom left corner.

    • With care, turn the napkin over.

    • Fold the left edge 1/3 towards the other side.

    • Fold the right side towards the left and tuck it in to help it hold its shape.

  2. The basket fold. Follow these steps to fold your napkin into a basket fold.

    • Fold your square napkin in half on the diagonal.

    • Taking the straight edge, bring it halfway towards the point.

    • Next, fold the top corner to the center.

    • Repeat the above step with the bottom corner.

    • See you have one point remaining? Fold this down towards the backside.

    • Spread a layer open. This should create a pouch.

    • Why not fill the pouch with something pretty like flowers to add a little something extra?

  3. The knot fold. Follow these steps to fold your napkin into an elegant knot.

    • With one corner facing you, fold your square napkin into a triangle.

    • Pleat your triangle into accordion pleats, ensuring they are of equal size. The final pleat should fold downwards.

    • Pull the right side around to the left in a circle, pulling it through the loop you create. This creates a knot!

    • Tighten the knot to your desired design.

With our easy guide to different types of table napkin folding, you can now add that perfect finishing touch to your table, ready for guests! For more advice to get your home dinner party ready, read our guide on how to clean cloudy glassware.

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