Friday, September 17, 2010

hat trick...a napkin folding tutorial

 Any table can be transformed into a festive one with the delightful touch of folded napkins.  This can be one of the simplest and least expensive ways of decorating your table...and most folded napkins work equally well with paper or cloth.

There are many ways to fold a napkin...most of which I have never learned.  There is one way, however...that I can pretty much do in my sleep. Weddings, banquets and dinners...I have folded hundreds of napkins this way. The finished napkin looks rather like a crown... the ones you see on this table.  Since I have people asking me from time to time how this is actually done...I will attempt to show you.

  1. Fold napkin in half to form a rectangle.
  2. Fold top right corner down to bottom edge.
  3. Fold bottom left corner up to top edge.
  4. Turn napkin over.
  5. Fold bottom edge up to top triangle will extend below bottom edge.
  6. Fold napkin along the top edge as you turn it over...a second triangle will fall free.
  7. Fold right quarter toward the centre, tucking the point under the long fold.  
  8. The napkin will look like illustrated in #8.
  9. Turn napkin over.  Fold right quarter toward the centre and tuck in the point.
At this point, you have a flat hat with twin peaks...which can be stored like this until ready to use. To place on table, open up from the bottom to complete your 'bishop's hat'.  If it all looks Greek to you...check out this tutorial that I found on-line...which explains it much better than I could.  Pull out a few napkins and follow'll soon be a pro.
And while I am at it...let me share with you another intricate way of folding a napkin... which I just learned from my friend Julie a few weeks ago. I came home and practiced a few times. I won't be doing this one in my sleep, let me assure you...but I think I have it figured out.

  1. Lay the napkin flat on the table, and bring each of the four corners down to meet at the centre spot.
  2. Without turning the napkin, fold the corners down again in the same way.
  3. Now turn the napkin over so the underside is up...and again bring each corner down to meet at the centre spot.
  4. Now, hold a small glass firmly on the centre of the napkin to hold the last four folds securely in place. Next...reach underneath and pull each of the four corner points to the outside. Then pull out the remaining four on each side.   

You should end up with a napkin that resembles a flower.  It looks rather like a nest...the perfect spot to add a little dinner favour.  My daughter was over yesterday...and we played with napkins...just for fun.  It seems to work better with paper napkins...but I rather like the look of the cloth ones as well.

Why not include one other simple way of folding a napkin? 

It's great for a buffet service...with the cutlery already tucked into a napkin.

  1. Fold the napkin in half to form a rectangle.
  2. Place folded edge at the bottom.
  3. Bring top edge of the first layer to the bottom.
  4. Turn the napkin over...and bring left edge to centre. 
  5. Fold this section over on itself two more times in the same direction.
Tuck the cutlery (or I would say if I were American) into the pocket...and place on the buffet table.  This method works best with a large napkin...and one that is printed on both sides.

And that, my friends, is your napkin folding lesson for today.  Have a fun weekend!


  1. I shall have to print this out and practice, Judy! They all look very pretty.
    I admit that I usually place my napkins on the table the lazy way by folding them into triangles and then slipping them into a napkin ring.

  2. Oh thank you for these tutorials because I wasn't paying attention when I saw them in person LOL! You really gave great instructions and visuals!

  3. What a fun lesson! I'm already thinking about Thanksgiving dinner at our place in a few weeks. Maybe I should fold the crowns now and then fluff them up later. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have just sewn some napkins from material that was given to me. I think my girls will get a kick out of the crown fold. Thanks for posting.

  5. Great tutorial Judy but the real test will come when I try this:)

  6. Okay, here I sit folding my napkin. Things are not going well, but it is after 9 pm. Ha! I'm going to have to practice some more because I really like the look.

  7. I could do the hat trick now, but come next time, I will have forgotten the punchline so to speak. Great lesson for those who could retain long enough to use it with company.

    I did know a couple, one similar to the flower years ago, but to do them today.?. help!

  8. Like the one folded like a water lily and then the one with the cutlery tucked inside would make a nice lunch setting too.

  9. Judy, I was hoping this would show up...I'll be taking lessons right from here on my perch. Kathy (MGCC)

  10. Judy, I love you! I always want to fold napkins but forget the steps. I'll be printing out this post and tucking it into my napkin bin, at the ready for any occasion. You are such a neat neighbor to have! Thank you!
    PS: I gave you a wink on my Saturday morning post...

  11. Thanks, Judy! When I saw the photo of your table at the brunch you hosted for the 'summit' I thought 'I want to know how she folded those napkins'. Now I know and I'll give it a try!

  12. Hey. .I missed this one. .how did I do that?
    Anyways. ..I arrived to the table finally and again am delighted with how you have it all set.
    I am delighted to find a tutorial on napkin folding and I took note of the label for my next party.

  13. I have a little book on napkin folding but I much prefer a visit to your beautiful blog. What a fun post! I will print this for me since I do not have a photogenic mind. Your tablescape looks like a magazine page. Thanks for taking the time to share the instructions with us.


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