How to Fold a Napkin Into a Peacock

Dana Hinders
napkin origami peacock

A napkin origami peacock is a sophisticated addition to any dinner party. The peacock design is also quite easy to fold, but can be time consuming because of the ironing and starching that is required.

Napkin Origami Peacock Instructions

The napkin peacock is a formal fold that is designed to rest inside a wine glass. It should be done with a solid or brocade pattern cloth napkin that will not detract from the peacock's natural dramatic appearance. Many upscale restaurants use white dinner napkins, but napkins in rich jewel tones can be quite attractive with this design. Linen is considered the highest quality for formal table settings, but cotton napkins are a good alternative if you're on a limited budget.

This design requires you to starch and iron the napkin before folding. Depending upon the type of fabric you use, you may need a significant amount of starch to get your napkin to hold its shape. If you don't have laundry starch on hand, mix one tablespoon cornstarch with two cups of water and three to five drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle, and use it as you would a commercial spray product. Shake before use and store in the refrigerator when finished.

  1. Begin folding your peacock by placing the cloth napkin's finished side face down in front of you in a diamond shape. The seamed edges should be facing up. Fold the napkin half diagonally. Unfold, then fold the left and right sides in to meet the center line. In origami, this creates what is known as a kite base. The kite base is used in many traditional paper origami projects, including the origami dog and origami swan.
    napkin kite fold
  2. Fold the bottom of the kite base up towards the top as shown in the picture below. It should meet the horizontal edge of your kite base.
    napkin peacock fold 2
  3. Fold the point down approximately 1 and 1/2 inches to form the head.
    napkin peacock third fold
  4. Fold the napkin in half.
    napkin peacock fold 4
  5. Gently place the body section into a wine glass next to your table setting. Carefully fan out the tail. Adjust the head and neck so your peacock is the desired shape. If you're not pleased with the folds on your first try, simply unfold your napkin and iron out the creases before trying the model once more.
Folded peacock napkin

Freestanding Napkin Peacock

This peacock variation can rest on its own on the table. To help the design hold its shape, remember to iron and starch the napkin before you begin folding. Try to use a linen napkin if at all possible, since they hold their shape the best. If you are having trouble with the design, try practicing the folds with sheets of regular square origami paper.

Use Napkin Origami to Impress Your Guests

Napkin folding is a simple way to add color and style to your table setting when you're entertaining at home. With the right napkin folds, even a relatively modest meal can seem like a high class dining experience.

How to Fold a Napkin Into a Peacock