Folded cloth napkins add an elegant touch to any meal. Many designs can also be used to hold silverware, which helps to create functional yet attractive place settings.
Napkin Origami Pocket
This simple pocket design is a great introduction to the art of napkin folding. If you're a parent, you could have your child fold the napkins before a special meal.
If needed, starch and iron your napkins before you begin folding. Place your napkin in front of you with the finished side face down. Fold the lower edge up about three inches to make a horizontal band at the bottom of the napkin. Fold the upper edge down so it meets the edge of the previous fold.
Flip your napkin over. Bring the left and right sides in to meet the vertical center of your napkin.
Fold the left edge over so it meets the right edge of the napkin. Position your napkin so the smaller rectangle pocket is at the bottom. Insert the necessary silverware into the pocket and add your napkin origami creation to your place setting. Add a ribbon tie if desired.
Napkin Origami Buffet Roll
This is an excellent design to use if you're hosting a buffet dinner for a large group of people. You can place the tied napkins in a basket next to your plates and have each person pick one up before they select their food.
Both sides of the napkin will be visible with this design, so a solid colored napkin is the best choice. If needed, starch and iron your napkins before you begin folding.
Fold the lower right hand corner halfway to the center. Fold the upper edge of the napkin down to the lower edge to make a horizontal rectangle. Fold the left edge of the rectangle shape over to the right edge to form a square.
Place the napkin in front of you in a diamond shape with the open ends at the top. Fold the left and right corners in towards the center. Fold the bottom corner in to meet the center of the napkin.
Fold the right edge towards the left edge. Fold just far enough to cover the point. Fold the left edge over so it meets the right edge. Flip the napkin over so the pointed end is at the top. Slide your knife, fork, and spoon into the pocket. Tie a scrap of ribbon around the napkin to keep it secure. Choose ribbon that coordinates with the color or pattern of your napkin or use twine for a casual yet rustic look.
Napkin Origami Horn
This horn shaped design resembles a Thanksgiving cornucopia or a summer ice cream cone. The folded layers of the napkin add interest to an otherwise simple design.
Start with the finished side of your napkin face down. Fold the napkin in half vertically, then fold in half once more to make a square. Press the folds lightly with your iron if needed.
Place the napkin in front of you in a diamond position with the open ends at the top. Fold each layer of the napkin back, tucking it in so the seam is not visible. Space the layers roughly one inch apart, taking care to make the folds as neat as possible.
Flip the napkin over and fold the left point across the right point. Flip the napkin back to the original position, then add any silverware that is desired. Alternatively, this design could be used to hold flowers or other decorative accents for your table.
Show Your Creative Side
When it comes to napkin origami, creativity is key. Experimenting with different napkin colors or patterns can add pizzazz to even the simplest folding designs. Have fun creating something special for your table, and remember to take pictures so you have a point of reference if you want to repeat a design at a later date.