7 Chic Ways To Fold Your Christmas Napkins

Dress up your holiday table with a simple fold—or three.

Christmas Posy Table Decor
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Design: Kathleen Varner

When it comes to setting the holiday table, everything from the lifetime curated antique china to the classic Christmas centerpiece goes into thoughtful consideration. Table linen, napkins to be precise, is a tablescape element not to be overlooked. After all, festive napkin folding techniques can dress up your holiday table with a simple fold (or three) of fabric. If you're looking to add a bit of holiday magic to your table, consider these seven chic ways to fold your Christmas napkins.

01 of 07

The Diamond

Diamond Napkin Fold
Robbie Caponetto; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Diamonds, no matter the occasion, are a hostess' best friend. This diamond napkin fold may look complicated to replicate, but trust us: It's much easier than it looks.

  1. Lay a square napkin facedown, and fold it in half from top to bottom and again from left to right, forming a small square.
  2. Fold back the top layer diagonally. Repeat with the second layer, stopping slightly short of the last fold. Repeat with the remaining two layers. Flip the napkin over.
  3. Fold both bottoms ends in toward the top, overlapping a little. Flip the napkin over, and place it on a plate.
02 of 07

The Napkin Ring

Christmas Dinner Napkin Ring Ideas
Break out the sterling and monograms, a Christmas Southern tradition. You can't miss with an elegant silver napkin ring and a sprig of greenery at your dinner. Photo by Ralph Anderson

When it comes to folding napkins, it can often feel like fabric origami if you're new to the whole hostess thing. Enter the napkin ring.

  1. Lay the napkin out flat on the table. Pinch the center and lift up.
  2. Hold the napkin ring over the pinched end and slide down until it reaches the center of the napkin.
03 of 07

The Right Rectangle

Christmas Table Setting Citrus Settings
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

As the holidays progress, we all want to outdo one Christmas dinner to the next. However, there is beauty in simplicity. Lead planner and owner of Jessica Sloane Events and Experiences shares her go-to napkin folding tip, no matter the dinner party.

  1. Fold the napkin in half horizontally.
  2. Fold the napkin in half vertically twice (depending on the size of the napkin) to create a wide rectangular shape.
  3. Make sure that the seams are lined up by folding towards the seam.
04 of 07

The Casual Fold

Sohr Christmas Table Setting
"Holiday gestures have a big impact," says Gen, who chose a vintage red-and-pink ikat cloth for the table. "It extends to the floor just like my mother's did," she says. Scattered around the tabletop, a collection of paper ornaments from Etsy and holiday cards from Rifle Paper Co. work as place cards, underscoring the Christmas theme. Photo: Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

For a more casual dinner setting, consider keeping things—yet again!—simple.

  1. Start with a square napkin and fold once in half vertically.
  2. Then, start at the bottom of the folded napkin and fold, flip, repeat until you reach the other end.
  3. Place at each place setting with a fork on top.
05 of 07

The Bowtie

Christmas Table Setting Airy Evergreen

A dapper dinner party is intended to have dapper table elements such as a classic bowtie napkin fold.

  1. Lay the napkin out flat, seam side up.
  2. Fold two opposite corners in, to meet in the center.
  3. Fold the napkin in half, from the bottom up. Fold the napkin in half again, from the top down.
  4. Fold the sides of the narrow rectangle in, to slightly overlap in the center.
  5. Slide a ribbon under the center of the folded napkin and cinch, tying it in a bow.
06 of 07

The Knot

Knotted Napkin for 4th of July Party
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Christmas is a time for bows and presents, so incorporate the feeling of opening a present at each place setting.

  1. Start with a flat napkin.
  2. Take the top corner of the napkin and fold it into the opposite corner. It should be a triangle, looking like you're about to tie a bandana.
  3. From here, bunch the middle fabric together, lift it off the table, and tie it into a knot.
  4. Place back on the table and adjust to ensure the sides are even.
07 of 07

The Napkin Roll

Christmas Table Setting Layered with Linen

Sometimes, simple really is best. To get this look, simply roll your linen napkin, double-checking that the lines stay even. Finish by securing the linen with a napkin ring or ribbon.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles