· Bright Ideas · Impress Your Dinner Guests With This Easy and Elegant Napkin Fold

Impress Your Dinner Guests With This Easy and Elegant Napkin Fold

Since my daughter’s wedding is right around the corner (T-minus 10 days!) I’ve been on the lookout for ideas for those little touches that make a reception “special”. When I saw this idea for folding a napkin from the Church Ladies, I knew it would be perfect for our “elegant barbecue” theme.

So I grabbed one of my DIY cloth napkins and gave it a try. I actually love the way it turned out even though I neglected to take into account that MY napkins have a “wrong side” that ended up showing in the final folded product. (I don’t mind the look, but it’s just something to take into consideration.)

Let’s see if I can manage to describe how this is done. Luckily the pictures really do tell the story of how to do this.

Step One: Fold the cloth napkin in half and then in half again. (If your napkins has a “wrong” side like mine, you want the “wrong” side facing up at this point.)

Step Two: Fold back the top layer until that corner is touching the opposite corner.

Step Three: Fold back the second layer half as far over as the first layer, and then fold the third layer half again as much.

Step Four: Now flip the napkin over (making sure the folds stay in position) and fold both sides in towards the center with one side slightly overlapping the other.

Step Five: Flip the napkin back over and insert your knife, fork and spoon in the “slots” you have just created!

Pretty cool huh?

I also tried it with a bandana I had lying around and that was a fun option as well! And, of course, you can always use large paper dinner napkins as well.

I hope you have fun trying this out for your next “special occasion”…or maybe surprise your family or friends at dinner TONIGHT! :-)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Hello. I just tried it with an A4 to find out whether it was easy…and it is indeed! Though the result is not really the same as I used a rectangular instead of a square. But it looked fine! Will use it tonight during dinner. Thank you!

  • I thought the white bandana was for the ‘Elegant BBQ’ theme and really liked how it turned out! Bookmarked this in my “party/big dinner/get-together ideas!” folder, but it’s so easy and too cool to wait to use it, so my husband is going to be getting nice folded napkins with every meal for a few weeks… just until I have it not only memorized, but am able to do it in my sleep! Thanks for the great idea!

  • I was just watching your video on how to get things very white – stains and all. I have an HE front loader washing machine. Will this solution work in this type of washer?


  • I love different ways of folding napkins. Thanks, again!

    Are you prepared to be the Mother of the Bride? Lots of responsibilities and a few happy tears. Your daughter will be a beautiful bride and you’ll get a new member in your family.

  • Jillee~
    I know this isn’t the right place to contact you but I’m not getting your daily emails. I emailed you already but haven’t responded. I REALLY miss them and don’t understand why I am not getting them anymore.


    • Hi Krista, I double-checked and it appears you are still subscribed to the daily emails. You might want to check your Spam folder. Sometimes my emails get re-routed into there even when I don’t classify them as Spam. Let me know if this doesn’t help. jill@byjillee.com

  • Thanks for sharing, great multi use napkin fold. Love your blog and have followed for some time, but the pop ups are pretty annoying when they are in the middle of the body of information. I know ads are part of the package, but the Jeep ad coming in over the top of pictures was too much.

  • Looks great! Love the way way the bandana highlighted different aspects of its pattern.
    Also love your reenactment of “The Scream” by Edward Munch– I mean your reflection in the spoons. Hopefully, with only 10 tens left the feeling to “Scream” is over.

    Did you make all those gray floral napkins for the reception? How many??

  • We use cloth napkins every day for the last 15 years. I have lots of styles, but the most used ones are large plaid (about 18″). Because they are woven plaid, not printed, you can use both sides. They keep our laps warm while watching tv, and can be used a day or two before washing. Another good thing is that they don’t have to be ironed; when folded, the weight of the stack keeps them almost crisp and ironed looking.

  • I love the way it lays so flat, you can even set up a buffet with your plates divided with a set of flatware wrapped in the napkin this way. That way everyone just grabs a plate and moves on…. This method is one of my daughter’s favorites. Years ago she worked as a Stewardess on private yachts. She would really impress the Owners (and the Chef) with her ability to fold napkins. She would use a different fold at every meal. It’s the little things that make it special and bring a smile to someone’s face.

  • Jillee,
    Thanks for the new way to fold my napkins – I love to use cloth napkins too and am always looking for new ways to fold them. Some of my extended family worry about getting the napkins stained, so now I can tell them I also know how to replace them if I need to since you had the napkin making post on! Keep up the good work – I learn so much good stuff from you!!

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