3 Viral Napkin Folding Tricks — So Easy, But So Impressive

If you're planning on hosting this season, refining your napkin folding might be just the ticket to elevating your dining table set-up

A well-laid Christmas table
(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Napkins seem to be the stars of the show this Christmas. We're used to seeing them looped through napkin rings or folded elegantly in half and placed to the side, but this year they're taking center stage on our plates. From beautiful embroidered fabrics in an array of bold colors, to charming scalloped edging, napkin trends are having a moment in the spotlight. Christmas napkins offer up the opportunity to get creative too, and we've spotted the stylists taking to Instagram to show off their napkin skills.

Turning your napkin from a regular square or rectangular shape into something new is a great way to decorate that doesn't require you to buy anything, and shows your guests that you've gone the extra mile. I've spotted three napkin tutorials that I think make for perfect Christmas table decor. Here's how they're done.

1. The twirl napkin hack

First up, the napkin twirl method is proving popular. It's the easiest technique that gives great results without having to try your hand at more technical origami skills. The added benefit of this look is that your napkin doesn't need to be particularly beautiful, it's all in the texture of the finished product, so find any old napkin you might have in your cupboards. Linen or a linen cotton blend would work well because they are both slightly stiffer fabrics that will keep the folds in place. Something silkier will just lose its shape and collapse as soon as you release the fork.

Lay your fabric over your plate and place the fork in the middle. Steadily turn your fork, catching the material as you go, and using your other hand to coax the fabric to form into a flattering rose-like shape. The final flourish from @simplystyledinspo is a festive garnish made of a sprig of fir and a dried orange segment - a wonderful addition to your Christmas dining table.

A post shared by Nancy • Canadian content creator

A photo posted by simplystyledinspo on

2. The ribbon napkin trick

There is no denying the popularity of the ribbon bow this festive season. They've trickled down from the world of fashion and have emerged in interior design festive decor. From bright, red velvet bows to sleek black bows, we've seen ribbons gracing the branches of Christmas trees for a joyous, whimsical look. Bows haven't escaped our festive tables either, and we're loving this cute bow napkin hack from @mywellihousedecor.

For this napkin hack, fold several times until it forms a long ribbon-like strip. Fold each side over on itself so it creates a bow-like shape, and use decor to clip the center in place. If you don't have anything that will work quite like @mywellihousedecor's decorative clip, another piece of ribbon can work to keep the bow in place. Fluff up each of the sides until it resembles a cheery bow, and pop in the center of the dinner plate for your guests to enjoy.

A post shared by Paola Medina

A photo posted by mywellihousedecor on

3. The pocket fold napkin

Finally, for a more practical aesthetic, this napkin hack incorporates your cutlery. This look feels a little more formal and works well for small dining rooms as the cutlery and napkin take up the same space.

This hack from @cookwithmanuela involves folding your napkin into a square before turning it over and using the edges of the napkin before neatly tucking the fabric. Slot your chosen silverware into your napkin pockets, with the fork on the left and the knife on the right, mimicking basic table settings.

A post shared by Manuela Mazzocco

A photo posted by cookwithmanuela on

3 Napkins to buy to elevate your Christmas table

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.