If you enjoy making folded paper flowers, stars, and other origami things, you may be interested in napkin origami folding too. This variation of traditional origami uses basic folds to make fancy designs by folding napkins. Although most of the origami napkin folding is made with cloth napkins, the folding instructions are the same for paper napkins.
Origami Napkin Folding
The Slide Napkin Folding
This napkin folding technique is good for those dinner wedding receptions where you want something fancy, but not too complex. Lay the napkin face-down in front of you. Fold the napkin in half and orient the open end towards you. Fold the napkin into quarters. Orient the napkin so that the open end is pointing away from you. Fold the napkin in half by bringing the far end up to the front. Press this fold down well. Take the top-layer of napkin and fold it back, making a crease about 1/2″-1″ before the top. Flip the napkin over, keeping the single-layer tip pointing away from you. Flip the napkin over, keeping the single-layer tip pointing away from you. Open and stand and you will have a fancy slide napkin!
The Fleur de Lys Napkin Folding
For a French themed wedding reception, Fleur de Lys in a cup napkin folding is a perfect choice. This is a fast and easy fold. Lay the napkin face-down in front of you. Fold the napkin in half diagonally. Orient the napkin so the open end points toward you. Fold the bottom point up so the tip overlaps the far edge by about an inch. Accordion fold the entire napkin from left to right. Firmly grasp the base and insert it into a glass or a napkin ring and you’re proudly displaying a Fleur de Lys for each of your dinner guests.
The Flower Napkin Folding
Works best if you have a very large plate to set it on, or as a centerpiece with the sugar bowl placed in the middle. Fold each corner to the center of the napkin. Fold each new corner to the center of the napkin. Turn the napkin over. Fold each new corner to the center of the napkin. Reach under each corner and pull out the petals (these are the new corners you created with the first step). Reach under each edge and pull out the leaves (these are the original corners of the napkin). Some napkins require that you set a glass or the pepper shaker in the middle to keep the whole thing from falling apart.
The Ship Napkin Folding
Works best with a heavily starched napkin. By heavily starched I mean you should hear it crack when you bend it. Fold the napkin in half. Fold it in half again the other way, so all four corners are stacked on each other. Arrange the napkin to look like a diamond, with the four corners of the cloth at the bottom. Fold the napkin diagonally, so the four corners are at the top of the triangle. Take one of the bottom points of the triangle and bring it down, so that the edge it made with the top point runs vertically down the center of the napkin. Repeat with the other side. You have two choices here, which depend on the amount of starch in the napkin, and if you have a fork handy. If the napkin accepts creases well and tends to stay where you put it, fold the little bits that hang over the bottom edge under. If the napkin is very springy or very limp, leave these sticking out, and steal a clean fork from the next table if you’ve already used yours. Fold the napkin in half backwards. If you folded the extra bits under in the previous step, this will trap them together on the inside of the ship. If you left them sticking out run them between the tines of the fork to hold the thing together. Pull up the napkin’s corners one at a time to form sails.
Heart Napkin Folding
In order to show your loved ones that you put in a bit “extra” for them on the special day you should think about having heart shaped folded napkins at your wedding. It’s a very easy fold and you will have fun doing it also. Iron the napkin to be flat and smooth before folding. Start with your square napkin, and then fold it in half from bottom to top. Then fold it in half once more, bottom to top. Next, bring the right side up to the middle crease; then do the same with the left. Next take the top inner corners of each side and fold down and under. To get it to stay, you can take you iron and iron the creases to make a nice, neat fold that stays. Next, fold down the inner corners of the heart.
The Diamond Napkin Folding
Lay the napkin face-down in front of you. Fold the napkin in half and orient the open end toward you. Fold the napkin into quarters. Fold the top-most layer of the napkin in half diagonally – up and to the left. Fold the next layer of napkin diagonally up and to the left, stopping slightly before the last fold to create an even, staggered effect. Repeat by folding up the next layer of napkin to a point just before the last one. And one last time with one last layer. Keep them as uniform as you can. Now fold both sides of the napkin under and in to create an even, staggered diamond effect on the napkin.
The Bishop’s Hat Napkin Fold
Lay the napkin face down in front of you. Fold the dinner napkin in half so that the open end is towards you. Fold the far-right corner diagonally towards you, resting the point in the center of the side closest to you. Fold the near-left corner diagonally away from you, resting it so that it lies right next to the previous fold. Flip the napkin over and orient it so it points to the far-left and to the near-right. Fold the bottom half of the napkin up and away from you, laying it so the far edges run on top of one other. Reach underneath of the napkin and pull out the flap on the right, making the near-side come to two points as seen in the picture. Gently roll the left half of the left triangle over and tuck its end underneath the right triangle. Flip the napkin over, points pointing away from you. Fold the right-triangle to the left, tucking its end into the other triangle. Open up the hat and press the material inside down to fill it out so that it becomes circular, this may take a little fidgeting.
Candle Fan Napkin Folding
The candle fan stuffed into a goblet or mug can be the sparkle that you need to make your table setting perfect. The larger the napkin that you use is, the longer the ‘candles’ will be. Lay the napkin face-down in front of you. Fold both sides in so they meet at the center. Press the folds down well. Take each of the four corners (now sitting at the center of the far and near sides) and fold them out diagonally, pivoting at the center of the napkin as shown. Starting at one end, tightly roll the napkin half way along its length. The tighter the better. Accordion-fold the other side of the napkin and gather it together. Fold the napkin in half with the roll in the middle. Place it into your goblet of choice and you’re done!