August, 04, 2021

Dressing Up Your Table – Napkin Folds

Whether your napkin is an accenting piece to an overall color scheme or the main focal point of your tablescape, the right napkin fold can truly bring an entire event together! With so many different napkin styles and folds, finding one you like best may seem a bit puzzling. That’s why we’ve compiled these examples of simple yet stylish napkin folds that are sure to elevate your event. Explore below to find inspiration for the perfect design for your next soiree, including step-by-step guides on how to complete some of our more intricate folds.

Rectangular Fold

For this classic fold all you have to do is keep folding your napkin in half! The rectangular fold is a great way to make sure your accenting colors get plenty of space to shine within your tablescape. When in doubt – this fold will never let you down!

Madcap Cottage | Theo Milo Photography | Out of the Garden | Ooh! Events

Square Fold

The square fold may not look too complicated, but it’s effortless simplicity adds an upscale look to your event. It is also a perfect way to draw attention to name cards and leaves plenty of room to highlight bold plates and chargers. Choose this fold for a sophisticated soiree!

Shannon Rose Events | Sami Kathryn Photography | The Nest at Ruth Farms | Posh Couture Rentals | The Letter E Designs

Triangular Fold

First, match together opposite corners of your square napkin to create a large triangle and then fold that in half to create a smaller triangle – and you’ve now perfected the triangular fold! To add an element of modern art to your table, offset the triangular fold to just one side. Look at how this geometric flare completes this tablescape!

Party Time Rentals | Events on the Loose | Hunter Ryan Photo

Circular Roll Fold

This fold adds a refined and put-together look to your table, like the neat wrapping on a present. Merely fold your napkin in half, roll it from bottom to top, and secure using a charming napkin ring. This look is great when wanting to add an accentuating color to a bolder table linen. The circular roll fold works well to let your linen shine, all the while adding an upscale and timeless element.

California Club | Joie de Vivre | Miki and Sonja Photography | Jacob Maarse Florist | Town an Country Event Rentals

Vertical Pocket Fold

The magic of the vertical pocket fold is that it looks intricate but is actually achievable in 6 basic steps! This fold is a great way to make the most of the space on your table. It smoothly pulls together the elements of your table by delicately cradling your menu or flatware. There is no party setting where this napkin wouldn’t shine!

Nellie Sparkman | Blue Bouquet | Fox Creek Designs | Good Stuff China | Mere Fille Designs | Bailey Pianalto

Horizontal Pocket Fold

Like the vertical pocket fold, this fold offers a stylish way to hold your flatware or menu. This style is great if you’re looking to make your napkin the focal point of your table! In the image below, the Pink Velvet Napkin elegantly attracts attention through its minimalist style combined with bold color choice.

Alliey & Co | Social Graces Paperie | Event Essentials | The LedgeCrest Reserve | Ebb & Flow

Knot Fold

The knot fold is an attractive and trendy way to add a pop of color to the border of your plates. Just roll the napkin diagonally from one corner to the other, and then tie it in a knot! The magic of this fold lies in its ability to adapt to any party atmosphere. It’s no wonder the knot fold so popular among wedding planners!

Just Save the Date | Flora Bloom Photography | Treasury Rentals | RW Style | The Flower Studio

Flat Lay Fold

Spread your napkin out flat and pick it up near the center, then lay it on your plate – and you’ve now done a flat lay fold! You can always secure this look with a napkin ring but leaving the napkin as is on your plate creates beautiful fluidity to your tablescape. Look below at how this lay fold perfectly embodies the rustic atmosphere of this event.

Erika Sandoval Event Planning and Design | For the West and Wild | Inspired Designs Denver | Tasha Rae Designs

Bowtie Fold

Like a bow on a present, the bowtie fold is a neat and elegant way to tie your table together. To achieve this look: fold your napkin over to the side in three so that the seams are hidden, turn horizontally and secure with a napkin ring, finally tuck your edges below your plate and correct your corners. If you’re looking to add a polished, chic touch to your table, look no further than the bowtie fold!

Nellie Sparkman | Blue Bouquet | Fox Creek Designs | Good Stuff China | Mere Fille Designs | Bailey Pianalto

Flat Lay Fold Variations

For a trendy boho look, use a loose ribbon to tie around your flat lay fold. Make the napkin your own by tying the ribbon higher or lower to break up your design.

The Ganeys | Prim Event Studio | Bourne Paper Co | Amanda Vidmar | Standard Party Rental | West Elm | Silk and Willow | CB2

Or to elevate your flat lay styled napkin, use two napkins! The double lay fold is an modern take on a traditional style that adds an extra pop of color to your table. If you can’t decide between two napkin colors – get both and combine them with this fun fold!

Madcap Cottage | Theo Milo Photography | Out of the Garden | Ooh! Events

Rectangular Variations

Adding greenery is an easy way to elevate any napkin fold, not just the rectangular fold! Greenery can break up your design by adding geometric diversity, highlighting accenting colors, and effortlessly adds a touch of elegance! This design is a great way to really make your table unique.

Jeanette Carter | Kelsey Alumbaugh | Twisted Sisters | Ultrapom Event Rental | YellowBrick Graphics

The waterfall style is as trendy as it is timeless. Begin by folding your napkin to the side in two or three as you choose to create a long rectangular style, and then simply place underneath your plate! Look below at the classic elegance that the waterfall style creates. Like the knot fold, this style is a wedding planner go-to!

Kenzie Victory Photography | Rachel Ellen Events | Chateau de Mairy

Play with layering and your napkin. The easiest way to do this is by folding your napkin in three and then placing it between your plates and/or chargers. This style is an simple way to add color and depth to your table. Look below at how this Evergreen Velvet Napkin peers behind the appetizer plate, adding an alluring and textured touch to this minimalistic table.

Laki Events & Design | Larissa Jean Photography | Unika Collections | Event Rents

Unique Designs

Mix and match your napkin colors! Not only is this a unique way to set your wedding look apart – mix and match napkins are a super stylish way to let your creative side fly! Choose a patterned table linen and as many varying accenting-colored napkins as you please.

Alicia Lacey Photography | SRS Events | Eight Tree Street Floral Design | Little Oatlands

To really make your event your own, add custom touches to your napkins! Elevate your event by customizing your napkins with one-of-a-kind napkin rings, printing, or embroidery. This is a perfect way to keep the memories of your special day with you forever.

Visit our Atelier Department for beautiful customized looks!

Rectangular Fold

  1. Begin by laying your napkin out flat.
  2. Fold the top halfway down towards the bottom so that the corners meet.
  3. Take the right side of your napkin and fold it halfway sideways towards the left so that the corners meet.
  4. Repeat step 3 so that your napkin becomes smaller and rectangular, and then place on your table!

Square Fold

  1. Repeat steps 1-4 of the rectangular fold.
  2. Play with the edges by folding the top of your napkin down and the bottom up, once you’ve got a square shape just flip over and voila – you have a square fold!
  3. Or – stop after step 3 for a larger square if you please.

Vertical Pocket Fold Steps

  1. Begin by laying your napkin out flat.
  2. Fold the bottom halfway up towards the top so that the corners meet.
  3. Fold the top piece of your napkin halfway down so that it touches the bottom of your fold.
  4. Flip your napkin over, holding by the middle so as not to lose the steps 2 and 3.
  5. Fold your napkin in half – now you will see the front of the napkin and your pocket will appear.
  6. Fold in half one more time and accent with a menu or flatware!

Horizontal Pocket Fold

  1. Repeat above steps 1-3 from the vertical pocket fold guide.
  2. Then, place the napkin on your plate and fold the top part of your napkin behind itself to hide the top seam.
  3. Tuck the sides of your napkin behind your plate.
  4. Tuck your menu into the center so it peeks out and you’ve finished!

How do you style your napkins? Show us by tagging us on Instagram @bbj_latavola

Want more style inspo? Our gallery and blog are filled with real-life examples of stunning tablescapes!


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