How to fold cotton napkins to surprise your guests

In table decoration cotton napkins have a leading role. On the one hand, because they are an essential part of any meal: all diners will use them so everyone will take notice of them.

In table decoration cotton napkins have a leading role. On the one hand, because they are an essential part of any meal: all diners will use them so everyone will take notice of them. Additionally, because unlike plates and cutlery, more static elements, the paper napkin is versatile: we can play with it and place it on the table in infinite number of ways to impress diners and customise every event.


How to fold a cotton napkin to make it a cutlery holder

Below we explain the steps to follow to present the cotton napkin as an elegant cutlery holder. It is a sober, functional and modern idea that is appropriate for a large variety of meals since it constitutes a different detail that will impress all kinds of diners.

For the result to be perfect we recommend you use a plain cotton napkin, of basic colours, or with a uniform pattern, whether a more formal or casual collection.

In the following video, you can see a demonstration of how to fold the cotton napkin and make it into a cutlery holder portacubiertos. Pick up a cotton napkin and practice!


Below we explain, step by step, all you have to do to fold the cotton napkin and turn it into an elegant cutlery holder:

1- Place the cotton napkin in front of you, with the pattern facing upwards.IMG_2099







2- Fold the napkin in half, joining the lower corners with the upper ones.






3- Fold the napkin in half again: fold the corners of the left end towards the corners of the right bend. The cotton napkin should be a square shape.






4- The open sides must be at the upper end and right.







5- From the first layer of the napkin (the outside one), take the upper right corner and, with a diagonal fold, fold it towards the inside (towards the lower left corner).






6- Now we continue with the second layer of the cotton napkin. Again, take the upper right corner and, with another diagonal fold, fold it, bit towards you, introducing the corner into the pocket created with the previous step. This second fold must be over the first one, so that they are both visible.





7- We continue with the third layer of the cotton napkin. This time we fold the upper right corner again inwards (towards the table). You should see the three folds made in parallel.





8- Fold the sides so that the square becomes a rectangle. width=






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9- With the diagonal folds, we have created three pockets in the cotton napkin where you can place the different items of cutlery. A simple and elegant way of presenting the table!





Hints for folding cotton napkins successfully

Learning to fold cotton napkins is not only a question of practice but there are also some tips that you can take into account, especially if it is the first time you are going to fold napkins in a more artistic way than the usual fold:

  • To start with, choose a simple figure, with few folds and of a basic type.
  • Look at the video with the steps to take, so you have a general idea and can appreciate the difficulty and time of the process.
  • Take a cotton napkin, preferably square and size 20×20 cm or more.. If the cotton napkin is smaller, it will be more difficult to make the folds. A good idea is to practice with a cotton napkin you won’t lay on the table, but which is similar (size, type of fabric…).
  • Iron the cotton napkin, it will be easier for you to fold and keep the desired shape. Sometimes you can even iron the folds as you go to mark them well and ensure the figure does not lose form.
  • Alternate the video images (with the pauses you need) and the more detailed explanations of the text. Follow the instructions step by step with your cotton napkin.
  • With time and some patience you’ll get the desired result for sure!

Tips: folding cotton napkins for formal meals

Creativity and imagination know no boundaries: there is an infinite number of ways of folding cotton napkins and today we can learn easily thanks to the videos and explanations that many people share on the social media. We can even give free rein to our instincts and fold cotton napkins to our taste.

Nevertheless, and if what we are planning a rather more formal meal, we should take the following guidelines into account:

  • The first is to ensure that we have quality cotton napkins, with a pleasant touch and impeccable appearance. Don’t forget to iron them before starting the folding process.
  • It is of no use presenting the napkin with a surprising fold if the colour, style and size of the cotton napkindoes not match the rest of the table.
  • The cotton napkin should at all times have an elegant ordered appearance. We should avoid turning it into an easily recognisable figure which might lead to sarcastic remarks, such as birds, ties or rabbits… it is better to reserve these napkins for another more fun-like event.
  • A few years ago large volumes were the fashion, with figures such as the bishop’s hat or the fleur-de-lis, whereas today the tendency is to look for more moderate shapes.


Also remember that in another post we explain how to choose the size of the cotton napkins.

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