Napkin Folding Ideas You Can Try at Home

Napkin Folding Ideas You Can Try at Home W Singapore - Sentosa Cove

While many of us are spending more time on self-care and self-improvement these days, event professionals can also make use of the time to brush up on their event planning skills and learn something new from home. Master the art of napkin folding and learn how to fold simple shapes with our easy-to-follow tutorials.

First things first – the napkin.

When it comes to napkin folding, the larger the napkin is, the easier it will be to create more complicated designs. Usually, napkins between the size of 18” x 18” and 24” x 24”  work for most shapes. The most common and suitable materials are cotton, linen and damask. These varieties provide not only the right texture to fold with, but are also absorbent and washable. Before folding, it’s recommended to iron the napkin so that you have a smooth and creaseless surface to work with.


Simple Napkin Folding Ideas You Can Try at Home

Buffet Pouch Napkin at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
Buffet Pouch Napkin at Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa

Enhance the dining experience of business luncheons or create a good first impression for your dinner party guests with artistically folded napkins. It’s an incredible and classic table decoration adds a special touch to the table and creates coherence for themed events. These three easy-to-do napkin folding tutorials will help to get you started.

Classic Buffet Pouch

This basic buffet pouch napkin style is suitable for any occasion. Lay it out on a buffet table and fill it with a set of cutlery so that your guests can grab all at once or set them on a plate with decorative elements at a formal banquet. Slip a menu, place card or a sprig of flower or herb into the two decorative pouches in front, or tie a strip of ribbon or twine with a personalized name card around the pouch ー the possibilities are endless.


Napkin tuxedo (Courtyard Paramaribo)
Napkin tuxedo (JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa)

Napkin Tuxedo

  1. Start with the napkin pre-folded as a triangle. 
  2. Tuck the long edge under to make the collar. 
  3. Fold each side across the middle to overlap each other. 
  4. Tuck the bottom under the napkin followed by both sides.


Napkin rose (Courtyard Paramaribo)

Napkin Rose

  1. Fold the napkin in half diagonally
  2. Roll the folded side up halfway and flip the napkin over.
  3. Fold one “tail” into the other side and repeat with the other tail.
  4. Roll the napkin until it reaches the other side, and tuck in any extra cloth that’s sticking out.
  5. Pull apart the two flaps inside the rolled-up napkin and turn it over to appreciate your creation!



Transparent square napkin ring (The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu)
Artificial flower napkin ring (Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel)
Tassel napkin ring (JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong)
Embellished napkin ring (The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre)
Silver napkin rings (JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi)

Need something that’s quick and effortless? An equally beautiful alternative to folded napkins is to use napkin rings. The great thing about using napkin rings is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time folding, making it a quick and easy way to decorate a table. 

While there are many different styles you can easily purchase from your local kitchen supply or lifestyle stores, another way to create these wonderful and eye-catching accessories is to just make them yourself! 

Simple napkin ring made of twine and a sprig of fresh herb (JW Marriott Marquis® Hotel Dubai)
Christmas napkin ring with artificial holly berries and pine sprigs (The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai)

Get creative with your choices and experiment with textures. You’d be surprised by the options you’ll find at home. Some ideas for homemade napkin rings are:

  • Fresh aromatic herbs with nice long stems like rosemary, thyme, chive and oregano
  • Ribbons, decorative tapes, wrapping paper, threads, strings
  • Metalic and felt wires
  • Long vines like ivy or dried grapevines
  • Liquorice laces and candy strings


Napkin Decoration Ideas for Events

With the right style and colour combination, you can easily turn your dining table into a showpiece for your event attendees won’t forget. Here are some more inspiring napkin folding ideas from Marriott hotels.

Silk napkins are great for elegant and sophisticated events (The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City)
Napkins folded in knots (JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa)
Napkin Christmas trees (Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel)
Bird of Paradise napkin fold (The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi)
Striped or patterned napkins for more casual settings (JW Marriott El Convento Cusco)
Sand dune-inspired napkins (Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa)
Bowie napkin (Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph)
Single pocket napkin fold (Sheraton Grand Macao, Cotai Strip)
Simple napkin fold with customized fresh leaf place cards (W Brisbane)
Simple napkin fold with message topper (The St. Regis Bangkok)
Under plate napkin fold (La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk, Dubai, Autograph Collection)