The way to make a dinner table look fab is not just to whip up something spectacular in the kitchen. Nor is it about using lovely crockery. No, to make a table really stand out, get those linen napkins of yours folded in an extra-special way.
And, with Valentine’s Day coming up soon, now is the time to begin practising. In the meantime, here are some of our favourite linen napkin folding designs. Most of them are pretty easy so you don’t need any fancy origami skills to feel you can do them justice.
In fact, @CountryLiving: “With just a bit of elbow grease, creativity, and imagination, you'll be able to turn a simple linen napkin into something truly extraordinary… you don't actually have to be a napkin-folding pro… Anyone can origami their way to a napkin masterpiece, no experience needed—or fancy supplies, for that matter.”
Angled pocket napkin fold
The angled pocket napkin fold is a great way to display your silverware since it can be folded neatly inside when you set the table. To make it, take your square linen dinner napkin and fold it in half, and then in half again to quarters.
Now get the open corner top layer and fold it so that it meets the opposite corner. Flip the napkin over and fold it into thirds. Flip it back over again. Now tuck your silverware in. Voila!
Bishop’s Hat napkin fold
Get a square napkin, lay it in front of you and fold in half to form a rectangle. Fold the far-right corner in so that it lines up with the bottom of the rectangle napkin line. That way the triangular point will be in the centre of the bottom line.
Fold the near left corner of the napkin upwards to line up with the right-hand fold. Flip the napkin over to give you an oblong shape. The corners should be pointing to left and right.
Now, fold the napkin in half again, this time by folding away from you. Bring the bottom up to meet the top edge. Reach underneath and pull out the flap of the piece you have just folded. That will give you two small triangles lying next to each other. Next, gently fold the left half of the triangle in half and place the corner inside the fold of the right-hand triangle. Once again, flip the napkin over, with the two points facing away. Fold the right triangle to the left, folding the corner into the other triangle (just as you did before).
Open up the hat and press the inside down to make some space. Hey presto, you have your bishop’s hat.
The secret to napkin foldingNo matter how neatly your folds are, you won’t get the best-looking styled napkins unless you make sure those napkins are starched and ironed in the first place. To achieve this, simply spritz on starch to a freshly laundered napkin. After a few seconds, iron the napkin with a hot setting. That way they’ll be super-stiff when folded.