Need a quick way to jolly-up your dinner table? Try this Christmas Tree Napkin Fold. It’s quick, fun and easy – three great characteristics of a holiday project.
Recently I held my annual Christmas dinner party for seven of my quilting friends. I look forward to hosting this get-together every year because I actually get a chance to set my table properly and decorate it with a holiday theme. (Believe me, weeknight dinners around here do not normally warrant that kind of preparation;-) So when I get a chance to pull out my good dishes, I also like to use coordinating napkins at each place setting.
This year I used these lovely dishes with greens, golds, purples and oranges. Since it was a Christmas party, I decided to accentuate the greens and golds. Part of our tradition every year is having each lady fold her own napkin before we eat. (We try a different fold every year.) Granted, when they arrive, the table is already set and the napkins are folded. But I make them all unfold their pretty napkins and fold them back up again. Why in the world would I make them do that? Because we are quilting friends and we love everything to do with fabric. Napkin folding is but another skill to acquire in our pursuit of all-things-fabric-related.
Here’s a photo of my dining room table before my guests arrived. I placed either a Gold or Forest Green basic polyester napkin folded into the shape of a Christmas tree at each place setting. Then I made some “double” Christmas Tree napkins for the centerpieces. They were nice and solid so I was able to set them up vertically on my 12″ x 108″ gold basic polyester table runner.
I was serving only soup in bread bowls and my place settings were minimal, so the Christmas Tree folded napkins made quite an impact. (By the way, I used Bright Setting’s “Set the Table” app to help me with the placement of the flatware and water goblets. The directions were literally in the palm of my hand because the instructions on the website are totally viewable on any smart phone.)
Here are the instructions for folding Christmas Tree napkins. First, I’ll show you how to do it using a single napkin, then I’ll show you how to do it combining two different-colored napkins.
Christmas Tree Napkin Fold Tutorial
Step 1: Fold a square napkin in half, then fold it again so it ends up a quarter of its original size:
Step 2: Turn the napkin so that all the loose edges are toward your belly:
Step 3: Turn up each layer leaving about 3/4″ to 1″ inch between the folds:
Step 4: Turn the napkin over and place it in front of you so that the point is toward the top. Hang on with both hands as you turn it over so that the folds don’t shift:
Step 5: Here’s the only tricky part. Fold over the right-hand side so it looks like the picture. The top fold will be parallel to the edge of your table and a small triangle will begin to appear at the top of the napkin. Fold over the left-hand side of the napkin in the same manner. Your napkin should be in the shape of a kite now:
Step 6: Turn the napkin back over again so that all the flaps are pointing down toward you. Once again, make sure you’re holding the folds securely when you flip it:
Step 7: Fold the top flap up to create the peak of your tree. Continue to turn the rest of the flaps up one at a time tucking each one into the fold above it. This includes the bottom flap which is a little thicker than the rest:
Step 8: Place one on each dinner plate and await the accolades.
Double Christmas Tree Napkin Fold Tutorial
Step 1: Choose two napkins roughly the same size. Place one on top of the other putting the color you want to see most of on the bottom. (I’ll refer to this as the dominant color from here on in.)
Step 2: For our purposes, we will treat the double-layered napkin as one unit. Fold the square once, then fold it again so that it ends up a quarter of its original size:
Step 3: Turn the napkin so all the loose edges are toward you:
Step 4: Turn up the top layer. It should be a single layer of your dominant color:
Step 5: Grab both of the next points which should be the same color. Fold them up as a unit leaving about 3/4″ to 1″ inch between folds. Repeat for the next set of points of the same color, then the next set of points of the same color, and finally the last point which is a single layer of the dominant color:
Step 6: Turn the napkin over and place it in front of you so that the point is toward the top. Hang on with both hands as you turn it over so the folds don’t shift:
Step 7: Fold over the right-hand side so it looks like the picture. The top fold will be parallel to the edge of your table and a small triangle will begin to appear at the top of the napkin. Fold over the left-hand side of the napkin in the same manner. Your napkin should be in the shape of a kite now:
Step 8: To hold all the layers together, attach an office clip or straight pin along the horizontal fold catching all the layers. Turn the napkin back over again so that all the flaps are pointing down:
Step 9: Fold the top flap up to create the peak of your tree. It should be a single layer of your dominant color. As before, continue to turn the rest of the flaps up one color at a time tucking them into the folds above. This includes the bottom flap which is a quite a bit thicker than the rest:
Step 10: Reposition the clip or pin on the back so that it’s not easily visible. Stand your Christmas Tree Napkin upright. Make a couple more to create a lovely Christmas tree forest centerpiece:
I hope you found this Christmas tree napkin fold tutorial useful. By the way, I used solid-colored napkins because they show up better in photographs. However, there are many great holiday-themed napkins available at Bright Settings that would look wonderful as Christmas tree napkins. Hope your holiday table is merry and BRIGHT!