DIY: Folding Napkins into a Pocket

This post should kick off the beginning of our wedding DIY recaps. One of the projects I took on for our wedding was dressing up the table just a bit.  It seems that all too often with buffet dinners the tables can get “left out” of the decorating grand plan since it’s not really “necessary”.  I didn’t want to just go with rolled silverware/napkins to be picked up from the food line. Instead I wanted something a bit more formal, yet still in line with our not-so-shabby chic surroundings.  By setting each place setting with the silverware and folded napkin with menu, I think it gave our tables a bit more color and pop…even if my husband did call me crazy for obsessing over it! 😉


Since I’ve already posted our menu template that was created to fit inside a folded napkin, and the paper napkin wraps we used for seating cards, today we’ll go over how to easily fold your napkins into the pocket shape.  I know there are quite a few different methods out there, so I used bits and pieces and ended up with this one working best for me.

Items Needed:

  • Napkins (the ones we used for our wedding were purchased from Ikea)
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Something fun to put in the pocket 🙂

Instructions:

  1. For best display iron napkins flat before starting folding process.
  2. Place napkin front (or finished) side down
  3. Carefully fold the top horizontal edge (the one farthest away from you) down about 3/4 the length of the napkin.  Iron top portion of napkin for crisp edge.
  4. Fold the bottom horizontal edge up and over the previous fold.  This will create your pocket and again iron to create crisp fold.  (Hint:  This set controls the depth of the pocket, so simply adjust your fold size for larger/smaller pocket).
  5. Now, flip the whole napkin over so that the pocket it now face down on your ironing board.
  6. Fold each vertical side of the napkin into the middle so that they meet flush and form a square.  Once again press for crisper look.
  7. Finally fold the left side over on-top of the right side and press one final time.
  8. Add menu, favor, or other fun item into the pocket and set your table.

Afterthoughts:

This is where I’ll be honest and forewarn you that ironing and folding 100’s of napkins will take a WHILE.  I did the first 50 by myself over several nights and it seemed to be taking forever to fold, add the menus, & the name card wraps.  Then with the help of two wonderful friends was able to finish the second 50 in a few hours in an assembly line fashion.  If you are doing this for a larger event I HIGHLY recommend the assembly line approach skipping the middle ironing steps and only iron at the beginning to make sure the napkin is flat to start with.  All in all…I’m still really happy with how everything turned out.

If you are following along with our DIY wedding table scape so far we’ve (click for details):

    • VIVIAN
    • May 17th, 2011

    This is very nice. I feel special and guests will feel the same way. Its simple but elegantly prepared. Thank you for the tips.It seems like when I started folding the napkins, it takes forever, but when I get to my 20 napkins, it was a breeze.

  1. This is so useful, thanks so much for the great tutorial. I’ll be linking.

    • I’m sure it won’t take months dear! A twisted ankle hurts like hell but it do#2;&e8s17nt take a long time to heal, so I bet you’ll be playing in just a few weeks Just rest for a while and then try to walk on it – and get better! -hugs-[]

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