At a catered event, napkins are essential, and a great opportunity to add an unexpected finishing touch and talking point. Since they are going to be on the table, you might as well do something with them. Little, quirky details like the napkin presentation are more likely to make it onto social media because they are unusual, so don’t discount them as insignificant.
While you may not be able to attempt all of these designs, a lot of them are easier than they look. Create the allure of extravagance without going over budget. Here are some napkin designs that hit the sweet spot.
These napkin wings are small and understated by Alexander Geipel and if the creases are done properly they can look classy and elegant.
A perfect Valentine’s Day treat for the dinner table or love themed events by Kim Wilson. This simplistic but powerful napkin fold is vibrant and fun.
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This awesome napkin idea by Clickity Customizables is fun for weddings or events with smaller set menus which can act as personalized favor ideas too.
Small and elegant bow ties from Styro Boss can also incorporate fancy napkin rings in a new style that is perfect for black tie or formal events and even better for smaller plates or tables as they take up less space.
These sweet and intricate looking napkin stars from Laura Kelemen are low-key but suitable for many event types while also doubling up as décor to set the tone of the table.
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Although this style by Ms. Judith is festive you could mix things up and adapt the colors and filling to suit any theme or event style, for example you could fill the boot with favors or small gifts for your guests.
Embellish Mountain Weddings have a beautiful lotus flower that is best done in block or vibrant colors while can be adjusted to suit the plate size and doesn’t take up much table space.
It wouldn’t be a decent list without the traditional thanksgiving turkey, demonstrated here by Elizabeth Heuser with a classy and well folded resting design. Contrary to popular belief this is actually two napkins but it is definitely worth it.
Birds Of Paradise
Known as the birds of paradise fold, this yellow version really encompasses the essence using a bright yellow napkin. This video demonstration by Elisa Allen allows you to easily recreate them yourself and it is easier than it looks!
This unique and expert design from Kria would be perfect for larger buffet tables or just as a display as this fire breathing dragon definitely makes a statement piece or conversation starter.
This napkin display is a great décor piece for larger tables or buffet stations and incorporates a variety of colors by Melissa. This is not just for display either as the napkins can be removed starting from the top so guests can take one as they go.
These tall napkin displays by Moriel Charneski are great if you are trying to add some height to the table and they can easily incorporate the décor too, as the greenery here demonstrates.
This intricate and creative design by Albert Lazo is a combination of the rose bud design and pinwheel to make an interlocking twist. With the combination of colors it looks like an amazing napkin art design for sit-down dinners.
This classic royal design by Vendela Blomstrom can rest place cards in the top if necessary or stand on their own as sophisticated folds. In order to get this design right you should make crisp folds and use a thinner napkin.
These mini formalwear napkin folds by Anette Seland are intricate and gender specific for seated guests. This particular design combines two colors and napkins to make a clean cut between waistcoat and jacket.
A popular design as it is easier than it looks by Da World Discover and is perfect for smaller or intimate events such as weddings or those with a love theme. Using different colors or incorporating the décor like this one will make the hearts unique to your own event.
This little origami butterfly is made with one of the tiny coffee napkins so imagine how much of a statement it would make using a full-sized dinner napkin! Perfect for summer or outdoor events, these little butterfly from Origami Dojo will go down a treat.
This clean cut and easy Christmas tree by Spis Bedre is a festive favorite and can be made in a manner of napkin types or even standing up on the plate like a real Christmas tree. This is all your guests are going to be staring at because it is so pretty, I bet you didn’t even notice the plastic cutlery.
This intricate design is always a fun one and is perfect for outdoor events as the pinwheel is commonly a garden ornament. Using patterned napkins such as this one by Katherinne Ribeiro really brings it alive and creates a conversation starter.
If you are looking for something a bit fancy, this triple tier using a dinner sized napkin is the way to go, particularly if you have pretty silverware to show off. As shown here by Creative Crinkle each of the tier holds an item of cutlery and this is particularly useful for smaller tables without much room to allow you to set the cutlery on the plate.
An exciting and classy design by Therese Knutsen that brings a new meaning to the little black dress! Perfect for formal or sophisticated events, these also incorporate napkin ties or rings into the dress design meaning you could individualize them for your event making them unique.
Cross Folded Fan
A new take on the traditional and easy fan method is to fan both ends and cross them over in the middle adding a fold. This design here has a little bit of height while also not taking up too much room which is great for smaller plates.
For eco-friendly or sustainability orientated events this is one of the perfect designs and if you can pair this with biodegradable napkins you will be onto a winner with these “green” table settings! This design by Kelly can be done in a variety of colors or types depending on your theme or colors!
This classy design creates the traditional pocket for cutlery but also adds an intricate triple twist to make things more interesting. Wilson has also made it look more sophisticated by having the twists angle and wrap around at the same width which is harder to do.
Wine Glass Cranes
These stunning, flowing cranes by Bitzy Beitia are raised up as they are sitting in the wine glasses which means they can sit above the table and add to the décor.
This impressive display created by Flora Gill would suit the main table or buffet as a centerpiece or decoration. Created using a lot of napkins, this design is intricate, sophisticated and is definitely a talking point for your event!
For Easter, baby showers or animal orientated events, these baby bunnies are the cutest. Mixing it up with different colors bring them to life as shown in this video by 5-minute crafts. You could opt to make them bigger and classier with plain white, traditional napkins.
This design from Gwenefer Roskilly looks intricate and professional even though it only takes a few folds to make it. This one also doubles up with the ability to hold the cutlery for smaller tables if necessary but on its own it is definitely a unique design.
This tall napkin fold is great if you want to add some height to the table, as shown here by Vendela Blomstrom but it also means you can add favors or décor as the back of the napkin is hollow.
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A pretty, singular rose is simple yet elegant for any event whether it is a small intimate dinner or a wedding sit down meal. Annapolis Momma shows that you don’t have to use traditional red either so that you keep with your theme but are unique at the same time.
It is important to remember to use the right type of napkin as some designs need something thick and sturdy while others have delicate folds for the smaller, thinner types. Ultimately these designs are for everyone. Even if the dragon and the peacock are a little out of your league we hope that the rest of these amazing napkin art designs have inspired you to rethink your table settings and add a little unique flair to each place setting.