6 Ridiculously Simple Napkin Folding Ideas You Can't Screw Up (PHOTOS)

11/26/2013 08:50 am ET

Thanksgiving is the one time of the year where we all make an effort, however half-hearted, at a civilized meal. It might be the one time of year that you bring out those cloth napkins that have been handed down from generation to generation. However, Great Grandma Elsie didn't count on our generation being the one that doesn't automatically know what to do with a linen napkin (aside from occasionally letting it fall off our laps by accident).

But maybe 2013 is the year of trying to live a more gracious life. At least for one day. If you're willing to spend an extra few minutes while you're setting the table/avoiding relatives, you can turn an ordinary napkin into a rose ... or a fan ... or a teeny-tiny shirt. These basic folds are easy enough not to frustrate you, while just impressive enough to slightly reverse your mother-in-law's opinion of you.

  • The Bishop's Hat
    Flickr/DennisWong
    A classic fold that will take you back to your cruise ship vacation of '09. Follow this YouTube tutorial for the how-to.
  • The Three-Pocket
    Between Naps On The Porch
    This idea also gives you a place to put all those forks and flowers. Visit Between Naps On The Porch for the tutorial.
  • The Rosette
    The Stone Gable
    Much easier than you'd think. Really, it's just an (artfully) rolled-up napkin. No ironing needed. Visit The Stone Gable for the full details.
  • The Kimono
    100 Layer Cake
    You won't even have to worry about setting a proper table with this one. 100 Layer Cake has the step-by-step.
  • The Collared Shirt
    How About Orange
    It was originally made for Father's Day, but hey, why not. How About Orange will show you how.
  • The Candle
    Flickr/gematrium
    So easy, we probably don't need to tell you how to do this. But we will: Just fold the napkin into a triangle, then roll. Stick the rolled napkin into a glass. Done. If you need pics, check out The Napkin Folding Guide (which indeed exists).

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