Just look at that dining table there. Just look at it. It’s easily 82.7% fancier with the little bow tie napkins than without, isn’t it? Of course, that’s a rough estimation, the real number is probably much higher, but the point is that it’s pretty darn cute. If you saw this in my dining room makeover post earlier this week and thought it was a fun idea, let me tell you a little more about it!
I have to admit that I thought I invented this napkin fold while I was doing it. After the fact, I decided to google it to see if anyone else had ever done a bow napkin fold and if they had a smarter way of doing it. It turns out that quite a few people have done this before and it looks like they’ve all done it pretty much the same way I did. Great minds think alike! If you’d like to jump on this newly-discovered bow tie bandwagon of mine, here’s how you can do it!
Start with a cloth napkin! I really like the crisp look of a white napkin for this, but any napkin will do! Iron your napkin so it’s nice and smooth and flat. Ironing board not required, obviously. I’ll get a real one some day!
Next you’ll need to fold the top down and the bottom up so that the two ends meet in the middle. Then iron them again.
Now bring the two sides in so that they meet in the middle and iron one more time!
Flip it over!
Pinch it! I like the way it looks if you make sure that your fabric kinda zig-zags evenly as you pinch it and have the biggest “dip” in the middle.
Does it look good? Awesome! Now unpinch it and set it aside because I forgot to tell you one step.
You’ll need to grab yourself a strip of some kind of pretty fabric to use for the middle of the bow. Rip a strip that’s about 6″ long by 3 or 4″ wide for each napkin that you’ll be folding.
Iron that piece of fabric flat and then fold in the two sides to hide the frayed edges. Make sure you have the pretty side of the fabric showing when you’re done. OK, now go ahead and pinch that bow again.
Now take your pretty fabric strip and wrap it around the center of your bow. You’ll need to secure it so you can either sew a few stitches and have your guests just slide the fabric off like a napkin ring (or, heck, you could just use a napkin ring), or you can use a dab of hot glue so your guests can just pop them off and then wonder what to do with these excess little bits of fabric. Just tell them to stop being so critical and just enjoy the fact that they have an amazing and stylish hostess. OR if you really want you could secure the fabric at the back with a fancy handmade keepsake pin that each guest could take home with them at the end of the meal! No? Too much? OK, hot glue it is then!
Trim off the excess fabric and you’re all set! Look how pretty!
Oh wait. That’s not what it’s for. Let’s try that again. Look how pretty!
This is such a fun idea if you’ll be having a dinner where you’re using cloth napkins but don’t want to do the same ol’ napkin ring thing. Try it out! It really makes your table feel fun even if you’re like me and love everything to be grey on white on grey on white. 🙂
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.