How to Make an Origami Napkin Lotus

Origami flower made of red napkin on white background
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Origami Napkin Lotus

Origami lotus napkin
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk

These origami lotus flowers are a beautiful way to decorate a tablescape for a special occasion. Paper napkins provide an inexpensive option and add pops of color to your table spread.

You can also teach your guests how to make origami flowers as a fun activity. Using normal paper for these, rather than napkins, works fine as well. Just make sure you start with a square.

First Folds

Initial folds for the origami lotus flower
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Start with your napkin unfolded. Hopefully, you have some nice central creases already, but if not, create a vertical crease and horizontal crease by folding the napkin in half each way and unfolding.
  2. Fold one of the corners to the middle, aligning it with the vertical crease—even if you cannot align it perfectly, just do your best.
  3. Fold the rest of the corners to the middle. Make sure that all the corners don't have blunt ends.
  4. Fold the corners to the middle for a second time; it's a good idea to do them two at a time to better align them.

Tip: Make all of your folds as neat as possible! This will ensure your final flower is as nice as possible.

Fold the Corners In

origami lotus napkin folding 02
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Flatten (or press) the napkin at this point, making sure the corners are not blunt.
  2. Flip the napkin over to the other side.
  3. Fold a corner to the middle.
  4. Fold the rest of the corners to the middle, creasing well; however, your napkin will not stay like this so just hold it in place.

Make the Petals

Folding the petals
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Fold in one of the corners a little (about 1/3 the way in).
  2. Fold the rest of the corners—try to make them all the same.
  3. While holding onto a newly folded corner, get a layer from the back and fold it to the front, over the top of the folded corner.
  4. Press down on the folded corner while you pull on the "petal."

Separate the Petals

Separate the petals
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Do the same with the other three corners.
  2. Next, flip the corners to face outwards. This looks nice like this too.
  3. Now you can peel the last layer of petals from the back.
  4. If there are some that seem to be under the others, make sure you peel those ones last.

Refine the Shape

Refining the shape of the origami lotus
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Finally, you can straighten out the origami napkin lotus—pull the petals to the position you like them the best.
  2. You can curl the petals back out a little, making a more open looking lotus, or leave them all wrapped forwards, making it look like a bowl.

You can use these lotus napkins to serve food like buns, cupcakes or anything that will fit inside the lotus. As well as just on its own in the center of your plates. For an even more intricate flower, make another one from a smaller napkin (of a different color, preferably) and pop it inside the larger one. You can also try making an origami rose for your napkins as well.