How to Make a Beautiful Origami Napkin Rose

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The Spruce / Paper Kawaii

Learn How to Make a Beautiful Napkin Rose

These lovely origami napkin roses are perfect for high tea or special occasions, yet deceptively simple to make yourself. Rose napkins are perfect for weddings in particular; silk napkins in red or white are a beautiful choice for the occasion.

Once you know how to make some origami napkin folds, you can use this technique as an ice-breaker at dinners by showing people how to fold them––or teach children who need a bit of entertainment. This napkin fold is quite forgiving because, just like in nature, no two roses are meant to be exactly alike.

A cloth napkin is best suited for this origami rose napkin fold, however, some high-quality paper napkins may work just fine.

Start Your Napkin Rose

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The Spruce / Paper Kawaii

Although optional, ironing your napkins before folding them will give your napkin roses a nice crisp, professional look.

  • Start with your napkin folded into a triangle. It doesn't have to be perfectly even––it's better to fold the top layer a little bit lower than the bottom layer of the triangle, as it will eventually even out when you roll it.
  • Now, fold the triangle up from the bottom edge.​ You can decide on the height of the rose at this point. Taller roses will require thinner folds here, while shorter roses will have much wider folds.

Roll the Napkin

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The Spruce / Paper Kawaii
  • Keep folding up until the unfolded napkin portion is about twice the height of your roll left at the top.
  • Flip the napkin over from top to bottom.
  • Now start rolling from either the left or right side. Keep in mind the top edge of your rose is formed with the top edge of the napkin here.
  • Keep rolling carefully until you reach the other end.

Put the Finishing Touches on the Blossom

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The Spruce / Paper Kawaii
  • Next, take the loose end and tuck it underneath the outer layer. You can use a butter knife to poke it underneath if you need to.
  • Now concentrate on the underside of the rose. There are two layers of napkin here.
  • Pull the two layers apart. Be careful not to pull the whole rose apart.

Make the Leaves

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The Spruce / Paper Kawaii
  • Pull the outer layer and reverse it around the rose, a bit like when you reverse an inside-out sock.
  • The leftover "leaf" can be twisted and then pulled up around the rose in the same way as the other one.
  • Alternatively, you can pull the second "leaf" in the same direction as the first without twisting, giving it a double-leaf on one side of the rose. This may be a better option for floppier or thinner types of fabric.

As with all origami, practice makes perfect. The first couple of times you make your origami napkin rose, it may not look that good. Simply unfold it and give it another go. Experiment with the tightness of the folding; sometimes a looser wrap works better.

Present Your Rose Napkin

Origami rose napkin tutorial

There are a few different ways you can present your rose napkins. For a full course meal, they can be placed directly on top of the plate or to the side. Another nice way to present napkins is inside wine glasses or teacups. You can also fold napkins into ​cutlery pockets.​