Thanksgiving Turkey Napkin Fold Tutorial

Recently, for Tablescape Thursday, I posted a Thanksgiving tablescape with the little ones in mind.     (Tablescape below can be viewed here:  A Thanksgiving Tablescape for the Kids)

It included a fun turkey napkin fold.   Today I’m sharing a tutorial showing how it’s made, in case you would like to incorporate it into your Thanksgiving table this year.

Turkey Napkin Fold for Thanksgiving Table Setting



To create your turkey napkin fold, besides a napkin, you’ll need a pinecone and a chenille pipe cleaner.  Actually, one pipe cleaner will make the necks/heads for two turkeys, so you’ll only need 2 pipe cleaners to create turkeys for four place settings.

Turkey Napkin Folding Tutorial for Thanksgiving


For this napkin fold, it’s best if you fold your napkins on an ironing board so you can press each fold as you make it.  A little spray starch would be a great idea, too.  I didn’t have any starch on hand and the napkins still came out pretty well, but starch would have given them a bit crisper look.  It was also very humid and raining off and on the day I created this table setting.  I had the door to the porch standing open since it was so warm out.  It’s a wonder the folds I made didn’t completely wilt.  So, if you don’t have starch, don’t worry.  They should still be just fine.


Fold your napkin from right to left and press.


Starting at the bottom, fold up the edge of your napkin about 1 to 1 1/2 inches and press.  You may need to “test” fold a napkin or two before you figure out the right size/width to make each fold.  You’ll will need to have about 4-5 inches left over in the end that doesn’t get folded into the fan shape.  That left over section actually becomes the support for your napkin.


Turn the fold you just made up underneath the napkin to create another fold, and press.


Fold the napkin upward again and press.


Repeat this folding process back and forth, pressing each fold along the way.  Stop with the napkin in the position shown below with about 4-5 inches left unfolded.


Fold the whole napkin over from left to right…as shown below.


Take the top right corner and fold it downward (all four sections) and tuck those down under the napkin folds you’ve made, as shown below.


Press along the slanted edge of the flap you’ve tucked down.  This will be the support that helps keep your napkin stay standing up on the plate.


Place your napkin on the plate and gently open it up into a fan shape.  Here’s a view of the back of the napkin once it has been opened.  You can see how the sections that were folded down and tucked behind the folds, become the support for the fan-shaped tail.


Just place your pinecone in front of your folded napkin and tuck your chenille pipe cleaner down into the pinecone, bending it to create the look of the turkey’s neck/head.


For additional napkin folding ideas/tutorials, click on the heading “Tablescapes” at the top of this blog and scroll down past the tablescape links where you’ll find the link for lots more napkin folding tutorials or click here: Napkin Folding Tuts.

Happy Turkey Day!
Turkey Napkin Fold for Thanksgiving Table Setting
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  1. Hello Susan,
    great tutorial. I love the pine cone with it, it gives the perfect imagination of the turkey. Thank you for sharing.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  2. Exellent!! Thank you very much for this tutorial! Very ellegant

  3. Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea says

    This is darling my friend-thanks for sharing. Have a great turkey day!

  4. Love the napkin folds! You are my new best friend:-)

  5. This is perfect. I was looking for a tutorial on how to make something cute with napkins. This will be perfect for the kids table at Thanksgiving this year. Thanks so much – awesome idea!!

  6. This is so cute! I would love to try this for a children's table at our own Thanksgiving dinner! Thanks for the tutorial. I do so much better when I see how to do it instead of just reading directions! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria says

    Many Blessings to you and your love ones this Thanksgiving..Hugs and smiles Gloria
    How is Glenda doing my dear friend..I have really grown to love your sister..

  8. we three dogs and me says

    Love the turkey napkin. Hope you have a happy thanksgiving

  9. sewa elf jakarta says

    Very nice, thanks for sharing.

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