How to fold a napkin into a bow – bring the bow trend to your Christmas table

Bows are the biggest trend of this Christmas season – and this is how you can easily make your napkin into one

A checked napkin folded into a bow
(Image credit: Future PLC/Heather Young)

Bows, bows, bows! They’re everywhere this season, from our Christmas trees to table decor and even our hair. Ribbons and bows are the hottest trend of this festive season and it’s just infiltrated another category as a bow napkin hack is enjoying much success on TikTok and Instagram.

This new way how to fold napkins for Christmas is not only right on trend and very stylish indeed, but also incredibly easy to execute. All you need is a cloth napkin and a napkin ring and you’re good to go.

So without further ado, this is how to fold a napkin into a bow this Christmas season for an easy Christmas table decoration idea.

 How to fold a napkin into a bow 

Folding a napkin into a bow

(Image credit: Future PLC/Heather Young)

This week, John Lewis reported that #bows has racked up 1 billion views on TikTok and searches for ‘velvet ribbon’ on the John Lewis website are up by +125% compared to last year. And the retailer predicts that the bow trend will continue well into 2024. 

‘I think the accessibility of bows and ease of use really makes them so popular as they can be used anywhere around the house to add a festive touch to celebrations,’ says Freddie Crowther, founder of Polkra. ‘Bows are beautiful, versatile decorations that can be incorporated into so many homeware and festive decorations, from gift wrapping and Christmas tree toppers.’

And while folding a napkin into the shape of a bow doesn’t have to be limited to just Christmas celebrations, we think it is perfect for it. As does TikToker Chantel Mila of @mama_mila_ who’s one of the few content creators that have shared a tutorial on how to make a bow napkin.


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All you need to do is roll up the said napkin, fold the ends inwards to create a loose shape of a bow and then loop one side through the napkin ring, placing the ring in the middle. And voila! A visual tutorial (above) really makes it much easier to understand though.

‘Using napkins and a napkin ring to create bows for your place setting is a gorgeous way to enhance your dining table without the need of purchasing anything else,’ Freddie says of this budget Christmas table idea.

There are just a couple of things to keep in mind…

Folding a napkin into a bow

(Image credit: Future PLC/Heather Young)

1. Choose the right napkin

Don’t attempt this with a paper napkin and pick the right napkin – that being square.

‘Always opt for a napkin that is square and made from fabric that holds its shape well such as linen or cotton,’ Freddie advises. ‘Napkins that are 45cm x 45cm are the perfect size, anything smaller and it'll be tricky to make them.’

2. Choose the right napkin ring

As the napkin ring is the centre and base of the bow that holds it all together, try to opt for one that’s on the wider side rather than a particularly skinny one. As for the design and materials, that is up to you, your taste and tablescape theme.

‘This is all about personal preference and whether you want the ring or napkin to sing. Whether you prefer classic silver, rustic wood or embellished designs, everything should elevate your final tablescape,’ Freddie concludes.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.