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Easy Pumpkin Napkin Fold

By Amanda Chittenden on October 9, 2020
It's A Napkin, It's A Decoration! In this blog post, I will show you how to make a quick and easy pumpkin napkin fold.  Each one only takes a few minutes, and you can do it with just a napkin, a napkin ring, and a piece of paper! If you've been a reader of my […]

It's A Napkin, It's A Decoration!

In this blog post, I will show you how to make a quick and easy pumpkin napkin fold.  Each one only takes a few minutes, and you can do it with just a napkin, a napkin ring, and a piece of paper!

If you've been a reader of my blog for long, you'll know that I've always really loved being a little extra with my table decor for holidays.   I love a good placecard, I love a nice place setting, and I love a nice appropriately-themed napkin fold!

You may have seen my 30-second candle napkin fold used for Christmas, which was super speedy.  This one is not quite as fast, but it's still relatively simple.  I'll walk you through it!

Because it's worth it.  Look how pretty!

Thanksgiving table setting

Start With A Napkin...Even A Wrinkled One šŸ˜‰

I mentioned this in the video tutorial, but I started this pumpkin napkin fold with a wrinkly 18 inch cotton napkin.  Now, I HAVE before ironed my napkins before a napkin fold, especially if I need a crisp line for some reason.

For example, for a previous Thanksgiving napkin fold design, I needed very very crisp folds in this turkey.

Turkey napkin fold

But today's pumpkin napkin fold is kind of a blob.  I could not see a reason why I should iron a napkin that I was about to basically ball up. 

That's part of what makes this an easy napkin fold! No ironing. šŸ™‚

Start with plain orange napkin

Grab A Napkin Ring, the Simpler, the Better

Open the napkin to it's fullest position and grab a plain napkin ring.  I had a simple ring that was covered with string and it worked fine.  If you don't have a plain napkin ring, you could take a paper towel tube and cut it down to about a half inch tall.

Use simple napkin ring

Put the napkin ring in the center of the napkin and pull a piece of napkin up through the center.  I left it about 3 inches tall.

Pull napkin through the center of napkin ring
Pull center of napkin about 3 inches

Tuck, Tuck, Tuck....Goose! (Okay, Pumpkin)

The bulk of this pumpkin napkin fold is tucking and squishing.  Start with the first 4 corners and tuck them into the napkin ring as deeply as you can. 

Tuck in corners of napkin

You will end up with something that looks like a pinwheel of sorts.

All 4 napkin corners tucked in

Now, Grab A Secret Weapon. I Promise You Have One!

After your first round of tucking, tucking any more corners in becomes really difficult (or it did for me with the heft of my napkin and the width of my napkin ring).

To get through this issue, I grabbed a butter knife and it was the secret weapon.

Use a butter knife to help tuck napkin

The process is the same at this point.  Take the next 4 corners from your smaller pinwheel and use the knife to tuck those in as well.

When those napkin bits are tucked, you'll have a few stragglers. 

Grab what you can and wedge it in tightly.

Last few napkin edges tucked

Flip Your Pumpkin Napkin Upside Down to Finish Your Fold

When you have the edges all tucked in, flip the pumpkin napkin over and you'll really get a glimpse of what it's going to look like in a few moments when you are done.

Flip over pumpkin napkin fold

There is a natural center to the new top of the pumpkin napkin fold.  You need to stick your finger in there and wiggle it around a little. 

It's going to feel a little weird and naughty, but nobody is watching you and the pumpkin napkin won't mind. šŸ™‚

Stick finger into pumpkin napkin hole
Pumpkin napkin with wider hole

Now, Let's Make a Stem

There are a few schools of thought with regard to pumpkin napkin stems.  One of the most popular options online seems to be a cinnamon stick.  Many people just jam a cinnamon stick into the center and call it a day. 

It's cute, but I have two issues with that approach.  #1. Cinnamon sticks are kind of expensive and that seems wasteful, and #2, if there is actual cinnamon on your napkin and you wipe your mouth on that, might it end up really really overpowering your ability to taste your meal?  Dunno, but don't want to find out. 

I decided that it was easy enough to just roll up a piece of paper and I like not using a food item. šŸ™‚  

Start with a plain piece of 8.5 x 11 kraft paper and cut a strip about an inch and a half to two inches wide.

Cut strip of kraft paper

Then cut that strip of paper in half so you have roughly a 5.5 inch piece of paper.  Starting at the corner, cut the strip at an angle that ends in the middle of the other end of the strip.

Cut strip at an angle
Cut angled strip

Roll the paper up tightly from the wide end toward the narrow end.  When it's fully rolled up, you just let it go the slightest bit by releasing the pressure.  This is easier to see in the tutorial video.

Roll paper stem
Tightly rolled paper stem

I chose to glue the end down, just to make it secure.  It's optional...but I was already making placecards and the glue was on the table and I couldn't resist.

Glue down stem piece

Voila!  Finished and adorable pumpkin napkin fold!

Finished pumpkin napkin fold

Non-Necessary Extra Step + Video Tutorial

This last step is TOTALLY OPTIONAL.  I made some easy little stickers to use on the bottom of the pumpkin to keep all of the squishy bits on the underside together.

The stickers were made really really quickly (like 5 minutes for 14 stickers, which was decent), and I did it largely because I did the napkin folds in my craft room where my camera was instead of where my plates were...which meant I needed to cart them back downstairs and have them stay together.  But they looked really finished and I think I'd do it again just because it looks nice.

Underside of pumpkin napkin
Putting sticker on the bottom

To make the stickers, I cut quick circles with my Cricut machine and then ran the circles through my Xyron. The Xyron Create a Sticker machine is a magical device that basically turns any flat object less than 5 inches wide into a sticker.  I love it.  I've linked to it in this post (affiliate links through Amazon) but I noticed that the price for my old one is WAY more than the cost of the new and sleek-looking one, which is now less than $20. šŸ™‚

Xyron sticker maker machine

If anyone wants to see a tutorial on how to use the Xyron, please leave me a comment and let me know!  I'll be glad to turn on the camera the next time I make stickers for something. šŸ™‚

Finished pumpkin napkins!

Supply List:

 Links below may contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase by clicking through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog. All cotton orange napkins: napkin rings: paper cardstock: sticker machine: (the one in my video is old, this is the newer and less expensive one!)  Links to favorite glue and Cricut supplies are on my blog resources page here:


Article written by Amanda Chittenden

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A Mandatory Activity sells artisan candles and bath products handcrafted, by me, in Maryland, USA. My candles are hand-poured using 100% soy wax.
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Iā€™m Amanda, and I put the AMANDA in A MANDAtory Activity (and I like a good bad pun). I run a blog, A Mandatory Activity, focused on baking and crafting for gatherings and gifts.

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