Guest Post With Idle Wife: Napkin Folding 101.

I am so happy to introduce you to my talented friend, Kristin from the lovely blog, Idle Wife. Don't let the name fool you, she's not what you'd consider idle! She designs, she bakes macarons, she photographs, she sews, she collects vases, she gardens, she makes her own jam, she thrift shops, she absconds with neighbours flowers. She's a whirling dervish of creative energy. My kind of people and yours too!

Today she's here to give us a couple brilliant tutorials on pretty napkin folds that are classy enough that you can try out at your next dinner party and simple enough to have at your next picnic.

I've been really keen on food and table decor lately. It's a weird thing for me as I never have any reason to make little cupcake toppers or prepare tablescapes. I don't have parties and no parties means no themes, no cutesy decorations, and no elaborately decorated food tables. I drool over party pictures on other blogs, I really do. Everything's so together and stylish. But it's probably never going to happen for me. Why? Well, as much as I love all of that, I'm terrible at planning and coordinating and going all out for things. I'm a simple gal who likes simple things. One tiny vase of flowers is more my style than a table runner of elaborately matching bouquets.

So maybe it's weird that when I found these two cute napkin folding techniques, I jumped at the chance to learn them. But I'm also a sensible gal, and I thought these would be a fun skill to have in my back pocket. You know, for that "What?! The inlaws are coming tonight?!" dinner or while quickly and quietly trying to whip up a surprise anniversary breakfast before my sweetie gets out of bed. It'd be impressive to be able to quickly fold up some napkin pockets for your inlaws (Look! You totally remembered they were coming!) or be able to place some cute napkin bows beside a plate of fluffy pancakes and strawberries. And these folds are so basic and quick, you really will have time to do them last minute because you'll learn and remember them after doing it once. I promise they're not hard at all!

Did I mention that this is also something that can be done super cheap? You know those really pretty, cheaper packages of multicoloured and multi-patterned paper napkins you can pick up in places like IKEA? You can totally do this with them! I used paper napkins for the tutorial below (the paperclips on the pocket fold are just there so I could photograph it without my hands getting in the way. The folds stay once finished). So you don't even have to go out and buy fancy fabric napkins. Either work, it doesn't make a difference. What does make a difference is size. Both work with any larger sized napkin. Smaller would work for the bow fold (you'd just end up with a smaller bow), but you definitely need the larger size for the pocket fold. Otherwise, you'll end up with something resembling more of a pouch (which wouldn't be half bad in some applications, actually!).

For the bow fold:

1. starting with the napkin face down, fold the top and bottom edges in to meet at the middle; 2. then fold those top and bottom edges in again to meet at the middle; 3. finally, fold the long edges into the middle so they slightly overlap; 4. turn the napkin over and tie a ribbon, string, or twist tie around the middle, cinching it tight to create the bow. Fold and     fluff as necessary.

For the pocket fold:

1. starting with the napkin face up, fold the bottom edge up to the top edge (this is going to form your pocket, so you can     vary the size of it by going higher or lower to the top); 2. fold the edge (you just folded up) back down to the bottom edge of your first fold; 3. turn the entire napkin over (be careful not to undo your folds!); 4. finally, fold the two sides in to meet at the middle; 5. Repeat step 4 with the outer sides again; 6. turn the napkin over, and you'll have a little pocket. Tuck anything your little heart desires into it!

I hope you have fun impressing your guests with your new awww-inspiring napkin folding skills!

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