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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Details: Napkin Folding & Dinner Playlist

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Today, you are no doubt busy with your final preparations for your Thanksgiving meal.

Here are two last-minute touches for your holiday table.

In lieu of a traditional napkin fold, why not try something a bit more inventive and artful. Even the simplest folding techniques can transform your guest's place setting.

Here are some of my favorite napkin techniques for Thanksgiving...

Three Easy Napkin Folds

Lotus Napkin Fold

Modern Napkin Fold

Rose Napkin Fold For Rolls

Basic Napkin Fold For Silverware

Open Book Napkin Fold

Four Feathers Napkin Fold

Envelope Napkin Fold

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The open book fold is pretty with both bordered napkins and plain-edged ones. Each

1 The open book fold is pretty with both bordered napkins and plain-edged ones. Each "jacket" holds a menu and place card for the holiday meal.

This napkin fold, favored by the famous French chef August Escoffier, is one of several for presenting individual rolls.

2 This napkin fold, favored by the famous French chef August Escoffier, is one of several for presenting individual rolls.

Beautifully folded napkins set the scene for a holiday meal to remember. For best results, start with clean, pressed linen or cotton napkins. Be sure to starch them, and press each fold as you work. If you're expecting a sizable crowd for dinner, start your folding early.

3 Beautifully folded napkins set the scene for a holiday meal to remember. For best results, start with clean, pressed linen or cotton napkins. Be sure to starch them, and press each fold as you work. If you're expecting a sizable crowd for dinner, start your folding early.

Instead of a bright red napkin for the Lotus fold, a subtle color is less bold and elegant.

4 Instead of a bright red napkin for the Lotus fold, a subtle color is less bold and elegant.

Give your guests something pleasant to behold -- and unroll -- with this striking contemporary napkin fold.

5 Give your guests something pleasant to behold -- and unroll -- with this striking contemporary napkin fold.

These three elegant napkin folds are easy to create, but your guests will never know.

6 These three elegant napkin folds are easy to create, but your guests will never know.

This simple design is among the easiest to do, and the folded napkins stack well. Treats or a place card can be tucked inside.

7 This simple design is among the easiest to do, and the folded napkins stack well. Treats or a place card can be tucked inside.

You can see how a simple fold can transform your table top.

8 You can see how a simple fold can transform your table top.

Have some fun with your napkin folding for the holidays -- I love this Turkey napkin that will stand out on any Thanksgiving table.

9 Have some fun with your napkin folding for the holidays -- I love this Turkey napkin that will stand out on any Thanksgiving table.

Photographed here is the turkey in the making.

10 Photographed here is the turkey in the making.

A napkin in an accordion fold, also known as a stemware fold, is an artful accent to the holiday table. Fold the pleats in half as shown, insert the bottom into a glass, and then fan out the top pleats.

11 A napkin in an accordion fold, also known as a stemware fold, is an artful accent to the holiday table. Fold the pleats in half as shown, insert the bottom into a glass, and then fan out the top pleats.

Tuck silverware neatly into napkin pockets for an elegant appearance.

12 Tuck silverware neatly into napkin pockets for an elegant appearance.

Tall folds are a clever way to make a crowded table seem less so.

13 Tall folds are a clever way to make a crowded table seem less so.

I asked Kerstin Czarra to create a Thanksgiving playlist filled with uniquely American music (past and present) to enjoy over cocktails or dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Comments (7)

  • This is great! I made this up by myself and it took a little longer than i thought, but i was glad i did it! I'm only 10, and i loved making it!
    Here is what you have to do:

    first,it is very simple, you make a fortune teller out of the napkin starting with the NON-colorful side.

    Next, you turn the fortune teller upside-down and cut a small whole on the point in the middle.

    Finally, stick the fork and the knife into the whole. (it may wobble a bit.)and i stuck the spoon on the side.
    I did this for thankgiving, and it looked fantastic!

  • Author Comment:

    Hi, Laura

    Your comment was so sweet. I am thrilled to see a young person creating beautiful details for the Thanksgiving table. I would love to see photos of your Fortune Teller napkin setting if you have any (homedesign2@marthastewart.com).
    Keep creating and you may have a job here at Martha Stewart one day. Best, Kevin

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