The Flower That Never Wilts


Meet Greg.

rose greg 

I did while sitting in the coveted middle seat on a flight to TUL, and he showed me many things—pictures of his grandchildren, his passion for giving back, and his LUV for Southwest Airlines. He even had his favorite Southwest Customer Relations Representative’s extension memorized and was working with her (shout out to the dear Julie Meador!) and the Department to help them partner with Operation Once in a Lifetime (find out more at 

Then he asks for my napkin, and within 60 seconds, he hands it back to me—but it’s now in the shape of a rose! I’m easily amused, so with my mouth wide open, he shares that he’s been making napkin roses for a long time now and has presented them to many people—namely Flight Attendants and fellow Passengers. “It’s such an easy way to make someone smile,” Greg explained to me. Boy was he right. I was beaming.

He gave me a quick tutorial, and after my first few attempts he looked at me with kind eyes and said, “Keep practicing.” Okay, so maybe I don’t have a future in origami, but this sweet little gesture would brighten anyone’s day, and it’s something YOU can do on your next Southwest journey. Or if you’re really cheap and didn’t get your Valentine anything. It’s the thought that counts.

How to make your own napkin flower:

Unfold the napkin and lay it out flat. Fold and crease about one inch or the width of two fingers along one edge of the napkin.
rose step 1 rose step 2

Rotate the napkin 90 degrees counter clockwise. Using two fingers as a guide, lightly fold and roll the napkin, being very gentle. 

rose step 3arose step 3b

About a third of the way down your napkin, right below where your folded edge from earlier lies, gentle pinch the napkin so that it forms the bud of the flower. You can use your fingers to shape and straighten out the bud. Being gentle, but firm, begin to twist below the pinch to form a stem. Once you’ve twisted about half of your stem, find the bottom corner of the napkin and softly pull it up so that the corner becomes a leaf. Pinch the stem just below the leaf and continue to twist. 

rose step 4rose step 5

Your napkin flower is complete! Now just find a sweetheart to give it to! I found the Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications, Ginger Hardage, to gift mine to. She LUVed it!

rose step 6arose final

1 Comment

  1. I loved this post. You are an amazing person. I want to thank you for the paper rose. The picture made me smile.