An origami dollar bill shirt, pants or even a hat is possible with simply one paper dollar bill. Making origami from money in the US is a modern twist on an ancient art. Origami, which is derived from the Japanese terms oru, which means folding, and kami, which means paper, has been practiced in Japan since the 1600's. Using money instead of traditional paper became popular during the 1950's and is still widely practiced today.
How to Fold an Origami Dollar Bill Shirt
Use any denomination of dollar bill for making the shirt.
- Place the dollar bill face up on a flat surface. Fold one-quarter of the length of bill from the bottom in towards the middle. Repeat with another one-quarter from the top so that the two edges meet in the middle.
- Flip the dollar bill over so the flaps are face down. Fold down one end towards the middle approximately one-half inch using the printed border on the back of the dollar bill as a guide.
- Turn the bill back over so the flaps are face up. On the same end that was folded in step two, fold the corners diagonally in towards the middle to create the collar of the shirt.
- Next fold the dollar bill in half lengthwise so the flaps are toward the inside. Press firmly on the right side to create a clear crease.
- Holding the right side of the dollar bill, and using thumb from your left hand, slightly open the top and bottom flaps on the right side of the dollar bill. Create a sharp crease mid-way between the right end and the middle crease on both the top and bottom flaps. Be sure the crease is sharp because this will later form the sleeves of the shirt.
- Fold the dollar bill in towards the middle at the spot where you created the sharp crease. Take care to let the flaps fold out at an angle on the right side since the angled flaps are the sleeves of your shirt. If the flaps do not angle out, open the dollar bill back up and repeat step five.
- Once the sleeves are formed, fold the left side of the dollar bill over the right side so that the turned down collar corners folded in step three are slightly overlapping the right side of the dollar bill.
- Pull the collar corners over the front of the shirt to form the neck and hold the front of the shirt in place.
- Flatten the shirt out firmly by placing on a hard surface and pressing the folds in securely.
Uses for Dollar Bill Origami
Now that you have created this whimsical shirt, you may be wondering what to do with it. One use is to make monetary birthday or graduation gifts more interesting by inserting an origami dollar bill shirt into the card instead of a check or gift card. You could also make several articles of clothing to use on your child's paper dolls or to keep them occupied while waiting at the doctor's office. The waiter may be so impressed with your dollar bill origami that you get out of paying a large tip at your local restaurant.
Whether you employ dollar bill origami for gifts or entertainment, enjoy this twist on the ancient art of paper folding. In fact, use your newfound talent to entertain your friends at the next party and you may find them letting you keep the dollar.