While the origin of the origami flapping bird, which resembles the origami crane but has wings that flap, is unknown, this piece of origami was popularized in the 19th and 20th centuries when moving origami was used in magic tricks: Harry Houdini included the flapping bird model in his book "Paper Magic." Creating the origami flapping bird using a dollar bill is more complicated than using a sheet of standard origami paper because you first need to fold the rectangular bill into a square.
Position the dollar bill so that it is longest horizontally. Fold the bottom right corner upwards to meet the top left corner.
Fold the bottom left corner upwards, lining up the edge with the diagonal edge created in Step 1.
Flip the dollar over. Fold the bottom left corner upwards so that the edge lines up with the diagonal edge.
Open up the dollar. You should have a center diagonal crease with the top right and bottom left corners folded down.
Fold the top left corner downwards so the edge lines up with the closest diagonal edge of the folded bottom left corner. Fold the bottom right corner upwards, lining the edge up with the folded top right corner.
Fold the dollar in half, tucking the bottom right edge into the top left pocket. You will now have a square.
Fold your square in half vertically and then unfold. Fold it in half horizontally and unfold. You will now have creases creating four squares.
Push in all four squares and press the top right and left flaps together and the bottom right and left flaps together, creating a smaller square. Turn the square 45 degrees to the right or left.
Fold the left and right corners of the upper layer to the center. Fold the top point down to the center. Unfold these creases.
Pull the upper layer upwards from the bottom point. Push in the right and left sides to the center, turning the upper layer into a diamond shape.
Flip the dollar over and repeat Steps 9 and 10. You will now have a solid diamond shape.
Fold the right half of the bottom point upwards to the center right. Fold the left half of the bottom point upwards to the center left.
Pull the right leg down and open it. Reverse fold the bottom half of the point and push it upwards and inside the upper-right inner flap.
Repeat Step 13 with the left side of the dollar bill. Reverse fold the tip of the left outer point to create the beak of the crane.
- Youtube; Origami Flapping Bird from One Hundred Dollar Bill - Marc Kirschenbaum; Sakura Origami; December 2008
- Origami Instructions; Origami Bird Base; 2011
- Origami Instructions; Origami Flapping Bird; 2011
- Erik Demaine; David Lister on Houdini's Paper Magic; David Lister; November 2010
- Storm the Castle; The History of Origami; June 2011
Marianne Luke has been writing professionally since 2005. She has experience writing instruction manuals, research, fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and she also reviews Orlando local music for "Orange Ave Lab" magazine. Luke earned a Bachelor of Arts in technical communications and creative writing from the University of Central Florida in 2010.