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How to Make a Money Origami Dress

By Mark Keller ; Updated September 15, 2017
A single dollar bill can make a stylish origami dress.

Money origami, or dollar bill origami, is the art of folding shapes from Federal Reserve notes, rather than working with the square piece of paper used in traditional Japanese origami. The oblong shape of the bill lets you create shapes that are much more difficult with a square sheet. Clothing, in particular, is a common project for dollar bill origami. You can fold an attractive dress in just a few minutes, using only the simplest of folds. The following instructions are intended for those familiar with origami folds and terms.

Turn the bill reverse-side up. Make two mountain folds along the length of the bill, one just below the word "ONE" and one just above it. Valley-fold both of these outward again with creases slightly closer to the edges of the bill, resulting in two long pleats running its length.

Rotate the bill 90 degrees clockwise and mountain fold-it in half. Make a valley fold with the crease a little closer to the upper edge, so that only half the "O" is visible. Make another mountain fold with the crease where the edges of the great seal meet the lengthwise creases, then valley-fold it so the all-seeing eye is just obscured. This gives you two ridges pointing away from the eagle. The seal half of the bill is the bustier of the dress and the eagle half is the skirt.

Pick up the bill and mountain-fold the waist of the dress back on either side at the height of the lower ridge. This will create diagonal creases angling toward the waist from both above and below, giving the dress its hourglass shape. Flatten the folds down and don't worry about a crumpled appearance from behind. Only the front matters.

Valley-fold the upper edge of the bill down so there are equal amounts green and white showing above the fold, then mountain-fold it up so only the white is visible. This is the collar. Mountain-fold the top corners in diagonally to create the shoulders. Pull the white part of the middle section of the collar out and flatten it down, creating a gentle V-neck.

Mountain-fold the bottom of the skirt up, positioning the crease as desired to make a longer or shorter dress. Fold in the formerly-lower corners so they don't protrude behind the hips, then tuck the tip of the dress under one of the creases on the back.

Shape the dress to give it a 3-dimensional appearance. Spread out the bottom corners, thinning the vertical pleats to give the skirt some depth. Do the same at the tip of the breasts, giving the bustier some curve. Push the green center bar of the collar down behind the white V-neck and shape as desired.

About the Author

Mark Keller has been writing everything from short stories to political commentary over the course of the past decade. He has written professionally since 2009 with articles appearing on LibertyMaven.com, Penguinsightings.org, Pepidemic.com and various other websites. He is a theater major at Hillsdale College in Michigan.