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How to Make an Origami Dollar Bill Fan

Delight dinner guests with a folded origami dollar bill fan to serve as the tip for a lovely meal. These petite fans are purely decorative, but the sharp folds highlight the unique artwork seen on the dollar bill in a unique way. Origami money fans also make great additions to birthday cards or as part of a folded money gift display.

Things You'll Need:

  • Dollar bill
  • Bone folder

Position the Dollar Bill

Position the dollar bill so that the president's portrait is sideways and the short edge is closest to you. Smooth the bill flat and try to remove any unwanted creases. Grasp the two closest corners of the dollar bill, one corner between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.

Create the First Fold

Fold the two corners of the dollar bill up and over 180 degrees. Push the corners down until the only a small section of the dollar bill is folded over itself. You want the folds to be as narrow as possible for a pretty fan. Try to make the first fold less than a quarter inch wide. Press the fold flat and smooth to create a crease.


Create sharp creases with a bone folder. To use, hold the bone folder vertically with the narrow side pressed against the edge you want to crease. Slide the bone folder along the edge while pressing down firmly on the paper. Some also use a box cutter to score one side of thick paper before folding for a sharper crease, but this is not the best option for creasing dollar bills.

Finish Folding the Bill

Flip the dollar bill over. Grasp either side of the newly created fold and fold the bill over itself again. Make the second fold exactly the same width as the first fold so that the two folds are stacked on top of one another. Press flat and crease the new fold. This is the beginning of an accordion fold. Repeat these alternating folds until you reach the other edge of the dollar bill. When finished the bill should look like an accordion.

Fold the Pivot

Find the bottom of the fan, which should be the edge along the base of the president's portrait. Measure in about a quarter inch from the bottom edge. Pinch this spot on the compressed dollar bill and fold the bottom edge up 180 degrees. Crease the newly created pivot point as well as you can.

Open the Fan

Spread open the top of the fan by gently pulling each side of dollar bill open. To keep the fan in this open position, bend the paper inward slightly all along the very top edge of the fan. This flattens the creasing at the top edge to keep the fan spread open.

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