Dollar bill origami is a unique arts and crafts project, especially if you like the challenge of working with a pre-defined size of paper. Also called money origami or "moneygami," this practice has its roots in the Japanese art of origami. Using money for origami crafts is now a common practice all over the world.
Dollar Bill Origami Basics
There are three basic folds used in dollar bill origami: the pocket, hood and step folds. Mastering these folds is the key to becoming an expert in origami crafts.
Of course, paper is notoriously difficult to manipulate until you get the hang of it, so you might want to work with regular copy or construction paper to practice the craft. Once you hone the technique, you can move on to dollar bill origami. This will keep you from ripping or tearing paper money.
When practicing with basic papers, try to use paper that is approximately the same thickness and consistency as paper money. Textured copy paper is ideal, though thin construction paper and doubled-up newsprint will work.
You should also remember that dollar bill origami requires that you work with only one color of paper. Unless you intend to introduce colored paper into your creations, you will need to stick with origami crafts that don't require distinctions of color. There are plenty of templates available, and this shouldn't limit you much.
Choosing a Shape
There are hundreds of different shapes and figures you can make with dollar bill origami, so your imagination is really your only limit. For beginners, however, it is best to choose a shape you can find online or in a book so you can read step-by-step instructions. Once you are comfortable, you can experiment with making your own shapes.
You will be limited in dollar bill origami to the size and shape of your folding money. Fortunately, you are not limited by size and shape as much if you use several pieces for dollar bill origami. Not only will this strengthen the shapes you create, but it also gives you the freedom to create larger and more complex origami crafts.
The easiest dollar bill origami shapes are those that require the least number of folds. Common options include rings, spinners, stars, hats, crosses and bow ties. You can also make more traditional shapes, such as hearts, triangles, squares and even diamonds. Some of the simplest templates for dollar bill origami look impressive once finished.
There are plenty of ways to learn new dollar bill origami shapes, both online and in print. The Origami Resource Center has dozens of templates that visitors are free to use for noncommercial purposes.
If you want to make your own unique shapes, it is sometimes easier to start with dollar bill origami templates, then modify them to your own specifications. You can make a template smaller or larger by adding or subtracting bills, and you can also combine templates to create embellishments. Having a template is much easier than starting from scratch.
Uses for Dollar Bill Origami
Dollar bill origami is a great gift for friends and family. Rather than handing over an impersonal gift card or certificate, you can bestow cash for birthdays and holidays in the form of dollar bill origami. This is a unique way to show someone you care when you know they need or want cash.
Alternatively, if you've purchased a small gift for someone you love, you can use dollar bill origami to create a unique gift box to store the gift. You can also make baskets and other containers that will hold gifts when you want to give cash as well.
Sometimes, dollar bill origami doesn't look right on its own. For example, perhaps you've created an animal, like a bear or giraffe, and you want to give it eyes. You can attach beads or even buttons to dollar bills in order to make them more unique. You can also tie ribbons, yarn or fabric around the dollar bill origami shape.
There is virtually no limit to the creations you can devise with dollar bill origami, particularly when you advance to more complex formations. Who knows? This might be the perfect way to decorate a unique Christmas tree or surprise a family member.
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