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Dollar Bill Origami: Shirt and Tie

By Amanda Chittenden on June 11, 2020
Want To Learn How To Fold a Dollar into a Shirt and Tie? Is this little tiny shirt and tie not adorable?  I mean, little things are typically inherantly cute, I get that, but this origami fold, made mysteriously out of a single dollar bill, is extra cute, no? I have always been a little […]

Want To Learn How To Fold a Dollar into a Shirt and Tie?

Is this little tiny shirt and tie not adorable?  I mean, little things are typically inherantly cute, I get that, but this origami fold, made mysteriously out of a single dollar bill, is extra cute, no?

I have always been a little mystified by origami, and, candidly, most of the time I would try one, I would end up failing and getting upset and giving up.  This origami fold, on the other hand, is one that I found that I can do easily, and while there are a couple of tricky folds, I'm getting the camera in as closely as I can so you can follow along and achieve origami success too!

Because this is worth it, it's that cute.  

Shirt and tie origami fold in palm of hand

Shirt and Tie Origami: Step by Step

I'm going to post the pictures that go along with each fold, but I encourage you to watch the video linked below.   While I will endeavor to be as clear as possible, I think that origami is one of those things that really lends itself to being able to SEE what the motions look like.

That being said...I'm going to do my best here and keep the pictures are large as I can so you will have maximum detail.  

Start with a crisp bill

Start with a crisp bill

Fold it in half lengthwise. This will create the center line. I will refer to the center line throughout the tutorial, so remember this one

Fold in half lengthwise

Unfold it, and then fold the bottom of the bill up to meet the center line. You are essentially dividing the bill into lengthwise quarters

Fold bottom half to center line

Fold the top of the bill to meet the center line too...

Open it back up and orient it so the green emblem is facing North

Green emblem on bill facing north

Take the top right corner of the bill and fold it in to meet with center line

fold corner down

Do the same with the opposite corner, so it looks like this:

Top corners folded to center line

Take this new triangle you've created, and fold it over

Fold over the top triangle

If you have done this correctly, the tip of the white triangle will be tickling the edge of George's hair...

Point at George's hair

Take a breather. Here comes the hard part. If you get annoyed here, go watch the video so you can SEE (and pause when needed).

Ready? Okay. We're going to make the tie.

This is the hardest part of the fold. Take that little white triangle you were tickling George's hair with, and fold from the corner of that triangle to the center line

Fold from tip of white triangle to center line

This is the center line connection where you will fold. Give it a nice, firm crease

center line connection with tie

Do the same thing with the other side of the little white triangle. Both sides of your newly-created tie will meet at that center point in the picture above.

Fold other side of tie

Turn it toward you, you can see the outline of the tie now...from the ends of that small white rectangle to the center line at the top middle

Faint outline of the tie

Looking at the underside of your tie, you want to pull the two sides in to meet in the middle along the slant of your tie. This is also easier in video, but take a look at the next three pics...

creating underside of tie

You are kind of pinching them together to meet in the middle and aligning them all the way to the end (which is the top of the tie on the other side)

pinch underside of tie
fully pinched tie

Flip it back over, and admire your tie. Try to get the top as pointy at the top as can squeeze it into shape if you need to

flip tie back over

Press down on the shoulders, which will be at a slight angle now

pressed shoulders

Rotate the bill so the tie is on your right (and your tie is now likely poking George in or under his eyeball now)

rotate bill sideways

Fold up the bottom quarter to meet the center line, and tuck the top part under the tie. Do the same with the other side...

tuck quarter under tie
tuck other side under tie

Now rotate the bill so the tie side is closest to you

Rotate so tie end is closes to you

Fold the top down toward you on the natural white line

Fold the top down on the natural white line
folded on natural white line

Flip the dollar bill over, and rotate it to the side so the eagle is on your right

flip bill to the back
rotate so eagle is on your right

We are now about to make the collar. To start this part, I like to put my finger on the "F" in "Of The United States". Then you are turning the top corner in to line up the tip of the white part with your center line

point to the f in of
fold up half of collar
collar lined up on center line

Pull the other corner over and line up the collar tips on the center line. It's important that the tips of the collar touch one another. Crease that side down wherever it wants to lie down. It doesn't matter if it's even with the other side, as long as your collar tips touch. Everything else will be on the back and not seen

make sure collar tips touch

Flip it back over and around so you are looking at the tie at the top again

Flip it back over

Grab the collar from the bottom and fold it up so the top of the collar meets the bottom of the tie and crease firmly

fold collar to tie
crease firmly

and then open that fold and prepare for hard part #2


We are going to make the sleeves by popping out the crease you just folded firmly. Reach in with your finger and crease the "inny" crease to an "outty" crease

turn crease inside out
two popped out creases

Now, keep your fingers in the opening and pull those "outty" creases gently to the side as you fold the collar back up along that same crease you made when you pulled the collar up to meet the tie. You creased it firmly, so hopefully it'll naturally want to go back there...

open flaps to stick fingers into crease
make sleeves pop out
Line collar back up with tie

When you have popped out your sleeves and folded the collar back up to the tie, it should look more or less like this

after sleeve pop out

This is the home stretch! This is where the magic happens and it suddenly comes together. 🙂 You're going to fold the whole thing in half keeping the tie visible in the front. This means you are taking the collar and sleeves and pushing them behind the tie. Line up the corners in the back...

fold in half
folding backwards
line up corners front and back
align corners

It's the square corners that you are lining up...the shoulders part of the front will still stick up over the top, like this

after fold before collar

Last step! Reach around back and bend your collar forward to line up with the tie. Obviously, the collar should sit on either side of the top of the tie. Once you get it into a position that looks good to you, force it down in the back with a nice squish. You'll be making it stay and it'll resist you...there are a lot of layers back there in and around the collar

pull collar around front
bring closer to tie
push collar into place
squeeze the back

The back will look janky, but it's okay

back looks janky

Because the front looks like this!

finished origami

Here Is A Link to the Video Tutorial If You Prefer To Watch

Now That You Made It, What Do You Do With It?

Sometimes I just like making things because I'm a maker of things, but this fold I've used in a couple of different ways.

For starters, if you have any older children in your life who are only interested in cash for gifts, this is a fun option.  Once you have done the fold a few times, you will become familiar enough with it that you can do it with any denomination.  You won't have visual cues like George's hair tickling to help you along, but you will probably find the same sorts of cues on other bills.

I also think it's a fun idea to stick in a Father's Day card, or to give someone as a good luck charm of some kind. 

I have known people to keep dollar bills in their wallets... 😉

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  There are no affiliate links in this post, because there are no supplies! If you are looking for other paper folding projects, you can check out this post on free paper animals you can print and fold (complete with video as well).


Article written by Amanda Chittenden

2 comments on “Dollar Bill Origami: Shirt and Tie”

  1. Love this tutorial! I'm in Canada and our money is mostly plastic, but I used a "store" bill from Canadian Tire to go with my dad's gift of a Canadian Tire gift card 🙂 It turned out perfectly!! Wish I could link a pic 🙂

    1. Thanks Kim, I'm so glad it worked out for you! Maybe there is a way to link the photo in the pin as "tried this pin?" I'd love to see it!

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I’m Amanda, and I put the AMANDA in A MANDAtory Activity (and I like a good bad pun). I run a blog, A Mandatory Activity, focused on baking and crafting for gatherings and gifts.

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