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Make money a little more fun by folding a dollar bill into a basic heart shape. You can also take it a step further if you’re more advanced at origami by adding a pocket that holds a quarter, too. Then slip your creation into a birthday or holiday card for a special surprise!
Method 1Method 1 of 2:Making a Basic Heart with a Dollar Bill
- 1Set a dollar face down and fold the bottom edge up 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm). Place the dollar bill with the back facing up. The back is the side without George Washington’s picture on it. Fold the bottom edge up towards you just until you see the words "One Dollar" printed on the other side.XResearch source
Tip: Choose a bill that’s wrinkle-free and crisp so it’s easier to fold.
- 2Fold the bill in half horizontally, then open it back up. Bring the right side of the bill over onto the left side and crease the fold down the middle. Then unfold the bill so it lies flat.XResearch source
- Make sure the edges are lined up perfectly before you crease it so that the fold runs directly through the center.
- 3Fold the bottom edges up so they line up along the center crease. Bring the left bottom edge into the middle of the bill, forming a 45 degree angle from the bottom of the bill. Then do the same with the right bottom edge. This forms the point at the base of the heart.XResearch source
- Line up the edges so that they’re flush with the crease. Avoid overlapping them or leaving a small gap between them.
- 4Flip the heart over and fold the 2 center corners down to meet the edge. Once you turn the heart over so that George Washington is facing you, take the left center corner and fold it down to the left so that the edge lines up with the top of the triangle shape. Repeat that with the right center corner, folding it down to the right.XResearch source
- Check that your folds form a V-shaped gap in the center at the top of the heart.
- 5Fold the 2 top outer corners down to line up with the edge. Similar to the folds you made in the center, take the top left outside corner and fold it down to the right so that the edge is flush with the horizontal edge. Then, do the same with the right corner, pulling it down to the left and lining up the 2 edges.XResearch source
- Crease each fold firmly by running your finger over it to secure the fold in place.
- 6Fold the tips of the left and right outer corners in to square off the sides. Take the left tip on the outside of the heart and fold it about 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) in towards the middle. Then fold the tip of the right corner in the same amount. This rounds out your heart.XResearch source
- To check your finished heart, flip it over and look at the edges. If they look too pointy or harsh, turn the heart back over and adjust your corner folds until the heart is the shape you want.
Method 2Method 2 of 2:Folding a Heart That Holds a Quarter
- 1Make 4 creases by folding each corner up to the opposite edge, then unfolding them. Start by taking the bottom left corner and folding it up towards the top so that the left edge of the dollar lines up along the top edge. Crease the fold, then open the dollar up and repeat that fold on all 4 corners.XResearch source
- For example, for the 2 top corners, fold them down to line up with the bottom edge of the dollar bill.
- 2Push the edges together on each side so the paper collapses along the creases. This forms a triangle shape on both the left and right side of the bill. As you pinch the top and bottom edges of the dollar towards each other on the left side, for example, the bill should collapse onto itself where you created the creases. Repeat on the right side.XResearch source
- If the paper doesn’t collapse easily, go back and re-crease your earlier folds.
Did you know?
This specific type of fold is called the waterbomb base. It’s a popular base for a lot of origami shapes.
- 3Fold the left triangle back behind the bill at the base of the triangle. This is known as a mountain fold. Crease the bill on the left side where the long edge of the triangle is by folding the triangle away from you.XResearch source
- If it’s easier, you can flip the bill over first and do a valley fold instead, where you fold the triangle up towards you.
- 4Fold the dollar bill in half horizontally so the edges of the triangles line up. Find the center of the bill, which runs directly through the middle of George Washington’s face. Make a fold at that point and align the 2 long edges of the triangles so they’re flush with each other.XResearch source
- Crease the fold firmly after you’ve lined up the edges so that the paper holds its shape.
- 5Fold the top and bottom corners of each triangle to the outer corner. Each triangle shape has a top layer. Start on the left side and fold the bottom corner of the top layer up to meet the left outside corner. Then fold the top corner down. This forms a small square on top of the triangle shape. Repeat on the right side.XResearch source
- Make the folds so that the bottom edges line up in the center of the triangle.
- 6Lift each flap and press it down onto itself to create a smaller square. Your previous folds created 4 small flaps on top of the triangle shape. Take 1 flap and push the crease so that the paper collapses into a square. Do this on the remaining 3 folds.XResearch source
Did you know?
This is called a squash fold in origami. That’s because it involves prying apart 2 sides of a fold and "squashing" them down into a new fold.
- 7Fold the left and right corner of each square in so the edges line up in the center. This creates a kite shape. Pull the 2 opposite corners on each square into the middle crease, making sure the edges lie flush along the crease. Repeat for all 4 squares.XResearch source
- Line the edges up so they’re just touching. Avoid overlapping them or leaving a big gap between them.
- 8Lift each of the 8 new folds and press them down onto themselves. These squash folds are similar to the ones you did before. Pull up one of the folds on one of the kite shapes, then press it down on the crease so that the paper collapses into a small triangle shape. Do this on all 8 of the kite folds.XResearch source
- If you have trouble working with such small folds, use a pair of tweezers to help lift up the folds.
- 9Place the quarter in the center of the 8 small folds. The corners of the fold hold the coin in place so it doesn't fall out. Tuck the quarter into the middle so that the corners hook around the coin's edges.
- A smaller coin, like a dime or penny, won't work because it will just fall out of the center.
- 10Fold down the bottom layer so it’s hidden behind the top heart shape. Take the rectangular piece sticking up in the back and fold it down about 1 inch (2.5 cm). This leaves you with the 2 rounded tops of the heart.XResearch source
- Crease the fold firmly in the back so it stays down.
- 11Fold the small piece sticking out at the bottom of the heart back behind it. Take the corner of the bottom layer that’s visible at the base of the heart and fold it behind the heart so you can no longer see it. This creates the pointed tip of the heart.XResearch source
- Run your nail or finger firmly along the fold in the back of the heart to secure it in place.
- QuestionWhat if I can't use money?Community AnswerYou can cut a regular piece of paper to the size of a bill. The measurements of a U.S. dollar bill currency are 2.61 inches wide and 6.14 inches long. If you can't do that, you can trace a bill with a pencil onto the paper you are going to cut, and then cut it.
- QuestionWhat happened between step 10 and 11? It's like a step is skipped as suddenly the rectangular flap, visible in step 10, has totally disappeared and the backside of the bill has changed.Community AnswerIt says to flip the bill over twice in the instructions. You might not have flipped it over once.
- QuestionWhat happened to the quarter in #9? It's missing in #10 & 11.Community AnswerThe quarter was taken out. It is only used to create the design on the back of the heart.
- QuestionSteps 10 and 11 are not clear?Community AnswerFor step 10, take the top of the backside of the heart and fold it down. For step 11, fold the one bottom part of the heart back to make it a point.
About This Article
To fold a dollar into a heart, start by placing a dollar face down on and folding the bottom edge up 1/4 inch. Then, fold the dollar in half crosswise by bringing the right side of the bill over to the left side, and then unfold it so it's flat again. Next, fold the bottom corners up to the crease in the center of the dollar. Once you've done that, flip the dollar over and fold the 2 center corners down to meet the edge. Finally, fold the 2 top outer corners down to line up with the edge and square off the sides by folding the tips of the left and right corners in. To learn how to fold a dollar heart that holds a quarter, scroll down!