Make a Dollar Bill Origami Ninja Star

Dollar bill and origami ninja stars arranged in a row

Dana Hinders

Origami ninja stars are fun to make and extremely popular as paper toys. However, not many people realize that you can also fold a modified ninja star from a dollar bill. This makes for a clever way to leave a tip for a helpful service person or to give a cash gift for a birthday, graduation, or another special occasion.

Like all money origami projects, you'll get the best results from your ninja stars if you have crisp bills to work with. If needed, you can try ironing the bills with medium heat using light strokes. Alternatively, you can use printable money. However, the result won't be as good!

  • 01 of 07

    Fold the Bill in Half Lengthwise

    A dollar bill folded in half, stage one of an origami star

    Dana Hinders

    You will need two bills to make a ninja star. To begin, fold the first dollar bill in half lengthwise. It does not matter which side of the bill you place face up on the table. However, the pattern on your finished star will vary depending on what side you began with.

  • 02 of 07

    Corner to Corner

    A dollar bill in stage two of an origami star

    Dana Hinders

    Fold the bill in half down the middle, then unfold. Fold the top corner to the left and the bottom corner to the right as shown.

  • 03 of 07

    Fold Corners Up and Down

    A dollar bill in stage three of an origami star

    Dana Hinders

    Flip your dollar bill over. Fold the left corner up and the right corner down as shown.

  • 04 of 07

    Twist Folds and Repeat

    A dollar bill in stage four of an origami star

    Dana Hinders

    Unfold the left corner, fold in the part of the bill that is hanging over the edge, and then refold. Repeat the process with the right corner.

    Repeat the steps with a second dollar bill to create another identically folded unit.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    The Star Takes Shape

    A dollar bill in stage five of an origami star

    Dana Hinders

    Arrange the units as shown. If necessary, place the crisper of the bills on the bottom to help the finished star hold its shape better.

  • 06 of 07

    Tuck Into Pockets

    A dollar bill in stage six of an origami star

    Dana Hinders

    Fold each point of the star up. Tuck the final point into the first point to keep the star closed.

  • 07 of 07

    Optional Step: Create a Garland

    An origami ninja star garland made of dollar bills and paper

    Dana Hinders

    A single origami ninja star made from the currency in the denomination of your choice makes for a cute tip for a waiter or waitress. When they are strung together, however, money origami ninja stars help create a garland that can be used to make a very memorable gift.

    Flip your completed dollar bill shuriken over and thread a wide grosgrain ribbon through the back. Alternate money origami ninja stars with stars made from regular origami paper to make a garland of the desired length. Making an origami ninja star is easier with square, crisp origami paper than it is with money.

    For more advanced money origami projects, try an origami money tree or kusudama flower.