A dollar origami bracelet is a unique way to present a cash gift for a special occasion. This gift is especially popular with young female recipients, who may be torn between the desire to show off the bracelet to their friends and the appeal of taking it apart to the spend the money!
The money origami bracelet in this tutorial is made with 14 to 18 bills, depending upon the wrist size of the recipient. As with other money origami projects, crisp bills are best.
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Preparing Your Bills
If your bills are wrinkled, you can try lightly ironing them. Since paper currency is actually made of 75% cotton and 25% linen, ironing money is perfectly safe as long as you don't let the iron sit too long and avoid accidentally burning yourself.
You can use all $1 bills for this bracelet if you wish, but many people like to mix together bills of various denominations to make the amount of the gift a surprise for the recipient. If you wanted to make a bracelet worth an even $20, you could... use 15 $1 bills and one $5 bill.
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Make the Initial Folds
It does not matter if you start with your bill face up or face down, although you'll have a more consistent pattern if you begin folding each unit the same way.
Fold the bill in half horizontally. Unfold. Fold the top and bottom to the center. Fold in half once more so you have a long, thin rectangle.
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Complete the First Link
Step 3A: Fold in half to make a guide crease. Unfold. Fold the left and right sides into the center to meet the guide crease as shown in the photo to the left. Fold the bill in have once more to complete the first link.
Step 3B: Repeat this process until you have all of your bills folded.
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Join the First Two Links Together
To join the links together, you must keep in mind that each link has two sides. One side has a single fold and the other has a double fold.
Start the bracelet by inserting the second link into the single fold side of the first unit. When finished, your model should look like the photo to the left.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Continue Adding Links
Inset the next link through the double fold side of the link that is currently closed. The link with the open flaps will be used to connect your bracelet at the end of the project.
Continue adding links in an alternating pattern.
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Join the Last Two Links
When you're finished adding all the links, carefully unfold the loops of one of the last links. Insert them through the bracelet as shown in the photo to the left.
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Complete Your Money Origami Bracelet
Finish the bracelet by folding the remainder of the loops back into place.
Fold an origami box for your bracelet to complete the presentation of your gift by making a traditional masu box. When folded from 12 x 12 scrapbook paper, this will be the perfect size for the bracelet.
If your recipient is unfamiliar with money origami, it might be a good idea to include instructions for how to take apart the bracelet when it's time to spend the money. The spot where the last two links are joined is... normally the easiest place to begin disassembling the bracelet. Consider marking this spot by using a different bill denomination for the last link.
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A Project Variation
If you don't want to try making this bracelet with money, you could try folding it from paper. Found paper, such as papers from old comic books or magazines, works especially well for this project. If desired, you can spray your folded bracelet with a clear acrylic sealer to make it more durable.
This technique can also be used to make candy wrapper bracelets, although the smaller sized wrappers require greater dexterity to fold. You will also need many more links in your bracelet, due to the... smaller size of the candy wrappers.
If you loved this idea, then try making origami earrings.