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 other 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.
1. Fold the Bill in Half
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 upon what side you begin with.
2. Fold the Corners
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.
3. Create Guide Creases
Flip your dollar bill over. Fold the left corner up and the right corner down as shown in the photo to the left.
4. Finish the Unit
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.
5. Join the Units
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.
6. Complete Your Ninja Star
Fold each point of the star up. Tuck the final point into the first point to keep the star closed.
7. Create a Garland
A single origami ninja star made from 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. The About Origami article How to Make a Ninja Star demonstrates how to fold stars from square origami paper.