The holiday season is in full swing, which means lots of gatherings where you’ve got the chance to demonstrate what an extremely awesome uncle you genuinely are. If you were just a pretty good uncle, you could probably get away with giving your niece or nephew a dollar. But dang it, you’re a certified cool uncle — one who knows a bevy of cool uncle tricks. That’s why you’ll give them a dollar that you’ve folded into a jet fighter right before their eyes.
Origami takes practice, so try this out a few times before you give a full performance. Also, do your best to start with a nice, crisp bill. There are lots of folds going on here, so a new bill and attention to sharp folds and creases will pay off with a much better final product.
Start by orienting your bill in the same way as we’ve done. It will make the pictures line up a bit better and help you keep things straight. For this tutorial, we’re starting with the bill horizontal, face side up, so George can look you in the eyes and demand to be a jet. Let’s get started.
How to Turn a Dollar Bill Into a Fighter Jet
Step 1: Fold the bill in half the long way. The yellow line indicates the fold line. Then, unfold the bill, so you’re left with a creased dollar.
Step 2: Fold the bottom right corner over until it touches the opposite side of the bill. Crease the fold, then unfold it and repeat with the top right corner. Unfold.
Step 3: Orient the bill vertically. The green lines indicate where you now have creases in your bill. You can see that the creases make four triangles. For the next step, we’re going to tuck the left and right triangles toward the center, then press down to create a pointed top to your bill.
Step 4: Flip your bill over and arrange it so the pointy side is down. Fold the point up along the indicated yellow line.
Step 5: Rotate your bill 180 degrees. Then fold the bottom right corner up, along the yellow line, so that it meets the middle of the bill. Repeat with the other side.
Step 6: Take just the tips of your most recent folds, and fold them back so the point would roughly be at the indicated yellow line.
Step 7: Flip the bill over so that Washington’s head is up. Fold the bottom right flap up until it meets the center of the bill. It should finally feel a bit like you’re making a paper airplane’s wings. Repeat with the other side.
Step 8: Flip the bill over so it’s face-side down and still pointing down. Fold the bottom up toward the top along the yellow line. Crease the fold and then unfold it.
Step 9: This is the trickiest fold of the project. In the picture, the green line indicates where you just creased the bill. The yellow line indicates the fold line you’re about to do. Crease the bill along the yellow line, but by folding the point down toward the table. The result is best seen from the side. You should end up with a Z-shaped fold in the middle of the plane. When lying flat, the front half of the plane should overlap the back half of the plane slightly.
Step 10: Nearly there! Just a few classic airplane folds left. Orient your plane so it’s face down and pointing to the right. Fold in half lengthwise, along the yellow line.
Step 11: Now, fold each wing down along the yellow line and make a sharp crease. This is just like the final step in making a paper airplane. Unfold the wings, and you’re done!