Directions for Folding an Origami Boat Out of a Dollar Bill

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Impressing your friends with your mad origami skills takes only a little practice. Start by memorizing a simple origami boat design, the sampan, a small Chinese wooden boat. As you master this pattern, consider moving onto more complicated patterns, such as the sailboat or tugboat. All that is needed for this pattern is a smooth, tear-free dollar bill.

Step 1: Fold the Bill in Half

Place the dollar bill so that the president's portrait is upright and facing you. Fold the bill in half lengthwise. Crease the fold.

Step 2: Fold the Bill in Half Again

Fold the side of the dollar bill that is closest to you in half again. This time, fold the bottom edge up to meet the crease you just made. Crease the new fold in the middle of the top side. Flip the bill over. Repeat this fold with the other side of the dollar bill. You should now have a folded dollar bill that looks like a "W" from edge one.

Step 3: Create Four Diagonal Folds

Locate the bottom right corner of the side of the bill closest to you. Fold the corner up diagonally at a 45 degree angle, so that the corner touches the top edge of the dollar bill. Crease the fold. Repeat on the bottom left corner. Flip the bill over and repeat with the bottom right and left corners.

Step 4: Create Four More Diagonal Folds

Locate the new bottom right corner of the dollar bill created by the last diagonal folds. It should have a much wider angle. Fold this corner up to touch the top edge of the dollar bill. Crease the diagonal fold. Repeat the diagonal fold with the bottom left corner. Flip the bill over and repeat with those bottom left and right corners. It should now look like a very shallow boat from the side. Inside the dollar bill, there will be two wide pockets.

Step 5: Turn the Dollar Bill Inside Out

Pick up the dollar bill. Hold it so that you can look into the two pockets from above. Turn it so that the folded dollar bill is vertical, rather than horizontal. Slide your thumbs into each pocket, close to the top point of the bill. Pinch the outside sides between each index finger and thumb. You should be able to feel the two outside corners with your index fingers. Gently, turn the two outside corners inward, essentially flipping that section of the boat inside out. Repeat this step with the bottom point of the boat.

Step 6: Flatten the Boat Bottom

Flip the bill over so that you can see the president's portrait inside a single, shallow pocket. Create a crease between the top left and the top right points, along a horizontal line that runs just above the president's portrait. This creates a side wall for the boat. Create a second crease between the bottom left and right points in a horizontal line that runs across the bottom of the president's portrait, but just above his name. This creates the other side wall of your sampan boat.

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