Dollar Bill "Buck"
The dollar bill "Stag" (which I call the "buck" because it's punnier
was created by Fred Rohm, and diagrammed by Alice Gray in 1969,
and published in the Origami USA annual collection for 1992.
(After being contacted for permission to use these diagrams, I wrote a long diatribe on
the benefits of copyLEFT for origami. I hope you agree with me!)
I memorized the model, then changed some of the folds to make them easier.
Below is my attempt to redo the diagrams using photographs.
If anything it difficult to understand, please let me know
so I can correct the instructions and others can benefit.
Esp. beginners, since this is a rather difficult model to make!
(Took me two hours the first time I folded it!
But I can fold it in about 15 minutes now.)
The only model I ever made of my own is the dollar bill sleigh
to go along with the buck. (9 reindeer and a sleigh make a nice $10 xmas gift!)
I have no diagrams for it, but if someone out there pesters me a couple times,
I might just do it! :)
This page is admittedly excessive.
I've made a shorter version
Note, the expert's page has links back here to cheat!
So if you're intermediate, you might just try the expert's page and see
how far you get!
Start with the crispest dollar you have.
Note which side has two berries instead of one -- the right side.
If you orient the dollar this way, you'll get a smile on the buck's face!
Make a water bomb base at the two-berries end.
If you've not done a water bomb base, I hope this picture makes it clear.
Turn the bill over and fold a little of the left side in.
This will shorten the neck slightly.
I don't know how much..."some" I guess.
(Note that I folded a tad too much here and the buck had a really short
neck! Oh well.)
Now fold a sink fold on the big part.
We'll spell it out for you...
Match the edge along the bottom.
You don't need to crease the whole thing, only to the tip of the tringle.
Here's two creases.
Now fold the sides together and lay the fold to the side.
(For those who are perfectionists (who me?) note that the front is short
and the bottom edge shows.
This is actually on purpose. In the next fold, the top will slide
and then match perfectly.
Just keep your eye on it and you'll see.)
Fold the top down and match the bottom edge.
Now unfold this some to do the proper sink fold.
Note the arrows -- they show the creases that will have to fold the other
If you take the time to fold these creases the other way, it will all fall
Here's those folds reversed.
Note the small triangle at the far end of this fold.
Fold that triangle along the creases made just before.
Now you can see where we're going here...
Here's the sink fold coming together.
(Do you perfectionists see now how the underlap helped to make things perfect
Now, reverse fold the tips of the rectangle.
Here, I pre-crease the reverse fold -- the other side is folded similarly.
Note the little flap here -- as you do the reverse fold, don't unfold it.
This will tuck it out of the way.
Here's the reverse fold done.
Here's a shot to help you see what you did.
Okay, turn over.
Note that the two points of the triangle are doubled.
We'll be working only with the top layer.
Fold one side of the triangle inside.
The top edge meets along the inner fold -- it should go all the way in as
far as it can.
Note that the fold should make a nice point at the top.
You can see my fingers massaging the crease at the top to make it sharp.
Petal fold ONE flap here.
(I'm about to cheat here, but I put explicit instructions here for you.)
First, fold in the sides to make creases.
Unfold them and lift ONE flap up to make the petal fold.
Make a teeny tiny rabbit ear on the top of the flap.
I folded this model three times before I ever figured out what this fold
was for. :)
The smaller the better -- if you make it too big, it will tuck away and
won't be visible.
Fold the flap down.
Turn one page.
Petal fold the tip of the triangle.
Lift the tip, flatten it, and fold it up to the top.
You can see my fingers going into the pocket for the fold,
and my thumb pressing on the bottom so it's folded completely.
Note here how the bottom of the diamond is very close to the middle.
You will have problems if this is not tight.
Here's some "helper folds" for trhe petal fold.
(I'm usually lazy and skip this part and go right for the petal fold.)
Open the helper folds.
Note where the creases end at the bottom.
The line from where the creases touch across the model
is where the petal fold will fold across.
Petal fold in progress...
Do both sides, of course.
Now, the model must be carefully pulled apart to free some paper inside.
The bottom has four pointy bits.
Grasp the two in the middle and gently tug.
Now push it back together and the folds will fall back into place,
but one hidden flap is now free.
This is crucial for folding out the legs much later.
Now, to tuck the small flap in.
Turn one page -- or fold one flap over to the right.
Note that the left side is all one piece,
and the right has a flap on it.
Part of this flap must be tucked in.
Lift up the left side and you can see all of this flap.
I creased the flap to indicate where the fold will happen,
but it will happen in the opposite direction.
This is the fold in the proper direction.
Now, to free the paper inside.
(Note, this instruction is not in the original instruction...)
See how pulling gently releases the paper.
Push this released paper deep inside.
In progress -- see how the flap is pushed inside.
Closing it back.
Repeat on the other side.
Since this fold is a bit tricky, I went ahead and did the other side.
Hopefully, both sides will make it clear what you need to do.
Slip out the trapped paper.
The paper is freed.
Tuck deep inside.
Now fold the page back.
If your model doesn't look like this (if it looks like the above)
of the four pointy bits, flatten out one of them on each side.
That should do it.
The model is getting harder to lay flat!
(And harder for me to angle the camera so it looks like I'm a perfect folder!
Now, reverse fold the long bit going off to the left.
Open it out flat.
Make sure the bottom is fully flattened.
The convenient spot of light shows you where.
Don't be sloppy with that point.
The neck will look funny if you don't make this fold tight.
The neck is flattened out.
Now bring the sides together, folding the middle inward.
The reverse fold in progress.
Now, flip the nose down.
Gently pul the two pointy flaps down and outward,
so the top collapses into the model.
Make sure to match the edges nicely.
Now simply fold the two points back up to meet.
You will notice where there was a thrid point, there is not a straight fold
Fold the sides together.
Now fold the sides in half.
As you do this, reverse this bit inside.
Don't forget to do both sides, of course.
Now, look at it from the front and open it out some.
Both sides will need a single layer turned inside out.
This is intimidating!
But dollars are pretty strong.
If you rip it, though, no one will see it, I promise!
(Rips really don't show.)
The turning starts.
Do one side at a time -- I start with the top.
Flatten it out as much as you can, then push with a fingernail.
Top part done!
Start on the bottom.
The bottom is done!
Oops! I ripped it!
You'll see that in the end this is not noticable.
(To be honest, dollars have become more fragile since I've been folding
One side done!
Now for the face.
Note the top of the diamond in the middle, with the point facing up.
This must be folded down.
Now to rotate the face into position.
Tilt the antlers back and rotate the face upwards.
Now, as you do this, there's a corner that must come out.
You can see the corner here.
Now to round out the chin.
Tuck the little corner in to shape the chin.
Now to ratate the head back up.
Note where my thumb is.
The crease for this fold runs from my thumb down to the shallow point above
Here's the crease on one side.
This fold can be adjusted later to change the attitude of the head.
It really gives the buck a personality!
Now to fold the tail.
Do a double-reverse fold to define the tail.
Here's how I make that fold!
(Yep, I bite every buck's butt that I make!)
Detail of the face -- and the "mouth" you get from the leaves on the front.
If your buck doesn't have a smile, the dollar might have been cut a little
or you didn't orient the two berries to the correct side.
Now, rabbit ear the antlers.
This is easier said than done!
This is the beginning of the frustrating part of this model!
Here's some lines to help you.
Do the rabbit ear forward.
Do a little tuck fold for a second "point" on the antlers.
This is done by bisecting the tip of the antler. Follow the bisection
down until you find a small pointy bit.
Then tuck the rest of the fold into the pointy bit and the pointy bit will
stick out some.
Here's some various views to help you find your way.
Push the pointy bit so it sticks out to make the second "point".
The second "point" completed.
A closeup to help you.
Both sides done.
Now, here's an even more annoying fold!
Fold the antler in half again
Yes, it can be done. Be patient.
If you don't have any fingernails to help you, try just pinching it.
You want the fold to be a mountain fold, not a valley fold, though,
to make the antlers look rounded.
This is my own personal touch!
Curve the antlers to each side and it'll look really nice!
The antlers completed!
Now, let's start on the legs.
Grab the two back legs and rotate them out.
Now rabbit ear the legs back.
Do this by pinching the legs to make them very skinny.
Try your best to make the fold go the entire length of hte leg right down
to the tip.
Here's the back pointing back.
Fold the leg again so it points down to make the haunches.
Both legs done.
Rabbit ear the front legs.
Do this by pinching them first then totating downward.
Try ot make the fold go the length of the leg right to the tip.
Note that one front leg is rabbit eared downward, and the other is rabbit
The one going up will be the prancing leg!
Here the prancing leg is rabbit eared up.
Fold the tip down to make the hoof curled over.
The "buck" completed!
Try turning the head to one side or the other -- this model has lots
(Did you find the mystery fold yet?? :) )