Origami Page:
     Prosperity $Shirt

Mary Ellen Palmeri

Welcome to our monthly "Origami Page". Origami is folding paper and ending up with delightful figures and models, such as flowers, boxes and animals. This feature will showcase a different origami model in each monthly issue, with diagrams and photos to help readers learn how to fold them. Most models use one square of paper, some use a rectangle, and others use more than one piece of paper.



How about starting 2017 with a Prosperity $hirt? Fold one, keep it in your wallet and you'll never be broke! Carrying this particular money fold is also considered to be good luck. This month's origami model is fun to make and as much fun to give away!

The attached diagram shows how to fold the model with a one dollar bill, using the "O N E" as a guide mark. You can use other denominations, but to get the right proportion you first need to fold a one dollar bill (only step #2) to use as a template. Then, using that bill as a guide, you can fold any denomination to the same size in step-2. Continue on to follow steps #3 through 11 as diagrammed.

You'll get different coloration results depending upon which side is up at step one, and whether it faces left or right. Try various ways to see which results you like best, using the same template as described above for step #2. Sometimes the denomination shows up, as when using $1 or $2 bills, or even $100 bills! But other denominations get hidden - for example you can't really tell that you've used a $50 dollar bill until you unfold part of it.

A great way to make use of the Prosperity Shirt is to use one for an unusual tip when eating out. Have a few pre-folded and ready in your wallet for such occasions. And a $20 or $50 bill is a fun way to gift money to someone to buy clothes or a real shirt of their choice!


Origami originated in ancient Asian cultures and has been adapted by contemporary artists worldwide to reflect their own cultures. Local artist Mary Ellen Palmeri has incorporated paper folding into many of her mixed media art paintings, and teaches origami classes locally and nationally. Some of her work can be seen in a Tucson Happenings feature here: Artist_Profile

Ms. Palmeri's original origami models have been published in books and magazines, she has been featured on broadcast media, and her mixed-media fine art works often include various original origami models. Origami LAFF (Lyric Arts Folding Fest) is a Tucson based club founded by Ms. Palmeri to provide a venue for sharing this art. The group meets monthly at a local library; for more details please contact the artist at info@lyric-arts.com

Origami Page

Click for printable PDF file.

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