5 Great Ways To Leave A Tip

I was over at a Japanese friend’s house the other night and he started to show me how to make origami with Japanese money. We were having a great time when he said, “The only problem is that there is no tipping in Japan. When I was In the US, I would fold the dollar bills there and leave them as tips. It was so much fun watching the waitresses when they went to gather the tips. I miss doing that.”

That’s when it occurred to me that it really would be fun to leave your tips as origami. At the very least you would leave an impression and likely the people at the restaurant would remember you from that day forward whenever you came in. So here are five origami that should leave a lasting impression when you leave a tip:

#5 Shirt:

Origami Dollar Bill Shirt

Here are the directions to make the shirt. Below is a video showing how to fold the shirt.

#4 Bow Tie

Origami Dollar Bill Bow Tie

Here are the directions to make the Bow Tie and here is a the bow tie being made in a video

#3 Spider

Origami Dollar Bill Spider

You need five $1 bills to make this origami. Here are the directions to make the Spider

#2 Rosette

Origami Dollar Bill Rosette

Here are the directions to make the Rosette

#1 Accordion (pleated) Dollar

I couldn’t find the design or someone folding it, but this was just too cool not to place as number one. The design comes from the book “Origami to Astonish and Amuse” which you can pick up for under $10 at Amazon and is probably available at your public library. I have heard it’s an excellent source if you would like to leave even more amazing origami shapes and figures as tips. Take the time to learn how to fold a dollar bill in a few different ways and it will make leaving a tip at the restaurant an enjoyable part of the meal.

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48 Responses to 5 Great Ways To Leave A Tip

  1. That’s cooler than Kool-Aid! I’ll definitely have to give that a try next time I’m out.

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  4. twins15 says:

    Very nice! 😀

  5. PuppyBear says:

    A great way to distract yourself when you want to leave but your companions seem to want to continue to talk.

  6. Ivan Minic says:

    Very cute 🙂 First one especially 🙂

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  9. I got a tip of a bow bill once, one of my favorite tips ever!

  10. giggity says:

    My friends and I did this at a local restaurant. We had horrible service, so my friend folded a dollar into a shirt and that’s all we left him…a dollar folded up as a shirt.
    The great part was after we left, one of my other friends forgot something in the restaurant and had to go back in (alone). He managed to sneak in and out, but not before another waiter told him that if our waiter ever saw us again, he’d kick our ass.

  11. Great entry!

    Doesn’t work as well with an old £5 note…

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  13. Andreas says:

    Very nice!
    There are instruction available to fold from euro bills


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  15. Pingback: My Empty Mind » Blog Archive » Friday Favorites #1: Tips, Lines, Bards, & Fireflies

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  17. Easterangel says:

    PF Advice has been picked as the very first winner of Post Awards.


    Great job on this post!

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  19. Super Saver says:


    Great post. I love the idea of leaving a tip in origami. It was a great reminder of our time in Japan.

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  21. Ty Moser says:

    Shortly after I saw this I reached into my pocket to find all of my money. I only had a dollar so the spider was made from regular paper.

    With these origami creations and the jumpy frog I previously made. Origami Wars of 07 was spawned!!!


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  23. nashira says:

    came here via stumbleupon; this post was great!

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  26. Kolt says:

    I was able to figure out everyone of these except the “Rosette.” I’m impressed you’re a math wizard. But it gave me a headache. “One part to 10, and 8-12, 3-4 …” Can you please just explain how to do it for the rest of us who don’t like to think? If I’m going to to this in a restaurant, I’d like to be able to hold a conversation, not trying to count.

  27. kill says:

    How do I make a origami with my AMEX ?

  28. Kristina says:

    this is so kewl. i will definately use this. now i’m working on the spider. ;-D

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  34. bill says:

    You make it look easierr than it really is.

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  36. MrNickers says:

    well as a waiter at a high end restauraunt it is nice to get a 20 dollar bill folded into something nice but i still hate having to stand there and unfold it because unlike other people being in the life of a server isn’t easy financially… think about that before you leave an annoying tip

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  38. David says:

    Excellent site…I enjoyed it. Especially the reference to “tips”. I was surprised that the “Dollar Ring” was not included in your top 5.

    I’m 70 years old. When I was 10 or 12, someone, at our Playground/Ballpark during the summer school break, taught me how to fold a dollar bill into a ring. I never forgot and for the last 50+ years have left many, many “ring tips”. Depending on the amount of the tip decides whether I make it out of a one dollar bill with other dollars folded fan-like and inserted into the shank part of the ring, or make the ring out out of a larger denomination ring. Altho, I think the simple one dollar bill is the nicest looking, there’s a lot to be said about making it out of a hundred dollar bill. It’s amazing what “services” I’ve received over the years depending on when, where and how (and to whom!) the $100 ring was given!! 😉

  39. Trixxi says:

    excuse me but how do u make a fold a one dollar bill into a pants?

  40. Unligemoign says:

    ?????? ???

  41. Sarah says:

    Okay, I’m a server at a restaurant and I’d just like to say-though it looks nice, it is horribly inconvenient. When servers pick up their tips, they don’t just pocket them. All of the money-whether it be for tips or for the actual meal, goes in the same place in their apron. They need it for change, and they get it back at the end of the shift.
    Your server has to take your little origami masterpiece and unfold it anyway, usually when they’re way to busy to be standing around fiddling with the stupid shirt dollar so it doesn’t rip.
    Thanks for putting in the effort, but if you really want to be nice to your server, leave the money flat.

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  43. Somebody says:


  44. KC says:

    The shirt one is WAY COOL! I folded a 20 like that, put it in a card for my friend, and wrote “got you a new shirt. Hope it fits!” Can’t wait to hear his reaction!

  45. sherry Hall says:

    That is absolutely amazing. I used to have an ebook on this stuff which is no doubt gathering dust on my hard drive somewhere, but this has just given me a fresh idea. My son is now 8 and is very creative. I wonder if he could turn his hand to this? Not with my money of course, I would never get it back! 🙂

    Really great post…

  46. You’ve been blogging since 07? Impressive!

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