Mandarin Duck by Gay Merrill Gross "Money Origami Mandarin duck"

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands
Douglas Adams


About the Money Origami Mandarin Duck

I came across this quote from Douglas Adams again earlier this week and decided to fold an origami duck. My last post was a flamingo, so this is a good way of continuing the bird theme with a bit of a twist – another money origami model. I’ve done a couple of other money origami folds on this blog before – the baby buggy, and the his and hers origami clothes. Like those, this Mandarin Duck is simple to make, and very quick. It’s a good way of leaving memorable tip in a restaurant! This model is designed by Gay Merrill Gross.


Folding the Money Origami Mandarin Duck

As you can see in the picture, most banknotes will do.  The three ducks pictured are made from (left to right), a US $1 bill, a UK £20 note, and a 10 euro note. Each of them produces a duck with slightly different proportions and wing shape, but they all look great. The dimensions of the final models are:

  • $1 bill duck – about 6.5cm (2.5in) long and 4cm (1.5in) high
  • £20 note duck – about 5.5cm (2.25in) long and 4cm (1.5in) high
  • 10 euro note duck – about 5cm (2in) long and 3.5cm (1.4in) high

There are no complicated folds needed to make this duck, so it is a very child-friendly design to make. The most difficult part of the whole folding sequence is the two reverse folds that make up the tail, but it’s pretty obvious how to do these.

It takes about five minutes to make your first duck, but after you should get quicker after that. I made all three of these in about ten minutes.



Instructions for the money origami Mandarin duck are available in Gay Merrill Gross’s book Moneygami, which is available through both Amazon UK and Amazon US.  This has a selection of different models that can be made out of banknotes from around the world. Some dummy notes of the right proportions are included.


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