A dollar bill ruler is easy to make

Make your own 6″ ruler using just a dollar bill when you’re in a pinch and need to take a quick measurement but you don’t have a ruler or tape measure. A dollar bill measures exactly 6.14″ x 2.61″, which means if you fold the dollar bill into 6 sections you can have pretty close 1 inch sections. Start by getting a crisp(or not) $1 bill.

Get a crisp dollar bill

Fold the Bill into Thirds

The first step is to fold the dollar bill into thirds. Make the first fold by lining up the left edge of the dollar bill to be precisely between the N and O in “note” as shown.

Fold the dollar bill with the left edge aligning between the N and O in the word "note"

Make sure the fold is even then crease the fold.

Crease the first fold of the bill

Next, fold the right edge of the bill into the first crease.

Fold the right edge of the bill into the crease of the first fold

Then make sure the fold is even and crease the fold.

Ensure the second fold is even then crease the fold


The first set of folds are complete – success!

The bill is now folded into thirds

Fold the Bill into 1″ Sections

Now that the bill is folded into thirds it’s time to fold it further into 1″ sections. Start by folding the right edge into the right-most crease.

Fold the right edge into the right crease

Just as before, make sure the fold is even and then crease the fold.

Crease the right 1" fold

Repeat these steps on the left side. Start by folding the left edge into the left-most crease.

Fold the left edge into the left crease

Make sure the fold is even and crease.

Crease the left fold

The final fold is to fold the bill exactly in half. As with the other folds, make sure it is even and crease tightly.

Fold the bill in half and crease

Add Measurements

The final step is to optionally add measurement markings on the fold lines. On every fold draw a small line on the top or bottom edge. After drawing the lines add the inch numbers. The dollar bill ruler is ready to use, measure away!

A dollar bill ruler is easy to make

The dollar bill ruler is pretty cool, see our other tips and tricks on measuring without a tape measure or ruler. Just a note on accuracy. Since a dollar bill is 6.14″ and not 6″ exactly the marks will be off by a fraction of an inch each. This is useful for measurements that do not need to be ultra-precise, but I assume if you’re making a ruler out of a dollar bill then this is close enough! For improved accuracy, see our free printable rulers. It’s also worth considering picking up a tape measure, the Stanley Powerlock is a budget-friendly option and is practically an industry standard.

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