Create a Ruler from a Dollar Bill

A dollar bill ruler is easy to make

Are you in a pinch and need to quickly measure something but don’t have a ruler or tape measure available? Follow along to learn how to make your own 6″ ruler using just a dollar bill.

A dollar bill measures exactly 6.14″ x 2.61″, which means if you fold the dollar bill into six sections, you will have pretty close to 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 dollar bill’s left edge 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

Once 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

An optional final step is to 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 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, try one of our free printable rulers, or consider picking up a tape measure.

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