I'm trying to learn how to fold Won Park's dollar-bill koi, but even with his Youtube video correcting his diagramming mistakes and the series of videos demonstrating how to fold it, I'm not getting anywhere.

Is there a way to make a complex model easier to fold during the learning phase?

2 Answers 2


A couple of things that come to mind:

  • Don't try to run if you cannot walk yet. In other words: do some simple projects first. You obviously like the finished results of the more complex ones better. But by trying easier ones first, you gain experience on how to read the diagrams, and you're practising the techniques for precise folds. Plus: better a nicely finished 'easy' project and the feeling that you succeeded, than a complex ball of paper and you giving up completely, don't you think?
  • Larger paper makes things easier to see and to fold. I know dollar bills come in only one size, so you'll need to cut your own piece of paper. Make sure the proportions match.
  • If you insist on folding the complex item, try to figure out till which point you still understand the steps; you must absolutely be sure whether folds go up or down, or maybe between two parts of the paper. Your result may look similar, but if it's not completely the same, you'll find out sooner or later. So, check and double check and maybe ask someone else if they notice any differences.

Good luck, wishing you a lot of fish.


I can relate to your frustration. I often am irritated by poor instructions even in videos. It is important to understand all the terminology, symbols, basic folds, and to make precise as possible folds. I like videos that animate the folds forward and backward for each step.

With video instructions, the stop and rewind can be done repeatedly. Watching multiple times has been the only way I got through some projects. I also have thought that it would be most helpful to be shown live. It would have saved me hours of time if I were learning from a live person.

One way I have learned more complicated projects is that when I get to a part I am unsure of is to fold it with my best guess and, I soon find out if it works or not. If not I refold to my problem spot and repeat the process of using my best guess until I get it right. Sometimes with the same piece of paper but, it is usually best to use a fresh piece of paper. The more projects you complete though the less you will find yourself having wrong guesses. I say if you want to run but have barely walked then go ahead and try running because it does not hurt anything but, keep up the walking. Before you know it, you will be able to run with no problem

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