Video Tutorial – “Bunny Bill” (Robert Neale) “Magic Wand (Leyla Torres)

The Bunny Bill is a classic origami action model originally published in 1964 and designed by Robert Neale,* a pioneer and an outstanding playful presence in the world of origami design. (*Bio note below videos).

Even if you’ve folded the Bunny Bill before, in the video featured below, you will learn a NEW folding sequence that makes it much easier to teach and learn. This sequence also eliminates creases on the bunny’s face.

In addition, you will learn to make a Magic Wand designed by Leyla as a playful addition when performing the Bunny Bill magic routine.

Bunny Bill. Original instructions, published in 1964, on the left. Leyla’s work table, on the right.

Tips and suggestions for making the Bunny Bill and Magic Wand

  • Any thin and crisp paper is ideal to use for both of these origami models.
  • Use a piece of paper (solid color) that’s at least 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm.) when you make this model for the first time.
  • A square piece of paper can be cut in the right proportions to make two bunnies and two wands. The first video will show how to cut and prepare the paper.
  • This model belongs in the category Dollar-Bill Origami as it was originally intended to be made using a dollar bill.
  • The finished models show both sides of the paper. It is best to use paper with a different color on each side.

Origami terms to note:

  • Pinch Mark: A tiny mark that is made by folding.
  • Precrease: Marking the paper by folding and unfolding. When we precrease, we are setting the stage for later steps in the folding process. Precreases are usually made when we begin a set of folds.
  • Squash fold: Describes opening or separating two layers of paper, then pressing and flattening to make the fold. 
  • Lock: When locking occurs, an area of the paper is fixed at a particular configuration so that it stays in place and cannot easily be unfolded.

If you are at the Apprentice Bee Stage (Stage 1) Before attempting to fold this figure, make sure that you are familiar with and have practiced with bases and folds such as the “squash fold” and the “waterbomb base” as they are demonstrated in the Origami Basics Minicourse.

Folding these related figures can help you practice:

Then you can watch the video for this Bunny Bill and let your eyes take in the process, paying attention to the origami language.

If you are at the Emergent Frog Stage (Stage 2) Keep in mind the previous recommendations for Stage 1. For your first attempts, use solid color paper (not patterned on either side) so that it is easy to visualize the landmarks. Your first attempts at making the Bunny Bill should start with a square piece of paper no smaller than 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm).

If you are at the Competent Goldfish Stage (Stage 3) Keep in mind the suggestions for the previous stages. Take some pictures of the folding process so you refer to them and try folding the model from your notes and your memory as much as possible. Begin by experimenting with the papers you have at hand, but open yourself to folding the Bunny Bill with an actual dollar bill.

If you are at the Ambassador Cat Stage (Stage 4) Keep in mind the suggestions given for the previous stages. Set a goal of folding several models so that you can internalize the process and refine the way you interpret it. In addition, you can use the Bunny Bill as a part of a greeting card by cutting slits and inserting the models for easy removal as shown in the photo below.

If you are at Pioneer Owl Stage (Stage 5) Take inspiration from this Bunny Bill and play with the paper to try and find other possible models, using different angles. As you fold the Bunny Bill, remember to ask “what if” questions in your mind to analyze variations and new options at each step of the process.

Watch the Videos

VIDEO 1 – Preparing the paper from a square and folding the Bunny Bill


VIDEO 2 – Folding the Magic Wand


Share your folds in our FACEBOOK group. Remember that the purpose of sharing them is not only to show beautiful folds. You can also share your challenging attempts and ask questions.

About Robert Neale

Bob Neale and Leyla, Bennington, Vermont, 2012

Robert Edward Neale is a teacher, minister, storyteller, magician, origamist, and trickster. He was born June 23, 1929 in Mount Clemens, Michigan, into a family of two parents and one older brother. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a family and community person.

Bob is known for his simple yet elegant origami models, and has pushed the limits of representational origami. He has also contributed to the field of modular origami. In the 1960s, he was a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and taught in their Department of Psychiatry & Religion. He was one of the first academicians in the U.S. to study the Hospice movement which originated in London, England.

Bob Neale’s Origami publications include:

  • Origami Plain and Simple
  • Which Came First? (Action models -Published by the British Origami Society BOS)
  • Many Modes of Origami (Modular models)
  • Bunny Bill

Share your folds in our FACEBOOK group. Remember that the purpose of sharing them is not only to show beautiful folds. You can also share your challenging attempts and ask questions. We are there to help each other!