How To Make A Money Tree (Detailed Plant Guide)

by Menka Dimitrovska, Lifestyle Columnist


Published in Lifestyle and Money on 6th April, 2018


A money tree is a great and thoughtful way to give money as a present. And the great thing is that it's suitable for many occasions. It saves you the time and effort you would have put in looking for a proper gift, and leaves it up to the recipient to buy his/her own gift with the money. It's a win-win situation for both.

There are some people who always feel a bit awkward giving money as a gift, which makes this tree a perfect way to do it without actually handing over cash. Plus, your gift will be creative, and different from the rest of the gifts.

What is a Money Tree?

Imagine if money really did grow on trees! Well now you don't have to. You can simply make the tree yourself. A money tree is a real or a fake tree decorated with bills that are folded in an interesting and attractive way. A much more thoughtful present to give than a free gift card, or other token item.

There are numerous ways you can fold your bills and attach them to the branches, and we'll share some of those today, but first let's see the occasions on which is appropriate to give a money tree as a gift.

When Can You Give a Money Tree as a Gift?

A money tree is an appropriate gift for:

  • Bridal showers
  • Baby showers
  • Housewarming parties
  • Birthdays
  • Milestone anniversaries
  • Bar or Bat Mitzvahs
  • Retirement parties and
  • Graduations

Let's say that you were planning on giving your nephew a $100 bill for his graduation. You can buy an envelope and put the $100 in it, or you can make a tree out of ones and fives and give your nephew a more memorable gift. Everybody at the party will notice your gift, and you'll know that you've put some time and thought into his gift.

Now that you know what a money tree is and when it's appropriate to give it as a gift, let's see how it's actually made, and the materials you'll need to gather in order to make it.

Required Materials

In order to make a money tree you will need to gather a few simple materials. First you need to figure out what you're going to use as a tree (a base). You can either find some branches, a small potted tree or a plastic one. All three will work out just fine.

Once you figure out the base of your tree you'll need to get one dollar bills, some chocolate coins (optional), wire, a planter, sand and that's about it. You can add more things if you're feeling creative, but these right here are the basics.

How to Make a Money Tree (The Steps)

Step 1

The first step of making a money tree is deciding how much money you want to spend, and accordingly plan the size of the branches, as well as the bills (you can either make the tree from 1-dollar bills, or mix in a few fives if you'd like.

Step 2

Once you decide on the amount of money you'd like to give and the size of the tree, you can move on to the next step, which is folding the dollar bills into flowers or leaves. Today I'll demonstrate one way which you can use to fold your dollar bills, but you can also get a bit more creative and add a few more decorations to the tree, depending on the occasion. Some of those could be: ribbons, cards, toys, crystals, breads, candies, flowers and so on. You can also make a money tree for the holidays, and decorate it according to the holiday.

how to make a money tree

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's start folding the bills. For this step you'll need to have all of the bills you're planning on using, and some copper wire.

Let's begin!

  • You start by folding your bill like an accordion with1/2 inch pleats. You should have 5 pleats and both ends should be facing down.
  • The next step is to cut out around 8 inches of copper wire and wrap it around the middle of your bill once and twist the wire together so that it holds the bill together.
  • The final step is to spread out the folds of your bill and make a pinwheel shape. Use 2 paper clips on the bottom sides of the folds to connect each of the sides and make sure you use them on the bottom sides so they're not visible when you flip them over and put them on the tree.

Step 3

Now that you've finished folding your bills it's time to prepare the tree branches. For this step, you'll need to have a pot or a planter and enough sand or rocks to fill the pot with.

You'll need to put your branch in the pot, cover about 2/3 of it with sand and then cover the sand with some paper so that the chocolate coins don't get covered with sand.

Step 4

Add the chocolate coins around the tree until you cover all the paper with them and fill up your pot all the way up.

money tree

Step 5

Attach the flowers you made earlier from the dollar bills. This step is very simple. You just use the wire that's already on the bills and wrap it around the branches of the tree.

Add all the flowers following the same steps and you're done!

You should have at least 10-20 flowers or leaves so that the tree looks full.

In Summary

These are a few basic steps which you can follow to make a money tree for your next event or as a gift.

As you can see from the steps above, it's pretty easy to make one yourself, and you don't really need a lot of materials and time in order to make one.

You can follow these steps and then use your creativity to make your money tree stand out. You can experiment with lots of other materials, and add some decorations of your own. You can also add some glitter or spray the braches a different color.

Don't be shy to show off your origami skills as well, and make something other than flowers out of the dollar bills. This will make your gift even more unique.

There's basically no wrong way to make a money tree. As long as there's money on it, I guarantee they'll like it.

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