December 17, 2018

How to make a money tree for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or graduation gift

The gift of cash is always welcome, especially for occasions that mark the beginning of a new journey, like bar and bat mitzvahs, graduations and weddings. But instead of just writing a check or sticking some dollar bills in an envelope, consider giving a money tree.

On a money tree, dollar bills are folded origami style into flowers and tied to branches. And because it takes three individual dollar bills to make each flower, giving an amount in $18 increments is easy (6 flowers = $18, 12 flowers = $36, etc.). Folding the money isn’t hard, and next time you have to give a present, you can skip the gift card.

This stylish way to give cash proves once and for all that, yes, money does grow on trees.

What you’ll need:

  •    Dollar bills
  •    Wire
  •    Branch
  •    Vase or planter


Step 1

With the currency facing up, fold in the left and right edges about 1 inch, so you can still see the president’s face.

Step 2

Take each of those folds you just made and fold again at the corners, inward toward the center line. Each side will now look like the point of a paper airplane.

Step 3

Fold the whole bill lengthwise at the center line to create a trapezoid shape, like a triangle with its top cut off. Repeat with two more dollar bills so you have three folded bills, and stack them on top of each other. Tie the folded bills together at their centers with a piece of wire.

Step 4

With the three bills wired together, there will be six “spokes” coming out of the center. Open the folds of the bills to create the petals of the flower. Don’t be afraid to force the petals open; the wire around the bills will keep them from coming apart. (Notice that the six-point flower almost looks like a Star of David.) When the flower is finished, tie it to a tree branch using the rest of the wire. Repeat with the remaining flowers, then place your branch in a vase or planter. If you don’t have a branch, you can just make the wires longer so they act like stems, and place the stems in a vase.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at Follow him @jfongstyle.