Who wouldn't want a money tree? Although you can't give someone a tree that actually grows money, you can do the next best thing and fold a money origami tree to slip inside a greeting card.
The money tree featured in this tutorial is relatively easy to complete. Even a beginner should be able to fold the tree in about five minutes, which makes this a great choice for a last minute gift.
You can fold the money origami tree from a bill in the denomination of your choice. This tutorial uses a one dollar bill, so you would need to adjust your reference points if you're using a bill with a higher value.
1. Fold to the Right Side
Begin folding your money origami tree with George Washington's face up. Fold the top left hand corner of the bill over so it is flush with the right side. The corner of the bill should touch the point that is right after the second "L" in "ONE DOLLAR." This is shown in the photo to the left. Crease firmly, then unfold.
2. Fold to the Left Side
Fold the top right hand corner of the bill over so it is flush with the left side. Crease firmly, then unfold.
3. Fold Across the Intersection
Fold the top of the dollar across the intersection of the two diagonal creases you have made. When finished, the top of the dollar bill should be resting just above the first "L" in "ONE DOLLAR." Crease firmly, then unfold.
4. Collapse the Folds
Using your horizontal crease as a guide, collapse the folds as shown in the photo to the left. The process of collapsing the folds is the same as what is used in the first two steps of the origami jumping frog.
5. Create the Second Tier of the Tree
Fold the top flap on the left hand of the paper over. Fold the bottom portion of the bill into the center as demonstrated in the photo to the left. Fold the top flap back to its original position. Repeat these steps on the right side of the bill.
6. Create the Bottom of Your Money Tree Origami
Repeat the folds in steps 1-4 on the opposite end of the bill. When you're finished, your origami money tree should look like the photo to the left.
7. Tuck the Bottom into the Top
Fold the bottom triangle up and tuck it into the flap of the top triangle as shown in the photo to the left.
8. Complete Your Origami Money Tree
Flip your bill over. Fold a second dollar bill into a small thin strip and tuck it into the flap of the top triangle to create a trunk for your tree.
If you're giving your money tree as a gift, you can use a small amount of poster putty to adhere it to the greeting card. This will also help keep the model from coming apart in transit.
Money origami is fun to give as a gift throughout the year, but this money origami tree is especially appropriate for Christmas. Check out our Christmas Origami Ideas sideshow for more fun holiday origami projects, including an easy homemade Christmas card.