Christmas Origami Using Money

Dana Hinders
money origami tree

Finding ideas for Christmas origami using money as your paper can be a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. Designs such as Christmas trees, stars, and tiny elf shoes also make lovely gifts for the special people in your life.

Money Origami Christmas Tree

A money origami Christmas tree is a classic choice for holiday origami gifts. You will need two crisp bills for this project.

1. Start by making a waterbomb base form at the top of your bill. To do this, fold the top left corner over so it's flush with the right side. Unfold, then fold the top right corner over so it's flush with the left side. Unfold, then make a horizontal crease across the middle of the two diagonal folds you just made. Unfold and use these three creases to collapse the bill into a modified waterbomb base form.

tree step 1

2. To make the second part of your tree, fold the bottom layer of the left flap over to the middle vertical center. Bring the top layer of the left flap back to its original position, then repeat this process on the right side. When finished, your bill should look like the photo below.

tree step 2

3. Repeat the previous two steps on the opposite end of your bill. When finished, this creates the bottom layer of your origami Christmas tree.

tree step 3

4. To complete the tree, fold the bottom triangle up and tuck it into the top triangle. Fold a second bill into a thin strip and insert into the bottom to make a tree trunk. Flip your model over to see the finished Christmas tree.

tree step 4

Tiny 3D Origami Money Star

With a little tweaking, you can adapt the classic origami lucky star model so it can be folded out of paper currency. To make a small gift with a big impact, try filling a clear glass jar with several of these stars.

1. Place your dollar bill in front of you horizontally. Fold in half. Unfold. Fold the top and bottom sides up to this middle crease. Fold in half once more to make a long, thin strip.

star step 1

2. Bring the left corner up slightly at an angle. Bring the right side up to form the start of your pentagon shape.

star step 2

3. Wrap the remaining portion of the bill around the pentagon, taking care to make sure the edges line up after each wrap. Tuck the loose end into the pocket created by the folds.

star step 3

4. Use your fingernails to press in on each side of the pentagon. This will make the shape puff out into a Christmas star, although the added thickness of the currency means you'll need to use more pressure than if you were making this model out of regular origami paper.

star step 4

Money Origami Elf Shoes

Money origami elf shoes would be a cute stocking stuffer gift for a child. You'll need one bill for each shoe you want to make.

1. Fold the bill in half vertically. Unfold. Fold the bill in half horizontally. Fold the left and right sides to meet the center.

elf shoe step 1

2. Make two more diagonal folds towards the middle vertical center of the project as if you were making a paper airplane.

elf shoe step 2

3. Fold the bill in half vertically. Rotate counter clockwise so the pointed end is on the left and the larger open end is on the right. Fold the two open flaps upward to form the top of your elf's boot. Fold these flaps down slightly to make the cuff of the boot. Fold the tip of the pointed end upward to finish the project.

elf shoe step 3

Money Origami Elf

This adorable elf by Robert Callahan is folded from a single bill. The video moves rather fast, however, so this is a project best suited for those with a fair amount of folding experience.

Money Origami Wreath

This adorable money origami wreath is decorated with a ribbon bow for a festive touch. It's a modular origami model folded from several bills. Use varying denominations to create an element of surprise for your recipient.

Money Origami Cross

If you would prefer to focus on the religious aspect of the holiday, Just Origami has a tutorial for a money origami cross made from a single dollar bill. When the bill is folded properly, the phrase "In God We Trust" appears across the front of the cross.

Using Money Origami at Christmastime

Money origami has several uses during the holiday season. For example:

  • Fold a holiday tip for your hairdresser, waitress, bus driver, or other service personnel.
  • Attach a money origami model to a plate of homemade cookies for a simple and sweet gift.
  • Wrap up a box of Christmas-themed money origami projects as a creative way to give a cash gift.
  • Encourage a child's interest in origami by presenting a money origami object along with an instruction book filled with simple projects.
  • Make a money origami shirt and tie to fool a man who was expecting his traditional Christmas gift.

Festive Folding

Regardless of your level of folding skill, money origami makes it easy to thoughtfully present a cash gift during the holiday season. Get creative with different designs to thrill everyone on your gift list.

Christmas Origami Using Money