Origami Money Tree

Tree with money on branches

An origami money tree is a unique way to give a cash gift to someone at a special occasion. Making the tree is simple and adorning it with dollar bill origami shapes is a creative alternative to clipping bills to the tree.

Money Gift Occasions

Instead of giving a cash gift with a card and envelope, make a true gift out of the cash. Cash gifts are common at these special occasions:

  • Bridal or engagement showers
  • Wedding receptions
  • Birthdays
  • Housewarmings
  • College or high school graduations

At any of these occasions, giving a cash gift or traditional gift is customary. Combine a tangible gift and cash by using money origami and a lovely faux or real plant.

Instructions for an Origami Money Tree

Make a money tree by following these simple instructions:

  1. Purchase a small plant with hardy green leaves or a faux/silk plant.
  2. Decorate the pot for the occasion using craft paints or transplant the tree into a more appropriate vase or pot.
  3. Decide on the amount of money you want to give the recipient. Use bills in smaller amounts ($1, $5, or $10, depending on the total) so that the tree has many decorations.
  4. Fold the bills into figures that fit the recipient's personality or the occasion.
  5. Attach the money origami figures to the tree using paperclips.
  6. Dress up the tree by adding a large bow to the top of the pot or vase or around the base of the tree itself.
  7. Make a larger origami creation to be the tree topper.

In addition to the money origami, consider adding decorative folded paper ornaments. This way, the tree will still have pretty origami figures long after the money is used. Purchase origami paper in colors that match the recipient's home or fit with the occasion, such as wedding colors for a bridal shower or high school colors for graduation.

Transport the tree using a tall cardboard box. Fill it with colored tissue paper and set the tree in it upright. This way, the money origami tree figures are not crushed during transport. If the tree is alive, consider using a gift bag that stays open at the top, so it does not die before the recipient opens it.

Money Figures for Trees

Money figures range in skill level from basic to expert. Choose figures to include on the gift tree based on not only your skills, but also the occasion itself and your available time. The more complex the figure, the more time it will take to fill a tree. Mixing one to three different figures makes a visually interesting tree without being too difficult, too time consuming or too busy.

Origami money flowers are a simple but pretty way to decorate a tree, and they work for virtually any occasion. Other money figures to consider are:

Add a money star to a tree

Just because the origami money is clipped on a tree does not mean it has to look like traditional ornaments found on decorative trees. Try folding money into shapes and then attaching a small ribbon or string to it using paper clips. This allows you to turn virtually any money origami figure into a decorative part of the origami money tree.

For people who are new to paper folding, plenty of useful origami websites offer quick and easy instructions for folding money into shapes. Otherwise, check out the large selection of money origami instruction books available at bookstores and libraries in your area. One is sure to have a few figures that will work on your money origami tree.


An origami money tree makes an excellent gift for someone who has a special event approaching in his or her life. Not only does it allow you to present cash in a creative way, but you also get to practice your origami folding techniques while making the gift. Remember to include an origami card so that the recipient knows who made the beautiful tree.

Origami Money Tree