If you're looking for a romantic folded paper gift or a special way to show you care, consider making an origami rose out of paper money. You can make these roses with any denomination of bills, so they can be used as a gift on their own or as an embellishment for a larger present.
Origami Rose Instructions
Here is a simple way to make a fun rose with a few dollar bills. This project takes less than an hour.
- Five or more bills of any denomination
- Piece of crafting wire for the stem
- Skewer or plastic flower stem (optional)
- Floral tape (optional)
- Needle nose pliers (optional)
- Start with crisp bills. You can get new ones or use an iron to flatten out ones you already have. The newer the better! You can use any denomination, or a mix.
- Place one bill face down on a flat surface. Crease it gently across the middle and unfold again. This will help you form the cup shape in later steps.
- Tightly roll each corner in towards the center of the back side at about a 45-degree angle. Use the skewer or a toothpick if desired to get the rolls nice and tight.
- Repeat step 2 for the remaining four bills.
- Hold one bill with the corners curled inward, and pinch horizontally across the middle. Do not crease the whole length of the bill, but just squeeze the middle.
- Carefully but very firmly, start gathering in the sides like an accordion. The folds do not need to be precise, but make them as compact as possible.
- Repeat on the other side so that you wind up with a bow tie shape as you pinch in the middle. Flatten the center as much as possible, but try to keep the integrity of cup shape.
- Cut a length of floral wire about 8 inches long and fold in half. Place over the accordion fold, with the U-bend over the inside of the accordion.
- Give the wire a 90-degree twist like you would on a package with twine, making sure it is very tight against the accordion fold. Use needle nose pliers to flatten for extra security.
- Hold upright and gently form the ends around each other. This will form the bud of the rose.
- Set bud aside. Repeat steps 5 through 7 with a new bill, but this time make sure the rolls are facing OUT.
- Pick up your bud and flip it over to expose the floral wire. Place the center of the new petals perpendicular over the twist you made in step 9, making sure the ends of the wire are free.
- Cross the wire over the new petal and twist the wire 90-degrees again, as in step 9.
- Arrange the petals around the center so that they somewhat envelop the bud. Repeat steps 11 through 13 with your remaining bills, angling each layer so that they look more naturally staggered around the rose. Adjust the petals of the bud to make it look attractive.
- When you've added the last bill, twist the floral wire onto itself, making a sturdier stem.
- If you wish, you can then attach the wire to a skewer, floral stake or fake flower stem. Create multiple roses and wire them all to the same stem to create a bouquet if you'd like an even more impressive display.
- Step back and admire your lovely rose!
Tips for Success
Keep the following tips in mind to make your rose turn out perfectly:
- Choose a piece of paper money that is clean and crisp. As money ages it's harder to get it to hold its shape. If you want really crisp money, ask for new dollar bills from the bank.
- If you want a specific side of the bill to show on the outside of your rosebud, place that side face down as you begin the project.
- Use a toothpick to give your rolled edges a little more form. If you find that rolling around the toothpick is too hard, try something larger like a pen or pencil.
- Wash your hands and work surface before you begin. You'll have to handle the paper a lot to create the rose, so you want everything to stay clean.
- Alternatively, you can remove the plastic and wire stem from a fabric rose pick and insert it the same way you would the wire. This will give the rose some extra greenery around the base of the flower and some leaves on the stem itself.
Giving Your Rose as a Gift
In Japan, people often give gifts of money in the form of folded paper objects. This tradition makes cash gifts a little more personal, and it also provides the opportunity to express a sentiment through the symbolism of the paper shape. In any culture, a rose is a powerful symbol representing love, compassion, and remembrance.