Dec 10, 2010

A week of gifts - Day 5

So, I saved the very best for last. All my other gifts ideas were just little simple things that you could give a teacher or neighbor, nothing too serious.  However, the last gift is by FAR my very most favorite.  This is the gift that when I give it, other people in the room say "I want that!".  It's fun to hear the comments.

Plus, it's better than a gift card as they can spend it anywhere.  And, it's better than just handing them an envelope of money because it shows you put some effort into the gift.  Seriously, it's a win/win for both the giver and the receiver.  So, here it is.....

The Money Tree

Want to make one?  Here's how:

You'll Need:
- A stack of cash - you can make these in any amount.  Use all $1 and make a $10 tree or use $20's, doesn't matter, just use what fits your budget.
- A can or small pot for base - I actually prefer using a pot but I didn't have one

- Floral foam
- Wire
- Wire cutters or scissors you don't mind cutting wire with
- Glue gun
- BBQ sticks or a cinnamon stick - again, I prefer the cinnamon stick but I didn't have one on hand
- Fabric
- Wooden star or make one from cardboard.
- Moss
- Ribbon

What you do:

1- Place floral foam in can (or pot) and insert sticks in place.  Set aside.  (Note:  my bbq sticks were really thin so I put three together to help give it more strength, if you have regular ones you only need one)

2- Cut a long piece of wire, I didn't measure but you'll want it at least 18

3- Center your wire at the base of the sticks and wrap it around them one time.  You want it centered so that the wires are equal on both sides.  (think shoe lace and how you want both laces even when tying them)  

4 - Next, you need to fold the money.  This is pretty easy, just accordion fold each bill like shown below.


5- Now, starting at the base, attach one bill to the base of the sticks.  The easiest way to do this is to wrap the wires so that they form an X over the front of the bill like shown below.  Then, wrap the wires behind the sticks and bring them around to the front so that they are ready for the next bill.

6-  From here we just keep adding more bills.  However, you want them to taper to look like a tree so with each new bill you need to make a small fold like shown below before attaching to the stick.

7- Keep repeating this process making each fold a little bigger so the bill is smaller.  Repeat until you have all the money attached to the stick.

8- Next you need to cover the can.  If you are using a small pot, you can skip this step, otherwise just wrap fabric around it and glue in place.

9-  Now we decorate.  Add a little moss and a small ribbon to the base like shown below.

10-  Then add the star to the top

And there you have it - you're very own money tree that is ready to give away!


Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


Vanessa said...

Very, very cute! And I'm sure anyone would love to receive it!


Funky Junk Interiors said...

Oh goodness... that's such an awesome idea! So adorable!


Jennifer DeDonato said...

totally awesome...what a neat idea.

TracyMB @ Crow's Feet Chic said...

So very cool! Hmmm.... my tree won't be green when I use our colourful Canadian bucks. Must try it anyway!

Miss Sandy said...

This is such and awesome idea! I have a couple of cash gifts I am giving this year and I want to give your idea a try! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas!

Jane said...

This is one of the cutest gift ideas. I love it! Thanks for the tutorial...I'm definitely going to make some of these.
Visiting from Funky Junk Interiors.

b.zinter said...

I'm your newest follower.

We give our DD a check for her birthday and for Christmas with instructions to use it for clothing, school, etc. (otherwise she would put it in her savings account). This money tree is S.O. creative, I'm going to try it this year for her using real money.

I also printed off your "make your own wrapping" paper and I did make your ghosts this year. Our DD is in school and I send her care packages to inject some fun in her life. Anyway, I cut styrofoam from an Oklahoma Steak packing container and wrapped it like you did. Did I say I need light-weight items.

Anyway, thanks for the ideas and tutes!!!

Audrey @ Sweet Cheeks said...

I am IN-LOVE with this idea! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Love it! Wish I would have seen these before shopping for all the teens on my list, ah there's always next year...

Stop by and visit sometime at Free 2 Be Frugal.

GretchenP said...

i love this!! and the ribbon mats! i'm newly obsessed with ribbon wreaths and what a great way to use up some of my extra! holiday ribbons are so fun! new follower! keep up the good work!! :)

C.R.A.F.T. said...

what a great way to make giving money cute! come on over and link up to MMM :)

Stef said...

Clever!! This is such a fun way to give some cash! I can hear my teens now... "See Mom, Money does grow on Tree's" lol

Audrey @ Sweet Cheeks said...

Thanks again for sharing this idea! I made a couple Money Trees using your tutorial to give this holiday season! Would love for you to check them out!!/photo.php?fbid=172303299469463&set=a.129396767093450.13496.129394787093648

Cassie said...

This is the cutest thing ever! And who wouldn't want one? You amaze me.

Jaci said...

Fun idea. Thanks.

Kathleen said...

Cute and Clever... and not so difficult! yeah!

Morgan said...

A cinnamon stick would be cute but are they long enough?

Amy Papale said...

So Clever!!!! I was planning on giving money to my nephew for Christmas and was looking for a way to "dress" it up. This is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing.

sweetside said...

What a awesome idea. Hope you added this to pinterest already! This is exactly what i will be giving my almost 20 year old.

emily said...

This was the perfect gift for in-laws and TEACHERS!!! I made some for my kids' teachers. Instead of cloth, I had them draw a picture on paper and then we taped that to the can. Because I wasn't there to "explain" the gift that my child handed them...I made up a poem, put the tree in a cellophane wrap (so it could be seen without unwrapping) and attached this poem.

Money Tree by Emily Baldwin
We wondered what to get you, to put underneath your tree.
A gift card was an option, but not as crafty, you see.
We decided on a money tree, from Lydia to you.
A decoration before Christmas, but it's useful too.
We thought of you as we folded each bill and put it in its place.
We hope you enjoy spending it and it put's a smile on your face.
We thank you for being a teacher and hope you've enjoyed this rhyme.
We appreciate you very much this Holiday and Christmas time.

The teachers loved it!! Feel free to use the poem. Merry Christmas, crafty people!

Anonymous said...

This project rocks! I just wanted to let you know that I featured both versions of your money tree this week on "You Sew Rock Me Fridays" on my blog Here's the link if you want to check it out:

Great job, I can't wait to see what else you come up with!


Micaella said...

Thanks for the idea! I decided to do one in $1 and $2!
Thanks again!!

pakistan gifts said...

I like this gift idea and very awesome site ,informative.

pakistan gifts said...

Such a awesome post i like to share with my friend.

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

This is a great idea. I love it. I am featuring this at

jan said...

You are an amazing crafter! I love all your ideas! I will do this one for my grown children next year! I would love to see you create an idea with gift cards.

Kathleen said...

This is the perfect Christmas present for anyone of any age. It's personal and thoughtful. I madeone for my aunt, who is 70, and this will be so much better than a pair of slippers.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVED this! I needed a creative way to give some gift cards to a teenager, so I used $1 bills, wrapped the trunk with fabric from his favorite sports team, and tied the gift tags around the trunk with bows. Thankyou!!!

Eric Teske said...

Great walkthrough and very easy to understand with the photos at each step. I really like this idea, especially since it looks like kind of a pain in the butt to get the money - not in a bad way, kinda like a gag gift to the person as well, like they have to work for it. I made a money tree for my father-in-law cuz he always complains about spending money and used pins to hold the money on, and it was kinda funny thinking about him un-pinning each one. Anyway, thanks for the ideas!