Sunday, October 16, 2011

Retirement Money Tree

My Uncle recently had a retirement party and I wanted to give him a fun, unique gift that didn't cost me a fortune. Here's what I made:

I was inspired by this money plant idea on Creativity Portal.

Here's what you'll need:
(I got all my items in a trip to the Dollar Tree, the dollars were bought off a nice server at a restaurant nearby.)

1 new clean toilet plunger
1 basket that will fit the toilet plunger
20 crisp dollar bills (give or take, you can change the denominations too)
2 bags of River rocks
rubber bands (not pictured)
decorations for the basket like embellishments, ribbon etc. (optional)
coins (optional)

Place the plunger in the basket.

Cover with 2 bags of river rocks

Then start folding the bills. Start with a dollar bill face down so that the green side is up.

Fold in half with the green side on the inside. Crease and unfold.

Turn the bill over and fold one corner to the center crease line.

Fold again to the center.

Repeat on all four corners.

Turn over and zig zag fold one side like shown. Crease.

You should now have this.

Repeat for all 20 bills. This can be a bit time consuming. You should now have 20 dollar bill leaves.

Wrap the plunger handle with five rubber bands evenly spaced. Wrap the band at the top of the handle and roll down to where you want it.

Slip the unfolded end of the dollar bill leaf into the rubber band as shown.

Place five leaves in the bottom 3 rubber bands each. Then three leaves in the next rubber band and two leaves in the top rubber band.

Stagger the second rung of leaves to be over the gaps in the previous level like in the photo.

The bills are small so I decided, with the help of my kitty there, to slide the leaves to the top to make a tree instead of a plant like in my inspiration.

I decorated the basket by hot gluing a strip of moss roll to the edge. I took a wide roll of wired ribbon and tied a pretty bow. I cut the bow ends into V's and attached it to the pole by looping a rubber band over one bow loop, then around the pole and over the other bow loop.

Then I hot glued on another scrap of moss roll and a sheriff badge (leftover from Charlie's badge's) to honor my Uncle's cowboy nature.


I included a card with a note along the lines of: "May this prosperity tree bring you wealth in your retirement. Feel free to pluck a leaf whenever you need it. When the leaves are all gone, you will find another useful surprise." Then I let him try to figure out what the surprise is. It took him a while to guess a the plunger was fairly disguised but it made for a good laugh when I pushed aside some of the rocks as a hint.

This would be a great gift idea for anytime you want to give the gift of money such as a milestone birthday (1 bill for every year old), a graduation or even a new home which especially appropriate when you use all the dollars on your new home you will have another useful home tool ; ) !

It was a fairly fast project. he bill folding took the most time. I thought it would be fun to make this with those giant dollar bills in the toy section of the dollar store or from costume and party stores.

Of course you can always by the e-book on Creativity Portal for another design. This one also comes with a cute printable for a seed packet to go along with the plant that you can put pennies in.

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