DIY / Gift

DIY Lucky “Money” Bamboo

Last week I was late to my posting due to a bachelor party.  This week I am kind of late again.  To make things worse, I am expecting to delay next week’s posting due to my sister’s wedding.  I am looking forward to my sister’s wedding this weekend!

Due to having attendees travel far to attend the wedding, the bride and groom are requesting money in lieu of other wedding gifts.  Hey, it makes it easier on me.  It’s a cheaper alternative than my original gift: a 1-year subscription to a subscription box company.  Giving money is easier and cheaper, but there is something missing… Creativity.

An occasion this special deserves more than money stuck in a card.  So I brainstormed and researched.  I saw a “Break-In-Case-Of-Emergency” idea.  I liked the idea but that was too simple.  I also liked a “Rainy-Day-Umbrella” idea, but then I thought of superstitions.  If something bad were to happen during the wedding, I would feel it was my fault.

Then the idea stuck me.  I shouldn’t give bad luck; I should give good luck!  Money origami in the form of lucky bamboo!  But my luck ended there.  I only found two pictures of previous attempts of other people.  And there were no tutorials anywhere.

It looks I have to attempt to make it myself.  Try this DIY project for your next money gift.

Materials for DIY Bamboo

Gather your materials:

  • Money
  • Two paperclips
  • Pebbles or rocks
  • Small container
  • Ribbon
  • Coins (Optional, not pictured)
  • Pen (Optional, not pictured)

Of course use however much money you plan on giving.  Depending on the size of your container, I recommend using five to seven bills.  There are some alternate steps if you do plan on using more than seven bills.  In addition, having crisper bills can make this project easier.  Trade in old bills at the local bank or iron your damp bills into crispy perfection.  For this project, I did not use crisp bills, but it still turned out decent.

DIY Bamboo Step 2

After acquiring all your materials, the folding begins.  The purpose of the folds is to link the bills together.  The length of the fold and number of bills affects the length of the bamboo stalk.  For five bills, I folded ~2-3 centimeters of the top and bottom on the bill.  I used the designs of the bill to help determine where I would fold.  In my example, I used the “20” icons to determine where I should fold.

Also keep in mind the side you are folding.  I suggest having the greener side of the bill face out from the stalk.  In my example, I used the back of the $20 bill for the outside of the stalk.

DIY Bamboo Step 3

Link them together!  Remember to fold the top to strengthen it.

DIY Bamboo Step 4

Fold over the linked bills in half so the greener side is now in the inside.  That crease is essential to finding the middle of the linked bills.

DIY Bamboo Step 5

While keeping the bills still creased, roll over the greener side of one half to the center crease.  A roll of coins or a pen or pencil can be used to assist in the rolling process.  Use the paperclip to hold the roll into place.  Use one paperclip for the top and the last for the bottom.  Then repeat on the other side.

DIY Bamboo Step 6

Re-clip the top and bottom of the bamboo.  The picture shows the back side of the double stalk bamboo.  You can still see the center crease from the back.  But that’s okay.

Use the pen to fix any abnormalities caused by the rolling step.  Use it to push out any dents in the stalks.

DIY Bamboo Finish

Stick the bamboo in the container and add pebbles or rocks to fill.  I don’t know I you noticed but I changed the ribbon to a more flexible one.  After you make a bow, it is complete!  You finished creating the DIY Lucky “Money” Bamboo.

When giving lucky bamboo as a gift, keep the number of bamboo stalks in mind and the elemental Feng Shui of the bamboo.

The number of bamboo stalks has a meaning.  For a wedding, I felt it was appropriate to give a lucky bamboo with two stalks.  The two stalks represent love.  Unfortunately, this tutorial only covers the DIY process of a basic two stalk bamboo.  Just make multiple two stalk lucky bamboo.  Beware of giving a lucky bamboo plant with four stalks.  In the Chinese and other Asian cultures, the number four represents death and other evils.

The original purpose of the lucky bamboo is to give a strong sense of Feng Shui.  The lucky bamboo should be elementally balanced.  The lucky bamboo should be representative of the five elements: wood, earth, fire, metal, and water.  The bamboo represents wood.  The pebbles or rocks represent earth.  A red container or red ribbon can represent fire.  Coins or a metal container can represent metal.  Lucky bamboos generally come with water, which is representative of itself.  In my example, I don’t know if it is right, but I self-justified the use of a glass jar to represent water.

Do you have your own DIY lucky bamboo money origami tutorial?  I would love to see yours if that’s the case!  Did you switch up my tutorial and added your own sense of art?  I would like to see your personal twist!  Do you have any more insight on the meanings of the different aspects of the lucky bamboo?  I would also like to hear about that!


Vox tua, et de ideis

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