September 11, 2005
How to make a money rose
This past June, my mom wanted to buy me some flowers for my graduation but the catch was that I had to choose my own bouquet. I looked around both on and offline, but I couldn't really find anything that I wanted to carry around on my graduation day. I thought briefly about taking the easy way out and ordering an orchid lei from Hawaii so that my hands would be free, but those cost about $75 to ship to Canada overnight by FedEx. I couldn't justify spending that much on something that would be thrown away in less than a week.
I never really liked flowers, especially cut flowers. They seem so pointless; so expensive, yet so temporal. So in my tradition of making fashion statements, I made a bouquet out of Canadian $5, $10 and $50 bills. This bouquet may cost many times more than a fresh bouquet (depending on the denominations of the bills you use) but it will last forever. If you ever grow tired of it, you can even disassemble it and spend it on something more practical.
Adapted from Dollar Bill Rose by Susan from Craft at Home, here are my refined step-by-step instructions on how to make a long stemmed rose out of money.
- 1 silk flower with removable leaves and plastic calyx (circle of leaves beneath petals)
- 1 metre of floral tape
- 2 floral stem wires about 50 cm long (one should be 18 or 20 gauge, the other should be 22 or 24 gauge)
- 1 pair of longnose pliers
- 1 pair of linesman pliers (or anything rigid with a small flat surface)
- 5 crisp bills (the newer the better) Not shown:
- anything adhesive (glue, tape)
- any flat, rigid surface (pile of magazines on a table, cutting board)
2. Preparing the petals
3. Assembling the petals
4. Adding the finishing touches
|Q: Is it illegal to mutilate money?
A: The Bank of Canada states that "A bank note is mutilated when its condition requires special examination to determine its value..." Furthermore, there is a law which states that it is illegal to mutilate coins in such a way that it becomes unrecognizable. Some say the same law can be applied to bank notes, but you may read the Bank of Canada's stance here.
For US currency, it is illegal to mutilate, deface or otherwise alter currency for fraudulent purposes. Furthermore, it is illegal to mutilate currency in a way that renders it unfit to be reissued. For details, see this.
In any case, if you're curious as to what your bills will look like after dismantling the rose, you can see an older bill that I've removed from a rose, to the left. The corners can be completely straightened out. The crease in the centre is most probably going to be permanent. If you're really anal about it, you can probably iron out the other wrinkles in the middle, but I didn't bother... I just smoothed it back out with my hands. In my opinion, it doesn't look too shabby.