When I was young I loved board games, and Monopoly was one of my favorites. This upcycled monopoly money Christmas tree is a great way to create something that’s full of childhood memories, but it’s also fun and funky.
This is one of those projects that almost didn’t happen.
I was sure I had several styrofoam cones in my stash. I was so sure that I didn’t even check at the beginning of Christmas crafting season. And then when I went to start this project, lo and behold, I had none. What??? Oh oh.
So each time we went to a different town to go grocery shopping I would pop into the dollar store to see if I could find any. Three weeks and three towns down and no cones. I had all but given up hope for this project, and was ready to shelve it for next year.
But then last week we went grocery shopping in another town and, miraculously, that town’s dollar store had quite a few cones and even in three different sizes. Whew!
I got three in each size to replenish my stash, making sure to leave some for others who were maybe in the same boat as me.
I couldn’t possibly be the only one this happens too, could I?
How to create a Monopoly Money Christmas tree
Lately I’ve been finding Monopoly games at thrift stores for a dollar or two. A few weeks ago I shared these rosette ornaments made with different denominations of Monopoly money. For this project I’m using some of the green twenty dollar bills. You could certainly use whatever bills you like; even mix the colors up if you want to. With projects like this anything goes.
I should note that I have one Monopoly game that I’ve had for years that I save for when we want to play. I’m only crafting with games that I find in thrift stores.
I honestly had no idea if this project was actually going to work, but I decided to go ahead with it anyway. I had a vision in my mind, but sometimes the finished reality doesn’t match the in-my-brain vision.
But you don’t know if you don’t try, and I didn’t want to have a monopoly on this project idea, so I just went for it so I could share it with you.
Supplies needed for Upcycled Monopoly Money Christmas Tree
- Monopoly money
- 12″ styrofoam cone
- Elmer’s glue stick
- hot glue gun
- hot glue sticks
- small tart tin
- white glue or Mod Podge
- vintage metal light reflector
- Monopoly houses and top hat piece
- mini bulb garland
To create this tree you’re basically going to make lots of folded over pieces like this. I used an Elmer’s glue stick to adhere the ends together, and I clipped them if they needed it until the glue was dry… which doesn’t take very long.
It’s important not to make too many of these at a time because as you go up the cone you’ll need to make the bills narrower. And you don’t know when that will be needed until you get there. You’ll see what I mean as you read further.
Gluing a tart tin to bottom on cone
To make sure the bottom edge wasn’t seen, I hot glued a small tart tin to the bottom of the cone to act like a trunk and raise my tree up.
Gluing Monopoly money onto styrofoam cone
Then I just started hot gluing the bills on to the cone, making sure to overlap the open areas so the cone isn’t seen.
Here’s two tiers done.
As I went higher, this photo is seven tiers, I had to cut slits into the glued ends of the bills so they would fit around the cone better.
Cutting slits into ends of Monopoly money
Like this. After three tiers I cut three slits, and after six tiers I cut five slits. When you have to do this is really just a judgement call.
As I got even higher, this is ten tiers, I had to start cutting the bills narrower, as well as continuing to add slits to the glued ends.
TIP: I marked the front of my tree with an F at the very top. This was so I always remembered to keep the front looking nice and even. There were several tiers where I had to cut a narrower piece to complete that tier. That would have looked weird on the front, but who cares if it’s at the back.
After fourteen tiers I was almost at the top. For tiers fourteen and the very top one I cut the bills shorter as well as narrower.
And here are all fifteen tiers. The green is a twenty dollar bill and I chose to show the zero on the bills, but the two would have been cool too. You can see on the left hand side that I totally didn’t realize that I put one on backwards and the two is showing instead of the zero. I thought about ripping it out and replacing it, but then I thought it made my tree a little quirky so I decided to leave it as is.
Perfection is highly over rated, and little things like this make me chuckle. And it’s also fun to see if anyone else notices. lol. Honestly usually no one notices little booboos like this.
Creating tree topper for Upcycled Monopoly money tree
I wanted to make a fun tree topper so I grabbed my favorite Monopoly playing piece, the top hat, and covered it with Mod Podge. The easiest way I found to do this was to stick the top hat on my pinky finger.
I covered the hat with silver glitter. Then I did the same with six Monopoly houses; covering them with green glitter.
And yes, I did the glittering while the pieces were sitting on my pinky finger. I was careful not to pour too much glitter and I had a piece of paper below to catch the excess.
So the tree topper had something to hold it in place, I created a cone shape from a bill and glued it on to the top of the tree.
Adding tree topper to Monopoly money tree
And then I simply glued the tree topper onto that. My tree topper is a vintage metal light reflector onto which I’ve glued my silver glitter top hat and the six green glitter houses.
And here’s what for a few days I thought was my finished tree, but I kept thinking about what more I could do to make it more festive and more me. You could certainly leave it like this, but I needed a little more color and sparkle.
So I grabbed another top hat piece from another game and gave it a red glitter treatment. Luckily I was able to easily pull off the silver hat with a pair of pliers, and I just glued the red one in its place.
I found a mini plastic bulb garland in my stash and I wound it around and around and around. I glued it at the beginning and the end, and in a couple of places along the way to keep it in place.
And here’s my finished upcycled Monopoly money Christmas tree posing with my DIY felt poinsettia wreath. Wreaths are not just for doors and walls. They can be displayed anywhere.
My finished tree is about 15″ tall, including the tree topper, and I used 83 twenty dollar bills. The styrofoam cone cost me $2, so I figure this project cost me about $3.
I’m super happy with how my tree turned out. It’s so much better than I envisioned it before I started. I honestly had no idea what I was going to do as a tree topper, and I think the star turned out to be really fun and funky. And, for me, the garland gives my upcycled Monopoly money tree that extra Christmassy feel.
Creating projects like this one is one of my favorite things to do, and you can find more upcycled Christmas tree projects here.
I hope this project has inspired you.
It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.
Thanks so much for reading and until next time,