How to Make Prop Money

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Prop money is essential for plays and films where the characters hold and use money, particularly if the plot is focused around a large sum of money and because using real money is simply impractical. Prop money, when held close up, often appear glaringly fake because it is illegal to color-copy money. Thus, prop money is often black and white and slightly smaller or larger than standard bills. Federal laws prohibit copying bills of standard size.

Things You'll Need

  • Money
  • Copy machine
  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Light adhesive
  • Decide how much prop money you need to create. Put real bills face down on a black and white printer. Bear in mind that it is illegal to make a color photocopy of U.S. notes.

  • Change the ratio. In order to xerox money legally, it has to be either 150% larger than the standard bill size or 75% smaller. Decide if you want your prop money to be slightly larger or smaller and then print the bills.

  • Flip the bills over and copy the reverse sides, if necessary. This may not be necessary in a performance where the audience will see only one side of the money.

  • Cut out the bills using a paper cutter or very sharp scissors. Match each side of each bill together and hold them in place with a light adhesive glue.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have real money available to copy, you can go to the "Money Instructor" website (http://www.moneyinstructor.com/play.asp). There, you can download printable fake money, which is slightly smaller than real cash. This money will be fine for plays, but won't work for close-ups in film, as it has "moneyinstructor.com" printed in a small font on each bill.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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