Instructables
Picture of $2 Bill Pad
Amaze your friends, impress your family, confound sales clerks and infuriate wait staff with your very own $2 bill tear-off pad. As you peel bills off the stack, they will have a hard time believing your carefully bound bundle of bills are the real deal. This is not only a classy way to carry around your money, but sure to start conversations wherever you go.

When Babak of TOOOL first told me how to make a $2 bill pad, I just knew that I had to make my own. The idea has stayed in the back of my mind for a long while and when I got some extra cash for the holidays, I knew it was finally the right time. I am sure glad that I did and I highly recommend that you make one for yourself and your loved ones.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Go get stuff

Picture of Go get stuff
To make this, you will need:

- $100 dollars worth of brand new crisp $2 bills. It is easier than you may think to acquire these. Go to the largest bank in your area and simply ask the teller to exchange $100 for 50 crisp new $2 bills. If they don't have them on hand, then they should be able to order them for you. I went to the largest Wells Fargo branch in San Francisco for my $2 bills and the teller didn't even seem to flinch when I made this request.

- Rubber cement

- (x3) 0.08" x 2.61" x 6.19" chipboards

- 2 to 3 quick release clamps

Step 2: Bundle the bills

Picture of Bundle the bills
Bundle the two dollar bills with with one of the pieces of cardboard on the bottom. The obverse side of the bill should be facing upward.

In case you didn't know, the obverse side is the one with the portrait on it. In this case of the $2 bill, the obverse side has a portrait of Thomas Jefferson.

Step 3: Clamp

Picture of Clamp
3B.jpg
Make sure the bills and the cardboard are all evenly lined up and then sandwich them between two more pieces of cardboard such that the top edge of the stack of bills sticks out a little.

The two pieces of cardboard function to protect your notepad from damage while being clamped. It is important they let the top of the bundle stick out a little, as this will be the pad's spine and you don't want to accidentally make the protective cardboard part of the pad.

Clamp the stack firmly in place, as close to the top of the protective cardboard as possible. I clamped both ends and then found that the middle was not being held tight enough for my liking. So, I placed a clamp in the middle as well. The goal should be to keep what will be the spine of your pad compressed as tightly as possible along its length so that the rubber coats the edge and does not seep between the bills.

Step 4: Glue the spine

Picture of Glue the spine
5B.jpg
Apply a thin coat of rubber cement to the spine. Wait a few minutes and apply another thing coat.

Repeat doing this until there is a thick coat along the spine. I lost count of how many coats I put on, but it was probably around 10.

In retrospect, I would probably have liked to have made it even thicker still. The more coats you put on, the sturdier the spine will be and ultimately you are going to want to have a nice sturdy spine.

Step 5: Release

Picture of Release
4A.jpg
Give the rubber cement an hour or two to start to really settle and then release it from the clamp.

Carefully peel away the protective cardboard.

Also, you will probably need to clean rubber cement off of the top bill on the stack. Rather than spending a lot of time fussing with this and risk damaging the spine, I peeled this bill off and then quickly rubbed it clean.

If all went well, you should now have a pad of $2 bills which can be exchanged for goods and services. Go forth into the world and spend - darn you - spend!
1-40 of 219Next »
ccrome3 years ago
Awesome. I made one this weekend. Love it.
randofo (author)  ccrome3 years ago
Very cool! Post a picture please :-)
ccrome randofo3 years ago
Alright, made another one last night. I decided to bind it on the short edge rather than the long edge. It works just dandy that way too.

I did make one mod to this instructable, which is to add a paper decoration to the back, and to use that paper decoration as an extra binding on the edge. This should give some extra strength to the whole thing, but as the bills are used, the excess glue won't rub off. That a definite drawback to using a paper binding -- the original may be better in that regard. I'll see how it goes as I use up my $2 bills. I cut the paper to the height of the bill, but a little longer, then folded the excess across the binding, then trimmed with a sharp knife.

IMG_2838.JPGIMG_2836.JPGIMG_2848.JPG

I made this with my grandpa. it is AWESOME! this is an amazing instructable!!!!!!!

BBFNN3 years ago
i wish i could have a 2 dollar bill but in Puerto Rico it ain't so easy to find them...
none of the banks in my area have/will order them...
cecilomar BBFNN7 months ago
I know this is an old comment but, I'm sure they have 2 dollar bills either in Banco Popular in Parada 22 in Santurce or in the Banco Popular at Old San Juan... Did you try at your local bank?
marxdarx BBFNN2 years ago
I'm sure you could use an any paper currency. I used to live in the Philippines. It would sure be cheaper to use my wages in America to buy 50 20 peso bills :)
adillbeck7 months ago
I heard about this idea a few years back... I think it was a story about Woz doing it.

The other one I've heard where you can mess with peoples heads while paying them money is to buy sheets of uncut bills.
When it's time to pay, you pull out the sheet and a pair of scissors and cut the number of bills out that you need. I just don't know if you would want to do this if you were in a hurry to pay and leave the restaurant...
Mihsin1 year ago
Great! how do I get those bills in Beirut?
Excellent idea, I will do it with Lebanese money. It'll be even nicer if you can get silver certificate $ bills.
Best regards
even cooler if you can get them in sequential order
This IS a great idea! if I have time I'm going to make some. I already have $200 worth in sequential order.
I love spending $2 bills and $1 coins. (Susan B or Sacagawea dollars)
I totally baffled a kid at Burger King one day. Gave him a $2 bill & a $1 coin. He called to manager to find out what to do with the $2 bill. After he figured it out, he called the manager back to find out what to do with the $1 coin! I wasn't sure if it was sad of funny.. LOL
That's... disappointing.
Rlangg skylane3 years ago
Your Burger King kid reminds me of the valet parkers who can't drive my manual tranmission car. It's so funny.
Well, that reminds me of the guy who saw me pull right up to his store as he washed the glass door, watched me get out of the driver's side, got my service dog out of the back seat, and when I entered his store he asked, "You're not COMPLETELY blind, are you?"

Yeah, you idiot. My dog drives from the back seat and I just sit in front so we don't draw a lot of attention to ourselves. (For those who don't know, a service dog is for multiple kinds of disabilities, but is NOT a guide dog. I'm thinking of making a T-shirt that says, "I don't look disabled? Well, you don't look stupid."
1 - Olivia giving raspberries 300dpi.jpg
Dreamweaverabc, if you make that shirt, I would totally buy it. ...Even though I'm not disabled. I love your dog, by the way :)
qlue Rlangg3 years ago
Automatics are so scarce here I South Africa that many South Africans don't even know they exist! :p.
(we also don't have 'valet' parking. Unless you count the guy with the AK in your face!)
enginepaul qlue2 years ago
Now, that's FUNNY. Unfortunately true, but funny.
ok.... ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! A FREAKIN AK-47!!!
Ok um... sorry but has tht ever happened to you?.... (thinks ill never go to africa EVER!!!)
lol Hijackings are common in most areas! High levels of unemployment combined with not enough policing is a bad combination! :(
Fortunately, I don't have any personal experience with this but I have many relatives who have been victims! :(
it may be funny to you now but I bet it will stop being funny when you have to replace the transmission
I worked at a Burger King last year and had to ask what to do with odd currencies. (for me) it wasn't so much doubting their legality as it was "what slot of the register do you want these in". For humanity's sake I hope his was a similar dilemma...
It is likely if you order a full banded stack of brand new bills that they will be sequential.
I might keep the bottom cardboard glued to the spine for extra notepad look-and-feel and to keep the bills crisp longer.
It's funny...and sad. They don't even know how to count back change any more. If they don't have a computer screen telling them the amount to hand back in a wad, they're lost. :-/


You have never worked retail. It is such a boring, soul crushing experience, that if you don't shut your brain off and zone out you will probably shoot up the place.

IT is so much better, my nice safe cave....
I've worked retail, and yes, it was boring. So to keep myself interested and entertained, I taught myself to count back change quickly without the aid of the register, and to keypunch using the keypad. Instead of becoming a brain-dead zombie, I became quicker and more efficient, developing skills I still use today, including when I teach students to count back change.
Good for you,but I doubt the 16-year-olds that work at my local McDonalds are very keen on challenging themselves.
Yeah, that's how old I was when I started doing what I said above (at McDonald's, no less). :-) Best not to prejudge; you never know!
There was this... A LAZY SLOB at the bowling ally today (an employe mind you)
we had our service light on for 1 and 1/2 hours and he , and the other employes ignored it. Someone in my group went up 5 min after i put the light on because of the stuck ball nobody came, because nobodys' haves brains (It's a long story don't ask) In the bowling ally that would take time to get our ball.
I'm fairly certain it's not fair to blame anyone about something they may never have been taught or may never have experienced a cashier counting back change. In today's hurry up world many will be irritated with a return to change being counted back. These days I notice the shelf above the cash drawer is almost always can't be used for what I was taught to do. I was taught to place the money on on that shelf, so if a customer tries to claim they gave you a larger bill than they did, you can show them what they gave you.
Rlangg skylane3 years ago
I'm teaching my daughter how to use a payphone, just in case.
while your at it, teach her how to drive a manual. its more likely she'll run into one of those than a payphone (though i actually have used one recently)
Sad. Definitely sad.
I loved the PO stamp machines for Susan B/ Sacagawea dollars. Put in a $20, buy one stamp, walk around like a pirate with your loot, plus the satisfaction of the slot-machine win sound without the horrible slot-machine induced debt.
Drevious321 year ago
You should consider using padding compound instead of rubber cement, it is a little cleaner and less toxic.
raf702 years ago
2$ bills ARE easy to get in SF, as opposed to anywhere else, why?

so-- i was in san fran a few years ago and asked the teller at a major bank for 2$ bills. she said how many do you want? i said how many do you have. she glared at me and said how many do you want?! so i was like 100$? and she grabbed what must have been 1000$ and put them in a counting machine and gave me my measly 100$ in 2$ bills. i commented about this to my friend from SF who said, yeah the google guys (brin and whatever his name) apparently want to bring the 2$ bill back and only pay for things, everything, in 2$ bills. i can neither confirm or deny this story.

anyone else hear this story? RA
snadra2 years ago
I love this idea! You'll have easier and faster-drying results with real padding compound instead of rubber cement, though. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005N9J97S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=cnjstore-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005N9J97S
actimm2 years ago
I enjoyed the comments on obscure American Coins, but if you really want to mess with the younger generation, find a bunch of Kennedy 1/2 Dollars. They are really big, about 1 1/2 inches in Diameter. They stopped making them in the 70's around the same time the Susan B Anthony dollar coins came out. I still find them from time to time.
DanYHKim actimm2 years ago
My favorite story about using the Kennedy half is from "Glory Road" by Robert Heinlein. In this book, the hero impresses peasant a kid (on another planet) by gifting him with a "medallion", which was a Kennedy Half, figuring that the coin is the biggest and most garish thing he probably would ever see in his life.
sconner1 actimm2 years ago
I'm pretty sure Kennedy halfs are made right through the 80s but in smaller quantities for circulation. They were still part of proof sets.
I've never seen a Susie B in any year other than 1979.
Post office vending machines used to give them as change until the golden Sacajawea dollar coins took over.
lol, they actually started redistributing them from 1997 to 2005, though, it still screws with those of the younger generations.
1-40 of 219Next »
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!