Introduction: $2 Bill Pad

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

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.

Step 1: 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 or padding compound

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

- 2 to 3 quick release clamps

(Please note that some of the links on this page contain Amazon affiliate links. This does not change the price of any of the items for sale. However, I earn a small commission if you click on any of those links and buy anything. I reinvest this money into materials and tools for future projects. If you would like an alternate suggestion for a supplier of any of the parts, please let me know.)

Step 2: 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

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

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

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!

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