This started out as a project to make wallpaper out of different paper currencies from all over the world. Part-way through, however, I decided to frame the money instead so I could take it with me if/when I decide to move.
Part of this project was tedious but in the end I had a lot of fun. I used money from all over the world and different eras and I learned a lot about history and currency. I bought money from a country I didn't know existed (Transnistria). It makes a nice conversation piece. :)
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Step 1: Get Your Money and Materials
I bought all of my money on ebay and chose currencies for their historical value or just because they looked cool. I bought pairs of banknotes from the worst cases of hyperinflation in the last 100 years (Weimar Germany, 1990's Yugoslavia, 1946 Hungary, and Zimbabwe). My wall of 4'X8' required about 300 different bills. About a third of the bills are from Yugoslavia which are cheap because they printed so many when they experienced hyperinflation. I used those mostly as background filler and to test.
I bought some white wallpaper and wallpaper paste and planned on pasting the money to the wallpaper and then pasting it to the wall. However, upon experimentation the paste caused the paper banknotes to curl and deform. So I went to Plan B which was to use paper glue and glue stick. The Zip Dry glue worked great.
For the frame I bought a lot of nice 2" x 0.25" lattice strips and some wood glue. For the corners I used L brackets.
Step 2: Start Gluing
Lay your wallpaper out flat on a table and start gluing. To get the size I wanted I glued two pieces of the wallpaper together. I wanted the bills arranged in a haphazard layout so I started by randomly gluing the "background" notes. Then I began to fill in with more notes until the backing wallpaper was covered. Save your favorite bills for last.
This was tedious and took me a long time. I first coated the edges and corners on the back side of the note using the glue stick. Then I traced near the edge with the paper glue and filled the inside with a squiggle of more paper glue. Lastly I pressed the bill to the backing wallpaper (or on top of other bills) and used a rag to wipe out any of the paper glue that leaked out. The glue stick held the corners down and the paper glue did the rest.
Step 3: Make the Frame
At this point you can paste your wallpaper to the wall but I decided to frame it. I created a wooden frame that was a little smaller than the dimensions of my wallpaper so that the edges of the wallpaper would wrap around the edges and could be tacked on in the back.
I laminated strips of lattice together for the frame and the corners were held together by L-brackets. T-brackets were used for the cross braces. I glued one side of the frame and pressed it down on the back of the wallpaper. Chairs were used to hold it down while the glue dried.
I nailed steel thumbtacks around the edge on the back of the frame to help secure the paper, along with more glue.
Step 4: Hang It Up
I screwed in some D-ring hooks to the back of the frame and strung some cable through them. Eye hooks are screwed in above the door frames. I used aluminum cable sleeves and S-hooks to fasten the cable to the eye hooks.