DIY Tutorial: Unique Money Origami Cards For Travelers

Written by: Lara
Last update:
Two DIY money origami for travelers
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If you are looking for a unique and super simple way to give money to a traveler, this is the perfect tutorial for you! Today I will share two creative money origami ideas for travelers. And the best part? These origami cards are extremely easy to make.

I mean, even I could make them. And I am your least crafty person. If there’s one thing I am not good at, it’s designing things. But even I managed to make two really cool travel-themed money origami cards (if I can say so myself).

And because I am not really great at these DIY projects myself, I guarantee that your card will look even better! (And if you think mine doesn’t look that pretty, it’s nice to know that yours will probably be better anyway).

So what are we making today?

Two DIY money origami for travelers
The goal

Generally speaking, giving money is not the most exciting gift to give or receive. This is kind of sad because money is actually one of the most practical gifts, especially for travelers. Because boy, traveling is an expensive hobby.

So I am one hundred percent sure travelers will appreciate money gifts (either through cash or gift cards). But if you want to make a money gift a bit more exciting, check out these two DIY money origami gifts for travelers; a card with a suitcase and a card with an airplane.

Of course, you could also use both origamis on the same card. It’s all up to you.

Basically, the process of making these cards is the same. The only difference is how you fold the money into a suitcase or onto an airplane. So I’ve only made one tutorial here and described how to make the suitcase and airplane separately.

Save these origami money gifts for travelers

Do you like money origami crafts? Save this post on Pinterest for the next gifting occasion!

DIY money gift for travelers

How to make travel-themed money origami cards?

What do you need?

For the card

  • Cardboard or an empty greeting card (my cardboard was 5 by 7 inches or 12.7 by 17.8 cm)
  • Colorful paper about 4-8 inches larger than your cardboard (only if you use cardboard instead of an empty greeting card)
  • Double-sided adhesive tape (or regular transparent sticky tape)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Anything for decoration (colorful pens, glitter, stickers, other prints)
What you need

For the suitcase money origami

  • 1 or 2 bills, if you use a large matchbox you need 2 bills (could be dollars, euros, or any other currency
  • Matchbox (empty, because you won’t get it back)
  • 2 paper strips of 4,7 by 0,3 inches (12 by 0,75 cm)
  • 1 paper strip of 3 by 0,3 inches ( 7.6 by 0,75 cm)
  • Transparent sticky tape
A hand holding an origami suitcase made from euro bills
Origami suitcase

For the airplane money origami

  • 1 bill (any currency works)
A hand holding an origami airplane made from Euro bills
Airplane origami

Quick instructions for the travel-themed money origami cards

If you’re in a hurry and you don’t feel like reading everything, here are the quick and easy instructions to make your money origami gift right away.

  1. Get a greeting card or cardboard
  2. Fold the money origami (check out the instructions videos in the detailed Step 2)
  3. Decorate your card
  4. Stick the origami to the card
  5. Make a cardholder.
  6. Wrap it up and you’re finished
Instructions for DIY money gifts for travelers
Quick instructions

Step 1: Make the base for your card

In the examples, I used cardboard as the base of my card. On the cardboard, I glued a colorful piece of paper because it looks prettier than the brown cardboard color. Plus sticky tape sticks better to paper than cardboard.

Alternatively, you could also just use paper and fold it, to make it look like a regular greeting card. You can write something on the inside and decorate the outside with origami.

It doesn’t matter which base you choose. I would just go with whatever you have available at home. The size doesn’t matter either. It depends on how much you want to write on the front, or how many origamis you want to add.

The suitcase and airplane are about 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide and 2 inches (5 cm) high. To give you an idea of how much space you need.

My cardboard was about 5 by 7 inches or 12.7 by 17.8 cm (regular greeting card size).

The backside of my cardboard

Step 2: Fold the money origami

Suitcase origami

Origami suitcase from money
Suitcase origami

First, gather all the things you need, as I listed above.

Make sure you’ve precut the 3 paper strips. It doesn’t really matter if they’re too long, because you can cut them to the right size when you’re making the suitcase. But do make sure they’re all the same width, this will make the suitcase look better.

Next, pre-cut pieces of tape because this will make it easier as you’re folding the suitcase. You will need about 9 small pieces (about 1 inch or 2,5 cm) of transparent tape for the entire suitcase.

Once you’re finished with the preparations, follow the steps of the tutorial below.

I used a Dutch tutorial myself (which is why the sizes I recommend differ slightly), but this one is easy to follow as well.

Airplane money origami

Airplane origami from money
Airplane origami

I used the tutorial below for my airplane and I thought it was super easy. The airplane you see in the photo was my first attempt. The video is also only a few minutes and I only needed to pause and replay it two times to make sure I got the folding right.

Though if you consider yourself a pro or you just like a challenge, there are plenty of advanced airplane money origami videos on YouTube.

I made the airplane money origami for a friend another time, but the airplane would kind of fall apart. I used a small bobby pin which I stuck in the middle of the airplane and it worked perfectly!

Step 3: Design the front of your card

Greeting card for travelers
Front side of the card

Now, I am not the most creative person out here. I mean. Have you checked out my handwriting? It’s as if a 9-year-old wrote this card.

And that’s my neat handwriting!

So I am 100% sure that the front of your card will look way better than mine.

You can get completely creative here and use glitters, colorful pens, stickers, ribbons, and whatnot to make the front of your card stand out. Whether it’s for a birthday, Christmas, graduation, or goodbye, you can just design this card for any occasion.

But for those of you with handwriting like min, I decided to create something nicer. I didn’t use it myself because I was in Turkey without a printer at hand when I made this gift, but I think it’s a great addition to your origami gift! Download here.

Step 4: Stick the origami to the card

If you have double-sided adhesive tape, perfect! You just need to cut a piece and place the airplane or suitcase where you want to see it on your card.

If you don’t have double-sided sticky tape, no problem.

Just take a longer piece of regular sticky tape, wrap it around one or two fingers with the none-sticky side to your skin, and make a circle until the tape sticks to itself.

Check out the photo below if my explanation is not helpful.

hand holding sticky tape
Circle of sticky tape

Step 5: Make a cardholder

If you want your travel-themed money origami card to stand straight (as in my photo), you can add a simple cardholder.

I used a carton cardholder because I had already made it for another project, but you can also make one from paper. I think the paper cardholder is prettier because you can use a colorful piece of paper instead of the brown carton. But both will work and I’ve explained how to make them below.


  1. Get a piece of carton that is at least half the height of your card and about three-fourths of its width.
  2. Fold it in half (on the long side)
  3. While it’s still folded together, cut something like the below shape out. (It doesn’t have to be exact, it’s only the card holder).
This is the shape you want


You will need a square piece of paper that’s at least twice the size of the bottom of your card.

E.g. If you’re using a card in portrait orientation and it measures 5 by 7 inches, the paper for the holder needs to be 10 by 10 inches.

If you want to place it in landscape orientation, you will need 14 by 14 inches.

I think a colorful piece of paper is the most beautiful, but plain white works too. Remember, this is just the holder, it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Now that you have the right size paper, follow these instructions in the video below and ignore the part about the size, because we need a bigger one than the one in the tutorial. 

Step 6: Finished

That’s it, this is your homemade travel-themed money origami card. You can wrap it up nicely in a cellophane or an envelope. However, make sure the suitcase or airplane stays on if you do that.

And enjoy giving this awesome money gift to a traveler.

Two DIY money origami for travelers

More money ideas

Did this tutorial inspire you to give your money and gift card in more creative ways? Then you’re in good luck because we’ve got plenty of fun option for you!

Save these money origami gifts for travelers

Did you like this money origami idea? Then make sure to save the steps on Pinterest for the next time!

DIY money gift for travelers

Final note on DIY travel-themed money origami card

Alright, I hope you felt inspired by this tutorial and it helped you to create a beautiful money gift for a traveler! If you want, you can share your final design with me through my contact page, I love seeing my reader’s projects!


Hi, I’m Lara, a 30-year-old travel-lover (but who’s not these days?). I love reading, puzzling, world-heritage sites, researching, and making lists, which comes in quite handy when you’re making lists of travel gift ideas!