It is the gift giving holiday season! In Asia it is customary to give money during the New Year season and other festive occasions. In China, money is often placed in a red envelope, as the color red is considered an auspicious color. In Japan, money envelopes were often white with red cord, but today they use a variety of prints and colors. Children will often receive money for New Years and the envelopes have images of the Chinese zodiac or other symbolic prosperity images, such as bamboo and coins.
Our family doesn’t live near our respective families, so during the holiday season sending gifts here and there can start to add up. And as my nieces and nephews have become older, it just gets more difficult to find the appropriate gift. I know giving money is rather boring but it’s also a practical gift. In the U.S., it’s common to put money together with a card, but in Asia we put it in “money” envelopes. It’s not easy to find these small money envelopes where I live, so that’s when I decided to make my own “red envelopes”.
Using different types of paper such as construction paper, washi, origami, wrapping paper or even old calendars can produce really interesting envelopes and fun prints can add character too! I have made a pattern for the envelopes with dimensions in inches for you to make your own envelopes. These can be used for not only paper money but for coins as well. Also, they are cute holders for little notes and reminders and can make a very surprising first impression if you place your business cards in them! What other uses can you think of? Hope you give it a try!
How to Make a Money Envelope.
1. First, cut the paper to size: 5 inches x 4 7/8 inches.
2. Mark all the measurements as shown.
3. More detailed measurements. Then, cut out shape as seen below.
4. Fold side A toward the center of the envelope. Place glue on the edge of side B and fold over.
5. Add glue to the bottom flap and fold over.
Now you have made your own, original money envelope! My creations in the above photo include colorful Japanese origami and construction paper.