Paper to money magic trick explained: Step by step tutorial

This awesome magic trick allows you to turn a piece of paper into money! I’ll explain in detail how the trick is done and show you an in-depth tutorial on how you can do the illusion yourself.

How does this magic trick work?

To turn paper into money, you have to glue a piece of paper and a dollar bill together. By unfolding them in a specific way, it looks like the paper turned into money.

This is an amazing trick that requires some preparation and practice, but once you know how it’s done, it’s a magnificent illusion to perform!

You can find more magic tricks using only paper in this post right here.

Let’s dive in.

How to make money out of paper: Stey by step explained

For this trick, we’ll be using a technique you can watch in this video by the “Masked Magician”. He performs the trick slightly differently, but the method stays the same.

Instead of the 50$ bill in the video, you can just use a piece of paper and do the same moves.

Here’s the video:


I would highly recommend you to watch it because it’s way easier to understand how this trick is done if you’ve seen it once.

By the way, if you are looking for another (easier) magic trick that uses paper and money as well, you can check this illusion using only a pen and a dollar bill.

Let’s get started with the required preparation now.

The preparation and required materials for the trick

Before the trick, you need to cut a piece of paper that is the same size as the bill. You should make sure that the paper is not too thick, but at the same time opaque. Conventional printer paper usually works well for this trick.

The materials required:

  • A bill
  • A pice of paper
  • Sciccors
  • Glue or transparent tape

Preparing and folding the paper

To get a piece of paper in the right size, you can either transfer the dimensions of the banknote to the paper or draw a rectangle and cut it out.

Before you continue, you should check that the dimensions of the paper match the size of the banknote. Try to be as accurate as possible when doing this!

The paper must be folded in a certain way, to make sure that it unfolds properly during the performance.

Also, you should fold all the edges as accurately as possible, so take your time!

  • The paper is horizontal in front of you.
  • You fold the paper vertically in the middle, the right half comes onto the left half (the paper should be a square now).
  • You fold the paper again, vertically in the middle, and put the right half again onto the left.
  • Now, fold the paper horizontally in the middle, fold the upper half on top of the lower half.

Folding the bill

The banknote must also be folded before the trick. Again, make sure the edges are as clean as possible and take your time when preparing the bill.

Here’s what to do:

  • The bill is horizontal in front of you.
  • You fold the bill vertically in the middle, the right half comes onto the left (the bill should be about square now).
  • You fold the bill again, vertically in the middle, and put the right half again onto the left.
  • Now, fold the bill horizontally in the middle, and fold the lower half upwards, behind the upper half.

Glueing the paper onto the banknote

Now, you can glue the paper onto the banknote. It’s best to use scotch tape or double-sided tape, so the bill doesn’t get damaged.

Fold both the paper and the bill completely, so they are 1/8 of their actual size. Now, you have to glue them together, but before you do that, make sure that you can unfold them correctly! It might take some time until you get this right, but just keep trying!

You can watch the video above to get an idea of where to put the piece of paper.

That’s all for the preparation, now, it’s time for the performance of the trick.

The performance: How to turn the paper into money

Before your performance, unfold the prepared paper and turn it so that the banknote is on the back. The spectators must not see the bill!

Before your first performance, practice the entire trick until you have mastered it.

You step in front of your audience with the paper, the folded bill is in the lower-left corner. Your left thumb is on the bill, your right thumb is in the lower right corner. Your remaining fingers can be seen by the audience and are holding the paper at the front.

Showing the paper from the front and back

In order for the audience to see that the paper is “not prepared”, you also show them the backside. Of course, you have to hide the banknote!

First, you show the front side of the paper, then you take off your right hand and put your index, middle, and ring finger on the folded banknote. At the same time, you turn the paper to show the audience the back of the paper. Using the same technique, turn the paper back towards you.

The banknote must not be seen by the audience at any time, so practice in front of a mirror!

Folding the paper correctly

Next, fold the paper in front of your audience, practice this first without an audience so you know how it works.

Always fold the paper in the direction of the audience, you never cover the bill!

  • Fold the right half vertically in the middle to the left front on the other half.
  • Then fold the paper again vertically in the middle to the left, again to the front, in the direction of the spectators.
  • Now fold the bottom side up so that the bill is facing the audience and only you can see the paper.
  • It is important that you cover the paper with your fingers during the last two steps. The audience must never see the bill and the paper at the same time!

You should practice this whole process a few times in front of the mirror so that you know how the trick looks to the audience.

How to unfold the bill

Your audience will now only see the folded bill, the paper is no longer visible to them. In order for the audience to see that it is actually a normal banknote, you must unfold it, of course.

  • First, use your index finger to fold the bill upwards once, with the paper still facing you, of course.
  • Then simply unfold the bill twice more until it is completely visible.
  • The paper is now stuck to the bottom of the bill, to the left of the center.

Showing the back of the bill

Attentive viewers will naturally expect to find a piece of paper on the back of the bill. That’s why you also briefly show your audience the back of the bill (without showing the paper, of course).

Here’s how you can show the backside without revealing the paper:

  • You first show the front of the bill, holding it with the fingertips of your right and left hands.
  • You release your right hand and place the index, middle, ring, and little fingers on the folded paper, the thumb goes on the other side of the bill and holds it like this.
  • At the same time, you turn the bill and hold it with your right hand only, so the spectators can now see the backside, but the paper is not visible.
  • To turn the bill back again, you use exactly the same technique, only the other way round: first, turn it back towards you, then take your right hand away from the paper.

Tip: Only very few spectators will remember that the paper is folded. If your movements look fluid and natural, this trick is an amazing effect!

A few final tips for this trick

This magic trick requires some practice, so take enough time and repeat it a few times, even in front of a mirror! This is the only way to see your performance through the eyes of the audience.

Also, you should always have another identical bill ready in case the audience wants to examine it.

Alternatively, you can peel off the paper and palm it (hide it in your hand) right after the transformation, but this is quite challenging and should only be done with enough practice.

You can also perform other effects with this technique, for example, change the color of a paper, or change a printed photo. There are no limits to your creativity!

If you are looking for another money magic trick, feel free to read this tutorial on how you can make a dollar bill float.

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