This is a not-so great picture of my completed money tree. It looks a million times better in person, for some reason I cannot get a good picture of it for anything. Maybe now that there is a little bit of sun now and then I can take it outside and get a decent picture, but I really think it's just one of those things that will not photograph well. So you'll have to take my work for it, it is very cute in real life.
I used three strands of yarn held together throughout the base, and on the branches I started with the boucle and the regular worsted weight for the thin ends of the branches, and added the bulky yarn when the branch got larger. I certainly slipped up and lost loops and the stitches are not even, but I think it adds to the... charm. Yeah, that's it.
I did not follow any pattern, but made it up as I went along. I started by crocheting five vaguely cone-shaped 'roots' (in different sizes) which I then connected together in a circle. I picked up the stitches along the top edge of the roots, and started crocheting up the trunk, randomly decreasing as I went. The beauty of this project is that you can't really screw it up - if your tree turns out all twisted and deformed, well, you meant it to be that way, right?
It's time to start on the branches! I started be folding and twisting pipe cleaners into branch-like shapes and stabbing them into the trunk. Once I had them to where I kind of liked how they looked, I...
...pulled them out to work on them and put little stitch markers in their place. Though this picture is really just to show off my cute little duck stitch markers! Aren't they a-duck-able? Anyway, the procedure for crocheting around the branches is even less-defined than the roots and trucnk - just slip stitches and wrapping until the branch is big enough to start crocheting rings around the pipe cleaners! If you look closely at mine you'll see yarn going every which way, but again, because of the nature of the yarn and the project, that actually adds to it instead of making it look messy or bad.
Here it is will all the branches complete! I think it makes a stunning spooky Halloween tree like this, and once it sheds its leaves, that might be its new purpose for me. More useful (if a lot more work) than any stupid branch!
These are the two leaf designs I made up after scouring the web and not finding any origami patterns to make leaves out of dollar bills, which really surprised me. Okay, there's that one money plant, but I wasn't about to pay the asking price for that as 1) I didn't really like the way those leaves or that plant looked, and it was a bit high-priced for what it was and 2) I figured I could make something better. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't, but it was free! And if you like them, they are free to you, as well. Just visit the Single Leaf page for the larger (right) one and the Double Leaf page for the smaller (left) ones. Happy Money Tree making!

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