You are going to think I have completely lost my mind. Maybe I have. Currency as paper ephemera? Tear them up into pieces and collage with it? I have before, actually, like I did in my gluebook called “Valuable Papers“. Here’s one of the spreads in that book.
Yes, I like to use currency in my collage art, but why do I have all of these?
It’s all for the greater good
I do a lot of volunteering at the elementary school my kids go to. Every year we have a carnival that helps raise money for the school. It’s a fun event that my kids look forward to every year. My job at the carnival to be responsible for the prize booth, where the kids come when they’ve got a fist full of win tickets. I get a budget and all year long I think about how I can use that money creatively to buy prizes that kids will be interested in.
Yes, kids like toys and game. Toys and games can be expensive, especially since a couple of win tickets wont get you a great toy. I’m loathe to buy cheap plastic junk that will get thrown into the trash immediately, so I’ve been trying to think of other, more obscure things that kids may be interested in. Why not interest them in coin collecting? $30 buys me 100 bank notes (all uncirculated, so totally clean) from all over the world. Another $18 buys me a pound of mixed coins, so about 125 pieces, which is a good amount to make a nice pile to sift through.
But meanwhile, back to these beautiful bills.
After my package came of 100 clean, crisp bills, I went through them all and decided that I need to keep some. I can’t part with them all. I’ll just deduct the equivalent of 20 bills from the total and get to hold on to some real gems, like the ones above.
What will I do with them? Ideas abound! I’m thinking about a gluebook with currency on every page. I just have to figure out the style.
Figuring out ideas for a project like this is half the fun of making it. It’s gonna be good, whatever it turns out to be.
Meanwhile, the carnival is in October. Let’s see if I get any takers for coin and currency collecting. I’ll be pricing them pretty cheaply–priced to entice!
Here’s a picture of my handmade “treasure box” It’s even got a secret drawer on the side. I’ve got pirate coins in there, in case the real ones aren’t to people’s taste. More coins are coming. My package of coins haven’t arrived yet.
I wish I could set stamps out there to get them into stamp collecting, but that would be a nightmare… .
I’m crazy, but not that crazy!
UPDATE — POST CARNIVAL
Things went well! The paper currency sold out easily, but very few were interested in the coins. What was the difference? I think the paper bills are larger, and lighter, and it makes it easier to handle them and to see the details. With coins you have to examine them, almost with a magnifying glass to see where they come from. Note to self: think about setting up a large magnifying glass next to the treasure box so kids can see coins magnified.
I was so pleased to see a steady amount in the paper currency. Really only a small percentage of kids over 3 days were enthusiastically interested in the money, but the ones who were, bought multiple bills. One older girl, around 12 to 14 years old bought at least 6 bills. “Bought” means used their win tickets. I charged 2 win tickets per bill. Another really young boy, maybe 5, and his even younger brother, 4 or 3 were both crazy about the bills. They, along with their dad, went through all of the bills and ended up getting at least 10 pieces. It was so cool to see, the kids run off to go play more games, so they could get more win tickets for more bills. The dad was all for it 😉
I’m definitely ordering more paper currency for next year. I’d better make sure I have that seller marked on in my eBay favorites!