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Free Printable Fake Money Templates [Word, PDF]

    Fake money templates serve as indispensable tools in various spheres, from casual entertainment to more structured learning environments. Be it substituting real cash in a game of Monopoly or enacting a fun shopping spree in a child’s imaginative play, these templates enhance the experience. Beyond sheer play, educators find these replicas invaluable in instilling financial literacy in young minds, teaching them to handle and count money responsibly.

    The realm of theater and stage performances also sees their application; whether it’s for an authentic look in a photo shoot or as an integral prop in a dramatic scene, these templates can be the finishing touch. Dive into this article to find free printable fake money templates tailored for multiple uses.

    What Are Printable Fake Money Templates?

    Fake Money Template
    Fake Money Template

    Printable fake money templates are digital designs that replicate the look of real currency, albeit often with notable differences to avoid counterfeit concerns. They can be downloaded and printed for various uses. Most templates are designed to be as realistic as possible while still adhering to legal guidelines.

    Fake Money Templates

    Fake money templates are graphic design resources used to create realistic illustrations of currency for commercial purposes. They provide high quality images of paper money from various countries for use in advertising, media, and other business applications.

    The templates display intricate details that accurately resemble genuine bills and coins. They showcase security features like watermarks, holograms, and embedded threads found in real monetary designs. The templates are formatted in layered graphic files that allow modifying elements like text, colors, and imagery while retaining a lifelike appearance.

    Overall, fake money templates give designers access to versatile currency graphics for legal use in things like marketing materials, motion graphics, and financial presentations. Having quality money images expedites crafting promotional content without resorting to displaying actual cash. The templates provide an essential solution for businesses that need to visually represent monetary concepts through professional illustrations.

    When and where should fake money templates be used?

    Using fake or prop money can be fun and useful in certain situations, but there are also important legal and ethical considerations. This part provides a detailed guide on when and where phony currency is appropriate, along with an overview of printable fake money templates.

    1. Educational Settings:

    • Classroom Activities: Teachers can use fake money as a teaching tool to help students understand concepts related to math (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication), economics (supply, demand, trade), and personal finance (budgeting, saving).
    • Special Education: Fake money can be instrumental in helping students with special needs grasp abstract concepts related to finances and mathematics in a more tactile manner.

    2. Games and Recreation:

    • Board Games: Games like Monopoly or The Game of Life often come with their own currency, but sometimes pieces get lost or additional ones are needed. Fake money templates can be a handy replacement.
    • Role-playing: Whether it’s children playing “store” or “bank” or adults participating in role-playing games, having tangible currency can enhance the experience.

    3. Theater and Performances:

    • Stage Props: For plays, movies, or TV shows where money is shown but real currency isn’t appropriate or safe to use.
    • Training Videos: For corporate training or educational videos where money handling is demonstrated.

    4. Crafts and DIY Projects:

    • Greeting Cards: Incorporate fake money designs for themed birthday cards or event invitations.
    • Scrapbooking: For creating themed pages related to milestones like “first allowance” or “saving up.”

    5. Pranks and Gags:

    • Although one should always exercise caution and ensure no one is misled or harmed, fake money can be used for harmless pranks among friends.

    6. Photography:

    • Themed Photoshoots: Great for a rapper’s album cover, a monopoly-themed shoot, or any other setting where money is a prop but using real currency isn’t feasible.
    • Product Photography: If advertising a wallet, purse, or money clip, fake money can be used in the product shots.

    7. Training and Workshops:

    • Retail Training: Train cashiers in money-handling without the risk of using real currency.
    • Banking and Finance Workshops: Teach banking employees about currency features, counterfeit detection, and proper cash handling.

    Features to Look for

    If you’re interested in designing fake money templates for legal purposes like board games, theatre productions, or educational tools, here are features to look for to ensure that they’re compliant and not mistaken for real currency:

    Size Difference

    Ensure that the dimensions of the fake money are either larger or smaller than actual banknotes to avoid confusion.

    Watermark & Security Thread

    Do not attempt to replicate watermarks or security threads found on real money.

    Distinct Colors

    Consider using colors that are noticeably different from real currency.

    Custom Imagery

    Use original images or graphics instead of famous personalities or iconic buildings found on real currency.

    Clear Wording

    Place a clear label on both sides of the note stating “Play Money” or “Not Legal Tender” to emphasize its illegitimacy.

    Texture & Material

    Avoid using the same paper or material as real money. Most currencies use a specific blend of paper and cotton, or polymer materials, that are not easily replicated. Use standard paper or a different material.

    Different Serial Numbers

    If you’re including serial numbers, ensure they are noticeably fake, such as “12345678” or “FAKEMONEY.”

    Avoid Holograms

    Modern banknotes often have holographic strips or patches. Avoid using any holograms or designs that closely mimic these security features.

    Simplified Design

    While you may want your fake money to look attractive, you don’t need to replicate the intricate designs found on real banknotes. This will also reduce the risk of it being mistaken for real currency.

    Educational or Artistic Symbols

    If the purpose of your fake money is educational or artistic, consider integrating symbols, text, or images that emphasize that purpose.

    How to Make Fake Money for Games (With Design Tips)

    Disclaimer: Making fake money for personal and educational use or for board games is perfectly acceptable. However, attempting to produce counterfeit currency or using any fake money in a deceptive manner is illegal and punishable by law. This guide is solely for making play money or game currency.

    Step 1: Define the Purpose and Amounts Needed

    Before diving into the design and printing process, clarify the purpose of your fake money. Are you creating it for a board game, a school project, or perhaps a play? Depending on the purpose, the design and denominations needed might vary.

    • Decide on the denominations you’ll need. For most board games, you might want denominations similar to real currency ($1, $5, $10, $20, $50, etc.).
    • Calculate the total amount of each denomination you’ll need. For a game, it’s good to have an ample supply to ensure the game can progress smoothly.

    Step 2: Designing the Money

    Your design can range from simplistic to intricate. Consider using graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or free alternatives like GIMP or Canva.

    • Start with the size. Typically, game money isn’t the same size as real money to avoid confusion. You might opt for a size that fits well with your game components.
    • Choose a color theme. While you can use colors similar to real currency, feel free to get creative and use hues that match your game’s aesthetic.
    • Integrate security features for fun. Think watermarks, holograms (stickers), or intricate designs that might make your fake money look more authentic within the context of the game.
    • Remember to clearly state that it’s not real currency. Phrases like “Play Money” or “Game Currency” should be clearly printed.

    Step 3: Choose Your Paper and Printing Method

    The quality of your fake money will greatly depend on the materials and printing methods you choose.

    • Paper choice: Use thicker paper like cardstock to give your money a more authentic feel. If you have access, consider using linen-like paper or paper with a slight texture.
    • Printing: While home printers can do an adequate job, consider using a professional print service if you’re making a large quantity or need higher quality prints.

    Step 4: Adding Additional Textures or Finishes

    This is an optional step, but it can elevate the feel and look of your game money.

    • Lamination: This can protect your fake money from wear and tear, especially if it’ll be used frequently. Laminated money will last longer and feel smoother.
    • Texture sprays: Craft stores sell sprays that can give paper a textured finish. This can add an extra layer of authenticity to your fake money.

    Step 5: Cutting and Finalizing

    Once printed, it’s time to cut out your money and prepare it for use.

    • Use a sharp pair of scissors or a paper cutter for straighter edges. Ensure each note is uniformly cut for a consistent look.
    • For an aged or worn look, lightly crumple the notes and then smooth them out, or use tea or coffee staining for an antiqued appearance. (This works best if you’ve not laminated them.)
    • Bundle the money using paper bands or store in a box, ready for game play.

    Design Tips:

    1. Keep It Simple: Especially if you’re new to design, don’t go overboard. Simple designs can be just as effective and often look cleaner.
    2. Consistency is Key: Ensure that all denominations have a consistent design theme. This helps in making the set look coherent and professional.
    3. Inspiration: Look at various world currencies for design ideas. Each country’s currency has unique elements that can inspire your game money design.
    4. Typography: Use clear and bold fonts for denomination numbers to ensure they are easily readable.
    5. Personal Touch: Integrate elements that are relevant to your game or personal project. For example, if it’s a pirate-themed game, consider pirate symbols or motifs in your design.

    Printing Tips for Fake Money Template

    Once you’ve found a high-quality fake money template, you’ll want the finished product to look as realistic as possible. Follow these tips for best results:

    • Print on Photo Paper – Regular paper works, but photo paper will give your phony bills a more authentic texture and sheen.
    • Use a High-DPI Printer – Printers with a resolution of 600 dpi or higher will reproduce the finest details. Inkjet printers generally offer better resolution than laser printers.
    • Select Best Print Quality – Choose the highest quality or DPI setting on your printer software. This uses more ink but enhances detail.
    • Double-Sided Printing – Print templates on both sides of the paper to mimic real currency.
    • Match Paper Color – Pick photo paper that closest resembles the hue of real money.
    • Cut Precisely – Use a paper trimmer or sharp scissors to cut printed notes cleanly and accurately.
    • Coffee Staining (Optional) – For extra aging effects, soak printed bills in brewed coffee or tea and dry.

    With the right templates, printer, and techniques, it’s possible to create incredibly realistic mock currency at home. Just be sure to use fake money responsibly and legally. The quality these days may confuse some people or set off counterfeit detection systems.

    Legal and Ethical Considerations

    When creating fake or play money, there are various legal and ethical considerations to keep in mind. Making fake money that closely resembles real currency can lead to serious legal repercussions, even if your intentions are benign. Here are some key considerations:

    1. Counterfeiting Laws:

    • Legality: Producing counterfeit money is illegal in virtually every country. The penalties for counterfeiting can be severe, including hefty fines and imprisonment.
    • Realistic Replications: Even if you’re making money for a game or play, if it too closely resembles real currency, it could be construed as an attempt at counterfeiting. To avoid this, always make clear distinctions in your design.

    2. Copyright and Intellectual Property:

    • Images: If you’re incorporating any artwork or images into your design, ensure you have the rights to use them. Using copyrighted images without permission can lead to legal complications.
    • Symbols & Icons: Certain symbols or icons, especially those related to national identity (like a country’s coat of arms), might be protected and should not be used without proper permissions.

    3. Misuse and Deception:

    • Potential Misuse: Even if you create play money without any intention of deception, there’s a risk someone else might use it dishonestly. Always be cautious about where and to whom you distribute your play money.
    • Disclaimers: Clearly state on the fake money that it’s not real currency. Words like “Play Money” or “For Game Use Only” can be helpful.

    4. Ethical Representation:

    • Cultural Sensitivity: When drawing inspiration from real-world currencies or designing money for a game set in a particular cultural or historical context, ensure you’re not misrepresenting or appropriating symbols, figures, or elements of that culture in a disrespectful way.
    • Avoiding Harmful Stereotypes: Be wary of incorporating designs or elements that could perpetuate negative or harmful stereotypes.

    5. Realistic Features:

    • Size and Texture: For safety, it’s best to make play money a different size from real money, and avoid using materials that too closely replicate the feel of real currency.
    • Security Features: While it might be tempting to include fun “security features” like holograms, be wary about making your play money too realistic, as this can raise suspicion or concerns about counterfeit intent.

    6. Distribution & Scale:

    • Selling: If you’re considering selling your play money or including it as part of a commercial product (like a board game), ensure it’s clearly marketed as fake, and avoid designs that might be too realistic or controversial.
    • Large Scale Production: Producing large amounts of play money, even for benign purposes, might raise flags or concerns with local authorities. It’s always good to check with local regulations or legal counsel if you’re considering a large-scale project.


    From games and educational tools to theater props and photography accessories, fake money templates have many fun and creative uses. As this article has covered, mock currency can add an element of realism and production value when used appropriately and legally. While real bills should never be counterfeited, technology now provides stunningly realistic fake money for entertainment and training purposes.

    We’ve included links to several high-quality printable currency templates you can download for free. These photorealistic fakes are fully editable so you can customize the look for your unique needs. With responsible use, these free counterfeit note templates can bring an authentic feel to your next party activity, classroom lesson, stage performance, or photo shoot. Just be sure to follow the guidelines and never try to illegally buy goods or services with play money. With the right approach, prop cash offers harmless fun and loads of creative potential.


    Can I use images of real-world leaders or symbols on my play money?

    While you can use images of real-world figures, ensure they are in the public domain or you have the right to use them. Be cautious about using symbols or icons that might be associated with real-world currencies or that might be culturally sensitive.

    How can I make my play money feel more like real currency?

    While the intention should never be deception, if you want a more authentic feel, consider using high-quality paper with a slight texture, adding watermarks, or even laminating the money. For play purposes, you can even use security thread or holographic stickers. Always ensure it’s clear the money is not genuine.

    Are there software recommendations for designing my own play money from scratch?

    Absolutely! Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are industry standards for graphic design. For those looking for free alternatives, GIMP and Inkscape are robust options. Online platforms like Canva also offer user-friendly design tools and templates.

    Can I sell my custom-designed play money?

    You can sell your play money, especially if it’s part of a game or educational kit. However, ensure your designs can’t be confused with real currency and do not infringe on any copyrights. It’s always good to consult with a legal expert if you’re planning to commercialize your designs.

    What materials are best for printing play money?

    Cardstock paper, which is thicker than regular printer paper, is ideal for play money. It provides durability and a more authentic feel. For an even more realistic touch, linen-like paper can be used.

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    Betina Jessen

    Betina Jessen

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