Is Prop Money Legal?
(Photo : Is Prop Money Legal?)

Are you trying to save money making fake cash to film in your upcoming YouTube video? Need some cash money to flaunt in your latest music videos or clips? Want to make sure this money you are using is legal and you won't be getting visited by the Secret Services in the near future? Here are the most important ways to make sure your prop money is legal to use.

Prop Movie Money Production Rules

Following the laws is the most difficult part of making your own prop movie money. It is not as simple as heading to the closest xerox or photo copier. In fact, doing just that could land you in jail for quite some time, not to mention a hefty fine you will end up having to pay.

So, to keep yourself out of trouble and still be able to save money when creating your own films, here is a list of the rules to follow, making sure you are adhering to the governments replication standards and not inadvertently creating a batch of counterfeit cash.

1. Size

According to the department of treasury, your replica money has to be at least more than 1½ the size of real bills or less than ¾ the size. No prop money for sale can be the exact same size as real cash money with the real money illustration.

2. Color

You also are not allowed to copy the ink colors used in real currency. Your shades must be different even if it is just by a few degrees. 

3. Texture

Legit bills in US currency are made out of cotton and polyester, your bills should always be printed on actual paper and should never have the same texture as real cash money.

4. Pictures

When you are creating fake cash, it is important to alter the pictures even in the slightest ways, change the president on the bill, add a building, change a number, or picture position. 

5. Labeled

When making prop money that looks real you should give all of the bills the exact same serial number and the words "not for legal tender", "Replica", or something similar must be present on each bill. Some companies will add their business name or company logo.

Is it Illegal to Make Prop Money at Home?

It is legal for anyone to make prop movie money as long as it is being created following the rules and regulations set forth by the government. It is only illegal to make fake money if you are making it with the intentions of using it maliciously and try to purchase goods or services with it. 

There are actually many ways in which you can obtain fake money and different reasons people use it. The government website offers copies of currency that can be used in school or at home for a number of reasons.

How to Make Prop Movie Money

Now that we have gone over what not to do when you are making yourself prop cash, let discuss the things you can do to make your fake currency look good.

It's actually fairly simple to make prop money from home with the right supplies and some patients. You can find many different variants on how to re-create money online just by searching it up. Here is one way many people are making money and it seems to be one of the top favorites.

  1. Take some computer paper and place it into a large bowl full of coffee and let it set for a few moments, just long enough to absorb some color but not long enough that it saturates the paper and can cause the paper to tear. 

  2. Next, Place the money in the microwave or leave it lay out on a table to dry. Once it is fully dried place it in your printer and print up a picture with a good bill design or create your own design on a printing and designing program following all of the regulations listed above. 

  3. If you want your money to look used, take the finished bills and crumple them with your hands until they are worn and creased.

How to Make a Bundle of Prop Stacks

If you are interested in creating your own bundle of money in order to film a believable scene like a gym bag full of cash or an overstuffed suitcase holding millions, you can make fake bundles easily. 

  1. Follow the steps above to create a top and bottom bill. 

  2. Then cut out a bunch of paper the same size as your bills. Place the front of the bill on top of the pile and the back of the bill on the bottom. 

  3. Use madge podge and completely coat the entire stake and place a book on top to hold it in place until it dries. Your bundle should cure with-in 24-48 hours and you will have a filmable cash bundle that is movie quality.

Note: Never try to use your prop movie money to purchase goods or services at any time. This is a federal offence and will result in up to 20 years of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. Also, be extremely cautious when handling movie money. If it is found to be used by another person you can still be held accountable for the illegal act even if you were unaware.


There is no doubt that creating your own prop money can be a cost-effective way to create your own movies, videos, or pictures. However, it is also a dangerous road to travel if you are not willing to follow the rules. The line between legal replica money and counterfeit cash can become very blurry depending on the person creating it and those who handle it. Be responsible and making your own film currency can be fun.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.