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Create Your Own Dollar Bill

There is always an excuse to have a party, and what better way to celebrate than with personalized dollar bills?

I have an Uncle getting ready to have a birthday party, and I was asked to create a dollar bill with his face on it to hand out at the event. I will post a quick caveat before telling you how I did it that when it comes to making fake money, you really don’t want it to be TOO perfect. That’s a good way to get the government knocking on your door…

First off, I went online and did a Google search for dollar bill templates, of which there are many out there for free. Find the one you like best, and download it. I personally went with one that was clearly marked play money, and also already had the center oval masked out to make things a little easier.

Once I had my template, I opened both that and the photo my family provided me in Photoshop. A good, close-up headshot is going to work best for this particular application. In my case, it was almost a little too close, however, since I would have liked a bit more wiggle room in terms of how much torso I ended up showing. I used the lasso tool to create a quick and dirty way to knock out the background, and then used the eraser tool to clean up some of the rougher edges. The mask doesn’t need to be perfect, as you’ll see later.

Once I had the face masked out, I changed the photo to Grayscale mode and pulled it into the file with my template. I got it centered as best I could, adjusting the size of the image to try and get the proportions right. For my photo, I ended up with the image at about 110%.

Next, I created an oval just slightly bigger than the photo area and filled it with the green I pulled with the eyedropper tool from the background of the dollar. I then adjusted the opacity to give the grayscale image the right look and feel to match the dollar.

Once I had that done, I went back to the template layer and used the close stamp tool to select the texture and color of the dollar to fill around the photo. This is why your mask didn’t need to be perfect – you want to fill all the way around to make sure there is no white showing, and I wanted a softer blend look with the edges of the photo.

And that’s all it takes to create your very own personal dollar bill!