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Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

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creative ways to give money

Money can sometimes seem like an impersonal gift. This is a guide about creative ways to give money as a gift.


Solutions: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Unique Gift Card or Cash Wrapping

Unique Gift Card or Cash Wrapping

Turn an old book into a box to hold a gift card or cash gift.

Approximate Time: 1 hour plus time for glue to set

Yield: 1 gift box book


  • 1 old book with an interesting or decorative cover ($.25)
  • 1 fl oz white paper glue ($.10)
  • 1 X-acto knife ($1.00)
  • plastic wrap or plastic bag


  1. Wrap the cover and the first few pages of the book in plastic wrap as close to the books spine as possible. This is to prevent glue from sticking them together and to keep them clean. Wrap the back cover in plastic wrap to the spine as well.
  2. Unique Gift Card or Cash Wrapping
  3. Mix a teaspoon of glue with a drop or two of water, mix.
  4. I used my finger to run the glue mixture along the entire 3 sides of the pages, then closed the book and placed it in a warm place (with weights on the book, literally!) to dry. This is to glue all the pages together.
  5. Unique Gift Card or Cash Wrapping
  6. After drying, I sketched a rectangle shape on the third page of the book and used my X-acto knife to cut straight down into the pages. Be careful with your knife!

    It will take multiple cuts to get through the entire book and my first book doesn't have neat straight edges down, so be patient with yourself.
  7. Once you cut down to the back cover of the book, you will run the glue mixture on the cut edges of the inside of the book and close it up again, with weights to dry.
  8. Remove the plastic and insert your gift card, small item or cash for a nice way to display your gift! I happened to be giving a "book" gift card so this seemed really appropriate!

    They can also use the book to hold things or even to hide a spare key or other valuables in their house, so it is a good gift by itself!

Happy Holidays everyone!

By Donna [245]

Tip: Money Money Money

I send holiday money gifts to my nephews who live a couple states away.  I am always trying to find fun stuff. The first year was the best!  

I sent $100 in ones.  I got a large box (watch out for shipping cost, or get a smaller box) and a ton of old magazines or news paper.  Tear out and crumble up each page of a magazine and throw in box. I used about 7 magazines to get the desired fullness.  Then I crumbled each $1 bill up and threw it in the box.  Then stir it all up so they have to SEARCH for all of them and then uncrincle each one! haha. It's also funny because they have to work together.  

Wanna drive them crazy? I thought about putting an odd number of dollar bills in like $43 or $98 haha.  They will keep looking for the last couple dollars!

    By rachelhayton [2]

    Tip: Firecracker Wrapping for Money Gift

    When my grandson was 10 years old he loved fireworks every Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc. So for his September Labor Day birthday I did the following. I took 10 toilet paper rolls and put a five dollar bill in each one. I taped a long piece of ribbon to each bill and stuffed it into the roll allowing the ribbon to hang out of the hole in the tube. I then wrapped each roll in bright red foil paper. Then I took a long piece of ribbon and tied the rolls together horizontially with a small space between each roll so it looked like a 10 piece Chinese firecracker roll. I cut each ribbon down to make it look like a fuse. He had to pull each fuse to get his money and just loved the wrapping. His little sister was so enamored with it that she wanted one for her birthday. My only regret is I could't find a way to make a popping sound when the ribbon was pulled. Since this was 10 years ago I have no idea where the photo might be.

      By Lady Lavender [1]

      Tip: Old Encyclopedias for Gag Gift Cards

      Since old encyclopedia sets are hard to sell and no one has the space for them anymore, individual volumes make great "birthday" or event cards. Give the volume that is the initial of the person and say something pithy on the inside. As a joke I gave the S volume to a friend we dubbed the snake oil salesman - tabbing the Snake article of course!

        By Lynette C. [1]

        Tip: Graduation Money Socks

        Buy socks that match the grad's school colors. Roll one inside and fill with $1s, $5s, $10s or whatever you'd like. It will be 2 gifts in one. Tie colorful ribbons or balloons, etc. for a festive look.

        Approximate Time: 15 minutes


        • new socks
        • money in bills
        • ribbons or animal balloons


        Roll one sock into the other with the right sides facing you. Stuff with money and embellish.

        By Louella from Billings, MT

        Tip: Creative Ways to Give Money as Gifts

        My hubby and I usually give $50.00 to our nieces and nephews when they graduate from high school. I usually take 50 $1.00 bills and make a chain like we used to make with gum wrappers. I don't tell them how to take the chain apart, they have to figure that out for themselves. They all think it's a pretty cool gift. This website has very good instructions on how to make the chain:

        Making a Gum Wrapper Chain

        Also, my hubby likes to do origami. One rose uses 5 bills, whatever denomination you want to use. For one special niece he made 12 roses using $1.00 bills, so that was $60.00. She was amazed and said that she wouldn't take them apart. Her dad told her that since she was going to be going to college she may have to. She said that she would at least keep one intact, that way she would never be broke. LOL! She is now a junior in college and still hasn't taken any of them apart. She has them arranged in a vase and keeps it on her dresser at home. Smart, frugal girl! There are many of origami sites online, but he learned to make the rose from a YouTube video.

        By Margaret from Denton, TX

        Tip: Gift Idea for Teenager

        For a great gift to a teenager, go the to bank and ask if they have any uncirculated dollar bills. I think that I used 50 one dollar bills.

        Take them to a printing office and ask that they make them into a tablet, gluing one edge. Slip these into a vinyl check book cover and give as a gift. He or she will get a kick out of tearing off a few at the local store to make a purchase!

        By Bruce from Marietta, GA

        Tip: Balloon Bust

        You will need a large box, balloons and money: $1 or $5 bills. Roll your bills up and put them into the balloon. Blow a little air in and knot it. Put it in the box. Repeat for as many balloons as you'd like to send.  

        I started to run out of room in the box, so I ended rolling a couple with 3 bills together.  Or you could have a bonus balloon with a $20 in it or something. They have to pop the balloons to get the money out!  The dog didn't like this one I hear. POP! POP! POP!

          By rachelhayton [2]

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          Here are questions related to Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift.

          Question: Unique Ways to Give Money as a Gift to a Teenage Boy

          I am looking for unique ways to give money to a teen boy.

          By Betty


          Most Recent Answer

          By cdoss [10]04/18/2011

          I like putting $1 and $5 bills in balloons. They always look at me funny when I'm at the store asking them to put the money in before filling them with air but they guys seem to have fun bursting the balloons to get their money out!

          Question: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          I am looking for a creative way to give money.

          Sharon from Asheboro, NC

          Most Recent Answer

          By deeda06/17/2012

          I did a rubber band ball for my sister-in-law for Christmas. I took a fifty dollar bill folded it up and just started putting rubber band after rubber band around it - around a hundred or so- turned out awesome- she got a big kick out it


          Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

          Archive: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          My sister-in-law wants money for her birthday to have highlights put in her hair. Friends and family are giving money to her towards this. I want my gift stand out, any ideas on how to do this. How to give money and still make it stand out? Thanks for the help,


          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          My mother-in-law was going to Vegas for her birthday so we decided to give her money. I saved a toilet paper roll, got different denominations of bills---ones (mostly), fives, tens and taped them together end-to-end. Taped one end to toilet paper roll and rolled them around the tube. Inserted tube (with money rolled around) into a wristwatch size box. Cut slit in top of box and fed first bill out the top. My Mother-in-law loved this Money Box for her trip and it was more interesting to open than just a card with money or check in it. (04/26/2005)

          By buzy mom

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          A friend of mine gave money for a Graduation gift in a small gift bag with the card and money inside. Maybe you could include a hair care product or two as well. (04/26/2005)

          By MamawKC

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          I used a branch from the yard and made a money tree for a graduation gift. (04/27/2005)

          By mjandjj

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          Maybe you could get a picture of her, scan it, make it larger, print it & roll up dollar bills lengthwise, flatten and tape around her head sort of where the highlights will go. (04/27/2005)

          By nancyec

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          For my brothers 50th anniversary, I gave them 50 silver dollars, each one wrapped individually in gold foil, in a gold bag filled with gold 'easter' grass, They had to go through the bag to find all the coins. You could try something similar. (04/27/2005)

          By Linda

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          We had a wedding shower for our friend. She already owned a house. So we decided to give her money. We put the money in balloons, stuffed them in and then blew them up. We then decorated with the balloons. She had only one gift box to open. In this box was a big safety pin. It was so much fun to see her confused and bewildered expression and then to see her excited when she figured it out. We had to drop her hints which made it more fun. (04/27/2005)

          By mkymlp

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          How about some money origami. My son and I do this for tips also - search the web for directions (05/04/2005)

          By Lori

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          Every year at the end of school, I collect a few dollars from everyone in my children's classes and I make a corsage out of the money. You fold the dollar bills into the shape of flowers, add some real or silk flowers to it and present it in a box. Then the teacher wears it the whole day. Believe me, that teacher gets some jealous looks from the other teachers throughout the day! (05/04/2005)

          By HHobby

          Expansion on Tracey's 19 for 19 Idea

          Tracey gave me an idea for a different way of giving money that I have used. Tracey's involved wrapping money for her daughters 19th birthday. When my kids each turned 21, I gave them 21 pennies, 21 nickels, 21 dimes, and 21 quarters, 21 half dollars, etc. I took a gift box and taped each one individually to the top, bottom and sides. They had to undo each one to get them. Also for my brothers 50th wedding anniversary, I had a gold gift bag, gold "Easter grass" in the bag, and mixed in 50 silver dollars, each one wrapped in gold foil scattered in the grass. You could do the same with a silver bag, grass, and foil for a 25th anniversary.

          Editor's Note: You can find the post that Linda is referring to here:

          By Linda

          Creative Way To Give the Gift of Money

          When you want to give a gift of money for a special occasion, try this: Let's say you want to give $50.00 cash, buy 5 helium balloons with long strings, at the end of strings tie a $10.00 bill. Pack in a LARGE box and tape loosely. Wrap as usual.

          On the card please make sure you write "Please open this gift indoors" (You don't want your gift to end up halfway across the country!) When they open their gift, everyone will ooh and aah over the balloons bursting out of the box!

          Keep in mind that you will also have to factor in the cost of wrapping paper, bows, balloons, card etc. Total gift cost about $60.00, and they will love the unique way of receiving your gift of money, and will tell the story for years to come and maybe use the idea themselves! (08/24/2005)

          By sbolstad

          RE: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          My Mother turns 80 today. My brother brought her gift this past weekend. I'll try to describe what he did (I only saw the opened version). He took 80, $1 bills and taped the long side to the next bill leaving about 1/2 inch between. He then took a saltine cracker box and somehow affixed a toilet paper roller in the middle (this is where you'd have to get creative, apparently it was a "working" toilet paper roll & he took it back w/ him so I didn't see how it was rigged). He wound all the dollar bills around the roll and the last bill was taped to the face-only side of a pretty card. The bill roll was inside the cracker box & the card was sticking out the side of the wrapped box w/ "pull here" on it. Mother pulled the card away from the box & pulled & pulled & pulled for all of her 80 $1 bills. She loved it! (08/24/2005)

          By nancyec

          Archive: Creative Ways to Give Money as a Gift

          I am looking for a creative way to give money.