Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
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!
Approximate Time: Less than half an hour
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.
This is a guide about making a pizza box cash gift. Coming up with cute ways to give cash makes the gift giving and receiving more fun.
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.
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.
This is a guide about making a book gift card holder. A unique gift box for cash, a small gift, or a gift card can be made out of an old book.
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.
If you are going to give a gift of money, see if the bank can get you new bills.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I am looking for unique ways to give money to a teen boy.
I created "financial emergency kits"...took a kids lunch box, bought bandaids from 99 cent store...opened the bandaids placed a dollar in each one closed them back up and put them in the box...also had gauze bandage package, Emptied tylenol and put money in it etc...they were a little confused but once my son figured out the bandaid ..they loved it
I am looking for a creative way to give money.
Sharon from Asheboro, NC
Look up "dollar bill origami" online and fold bills into animals or shapes. Also, you can create a "money tree" by folding dollar bills in half and pinning them to a styrofoam cone.
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
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I am looking for a creative way to give money.
Sharon from Asheboro, NC
Hi Sharon! I agree with the "money origami". I gave my son a 50 dollar bill attached to another gift one year. It was folded into a ring. He loved it! The problem is, no one wants to unfold it....lol
By SL Edens
The tips using money taped end to end, and then the recipient pulls the bills out of a bag or box, are great! I used this a couple of days ago for my nephew's eleventh birthday, and you should've seen the look of surprise on his face! Priceless! (10/06/2006)
By Lisa Kless
One year for Christmas, my mother-in-law wanted money for a trip she was going to take and I remembered when I was a kid and my dad made me "bill pickles". You need a pickle or canning jar and longer green balloons. I inserted the money into the balloons and then blew them up into pickle shapes and stuffed them into the jar. I got about 6 pickles in the jar, each with $5. You can adjust your number of pickles as needed, depending on the size of balloon. I then filled the jar with water. After this was complete, I made a label on the computer and listed the made-up ingredients! She loved it! (11/25/2006)
By Jackie T.
My brothers were big on playing with candles as kids. A few years ago my one brother stuffed $40 worth of change in a bag into some glass jars and poured candle wax over it so my other brother had to burn out the money- it was messy, but he loved it! (12/02/2006)
My mom gave me a money tree one year. She bought a small, fake Christmas tree from the dollar store and took bills of different denominations and shaped them into bows, tied red ribbon around the money bow and tied them to the tree. I think that you could also use bills and some scotch tape and make an old-fashioned paper chain with the cash and go around the tree like garland. A shiny coin glued to the top could be the star. (12/02/2006)
My husband gave me money in a couple unique ways: 1 - he mixed 100 $1.00 bills in a large box filled with shipping "peanuts". What I time I had retrieving all of them and "unsticking" myself from the "static" peanuts. 2 - he got $100 worth of quarters and stacked them in a wrapping paper tube. I couldn't imagine what this long, round and VERY heavy gift was!! (12/07/2006)
I've done many different things with money for my nephews and nieces. A lot of them are already mentioned here. One that isn't is the 'buried treasure'. I get a small treasure chest (toy store - can use lock box or whatever depending on how complex you want to go) and fill it with coins (silver (nickles, dimes, quarters) and gold (Saquagewea $)). If you need filler use gold chocolate coins; cheap plastic jewelry (like the kind from vending machines); gold straw; etc... Bury it in the yard then get a puzzle - complexity based on age of the person - put it together and draw a map to the treasure on the back with a big X marking the spot. Break the puzzle up, box and wrap. If you want to make it even more frustrating, put a combination lock on the buried treasure along with a second puzzle - combination on the back. (02/21/2007)
What one of my friends did is that after Easter time Easter eggs go on sale at the stores so buy a pack. Fill 20 of the eggs with candy and 20 with one dollar bills in each (or what ever domination). Hide them around the house in obvious places and the little kids will have a great time finding them. Even if its not around Easter they still have a great time. (04/27/2007)
I sponge painted a tiny terra cotta pot gold and then filled it with gold dollar coins. I wrapped it in cellophane and tied it with gold ribbon. The card said "wishing you a pot of gold at the end of all of your rainbows." The recipient loved it! (05/10/2007)
I've done a few different tricks. Froze money in a plastic container so my niece had to thaw her cold hard cash.
I've unrolled an entire toilet paper roll, taped the money to the paper, re-rolled the paper back on the roll, wrapped it. Recipient had to unroll the toilet paper to get the entire gift.
I made a pipe cleaner stick person and with origami made clothes out of dollars (shirt, skirt, boots) and taped them to the stick person. Folded a dollar so George Washingtons head was the Stick Person head. Placed the stick person into foam in a planter and gave to the recipient. Recipient liked it so much, it is still on her mantle.
I like the idea of the helium balloons with $ attached. I'll be doing that one! (07/08/2007)
By MIssy Jo
I have been giving cash in creative ways for a number of years to my oldest daughter. One favorite is to crush any amount of money you like to give and place it in a salad bowl with tongs. Everyone loves mixed greens. (07/17/2007)
Get a picture frame and scatter various bills in the frame so that all you see is the collage of bills. I did this once and it took forever for them to figure out it was real cash and not just the background of a picture frame. I have also given wallets or purses stuffed full of cash and once a jewelry box with cash. this year I am going to give a tea pot with cash, toasters, and small appliances can have hidden cash. (10/25/2007)
With Halloween here you could buy a few a those funky shaped plastic trees and tape the money to them
who says money doesn't grow on trees?
One year for a Christmas gift for a teenager I took an inexpensive umbrella, opened it up and attached yarn strands to the underside of the umbrella on the other end of the yarn I attached $1 bills, closed the umbrella to conceal all the money and when the teenager opened the umbrella it rained money! She was thrilled. (11/07/2007)
I have used the money mazes and puzzles, that you can find easily on line, but this year I need something new. (11/18/2007)
My Mom, after 25 years with a retail store, had cut backs right before Christmas. She was the personnel director and was one of the many let go. So I decided to present her with a rose bouquet of money. I got tape and wire and a box at Michael's craft store. I also made some stems and leaves and fashioned each denomination, like a flower. I put it in a bouquet box with a big red bow, just like the fancy floral stores. She was trilled and very impressed! It was a good year after all. (11/24/2007)
I've tried all of these: Small Christmas trees with the money rolled up & tied on the branches with curling ribbon so that they looked like the ornaments (money grows on trees); Small decorative buckets and ice cubes with the money frozen in plastic sleeves (cold hard cash); Small decorative stockings with money taped together so that when they pulled the first bill out, all the others followed. This year I am going to buy red & white (candy cane like) wrapping paper, roll the bills or rolled coins inside and tie the ends with with curling ribbon to make them look like pieces of candy. I'm serving them in a candy dish to each of my children. (11/26/2007)
My birthday just passed and my parents gave me money in a funny way. My favorite cereal ever since I was little has always been Lucky Charms, I just loved the little leprechaun. My parents emptied out the cereal in the box and filled the bag inside with the gold dollar coins then sealed the plastic back up. There was a note inside that said, "Lucky wanted to share his gold with you on your special day ..only some, of course!" It was so cute. I had my hopes all up when I was opening their present, and confused at a point when I thought they gave me cereal as a gift. Then it occurred to me, cereal wasn't that heavy! (11/27/2007)
My birthday just passed and my parents gave me a funny gift that contained money. Ever since I was little, my favorite cereal has been Lucky Charms. I opened my present to find that box of cereal, which made me a bit confused. (Cereal as a gift?) Then I realized it was too heavy for cereal. lol I opened the box, which they hot glued back shut, and inside the bag, the cereal was all gone. However there was a bag of 100 gold dollars inside that had a note saying, "Lucky decided to share some of his gold with you on your special day!" I thought it was a really cute idea.. =) (11/27/2007)
I carefully opened a walnut, removed the walnut, placed a folded bill inside and then glued it back together. I then placed the walnut inside a gift bag filled with regular walnuts. My niece and nephews knew there was money somewhere, and we enjoyed watching them find it. Some found it quickly, others had to crack almost all the walnuts to find their money. (12/10/2007)
The last one I tried was this! I bought a jack in the box. Jammed it with money but had to cut the clown's head off to close the box. When my granddaughter played the music and jack jumped out the money flew everywhere. (12/10/2007)
I have two ones not mentioned before.
I have taken a 30 gallon garbage bag of shredded paper
and mixed dollar bills inside. Messy but they have to work for it and it is fun.
A little gross, but fun!
This past year I had a new born baby so i took the money wrapped it in plastic wrap, very tight, put some chocolate pudding in a diaper, hid the money in the pudding and wrapped up the diaper like it was dirty. One of the dads (who knew the joke) put his finger in and licked the pudding his twelve year old "freaked out" Needless to say it was a memorable one. (12/17/2007)
I have teenage nephews and every year for Christmas I find a creative way to give them each $100. In the past, I folded 100 singles individually as small as I could and wrapped them in aluminum foil. Then I baked them in a cake. I decorated the cake with a quote on it, "how sweet is the smell of money, baked with love." They had to dig through the cake to find 100 small pieces of foil. (12/19/2007)
Do a search for "money oragami" and you'll find some very creative ideas!
I made one that looked like shirts with collars and sleeves -- very cute! Then take a ribbon and tie it around the collar like a bow tie. (12/20/2007)
By Lisa (High Point, NC)
I have wanted to give my dad money for some time now, so in order for him to accept it (because it's a large amount), I'm going to buy a poster board and make a large check. It'll be like he won the lottery or Publisher's Clearing House and then I'll put the actual check in a card with a poem. (02/22/2008)
It was a last minute birthday and all I could get in the short amount of time was money. I really wanted to give the money creatively, so I came up with this idea: I emptied a deodorant stick, cleaned it very well, put the money inside and then put it in a gift bag. I wrote a whole bunch of stuff in the card that could refer to both like 'you could really use this', 'use it everywhere', 'you'll have more friends is you use this a lot.' okay, some don't really work, but it was enough that she actually thought I's bought her deodorant! I eventually had to tell her to open it, but we still look back and laugh! (05/03/2008)
For Christmas last year I gave my children 23-26 years old money. I didn't just want to just give it to them so I got different amounts $1's $5's and so on also I got them small gifts like socks and etc. I took pictures of the small items and then bought 50 small gift boxes 2 x 2 and I would place a folded up bill or picture of small gift or just a message in each and then wrapped each one individual. Then placed them all in a large box and wrapped it. They hated me but had a blast on Christmas morning. (06/16/2008)
A few years ago, I gifted a cruise to my husband. I purchased a toy boat, and a Ken doll, along with some Barbie-sized items: sunglasses, book, suntan lotion. Each item was wrapped individually and he had to guess what it all meant. He was thrilled when he finally figured it out! (07/10/2008)
I have made bows on presents where I just stacked money and tied it with the regular bow and i have also folded money and made it look like letters or a name. Then I put double stick on the back of them and put them on a piece of colored paper. Then put it in a picture frame and still to this day my boyfriends little brothers still have it sitting in there rooms. Believe it or not, they are 11 and 13 and they thought it was cool enough. Almost a year later they still have not taken it out of the frame (09/29/2008)
I always give my older nieces and nephews cash for Christmas. Each year I try to come up with a creative way of giving it to them since they already know they are getting it. In addition to some of the ideas posted here I have also unwrapped Hershey's miniatures, folded bills to fit the shape of the candy (this takes a little practice) and then re-wrapped the money with the candy wrappers.
I placed the wrapped money in a box filled with the rest of the miniatures and wrapped it up. When they opened their gift they thought we had given them a box of candy and it took them a while to figure out where we had hidden the money. Another idea which was a lot of fun for them was when I purchased a small wooden box and put a lock on the front of it. I locked their money in the box and put the key into a chocolate Christmas tree I had poured out of melted chocolate. They had to find the key to unlock the box.
This year I am planning to blow eggs like you do at Easter. I am going to fill all but one with confetti and one with confetti and a check. I plan to decorate the eggs with holiday decorations and plug the ends back up. I will put them in an egg carton and wrap it. The note will say "Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to go shopping". I hope they enjoy. (10/16/2008)
My mother came up with this idea years ago for her sister's 70th birthday. And I'll be using it again this Saturday when my boyfriend's son gets married!
She took an old VHS box ("Fistful of Dollars") and stuffed the box with crisp brand new $1 bills. Then she taped a piece of cardboard to cover up the open up and took it to a local print shop to reseal in plastic wrap. Her sister loved it and it's been repeated many times over the years by our family. Any movie with money or such in the title will work. And old VHS tapes can still be found at garage sales or on eBay, if you have time to shop. DVD cases can't hold as much money but the idea still works!
I just threw a surprise birthday party for a friend, and one of the guests gave the gift of toilet paper money. I thought it was a great idea, everyone loved it as well! The guest made this before by unwrapping the whole role, and taping a dollar bill every so often onto the sheets. She also included fake bills with the picture of the birthday girl's favorite baseball player every five bills. Then the guest rolled everything back up and taped it with a funky sticker.
When she gave this gift the the birthday girl, she was shocked and didn't know what to say. Why would anyone want a roll of toilet paper for their birthday. Then the guest told her to unroll it, and everyone was amazed. It took a lot of time and effort, but it was a huge hit! Anyways, amazing idea to the person who posted this! (the guest said she found the idea on this website)
And thank you everyone else, for providing these fun, creative ways to give money as a gift! ;) (11/01/2008)
This was very helpful. I do creative money gifts all the time. One of my favorites and everyone elses, was I went to Hobby lobby and picked up stuff to make soap. you can do this in the microwave. You place the money in the middle finish pouring the soap. It hardens and they either have to use the soap or let it dissolve to get the money. my nieces loved it and the soap as will! Thanks again for the suggestions! (11/11/2008)
Here are a couple I have used that were huge hits. The first was for my girlfriend's nephew. I had seen online a novelty cigarette dispenser shaped like a donkey. You put the cigarettes into its back and when you pressed his head the cigarettes would "pass" out of the donkey's butt. I ordered it and then rolled the dollars into cigarette sized cylinders. I put a small bit of scotch tape to hold them together and loaded them into the donkey. When he opened it, he didn't know what to think. Someone suggested it might be like similar candy dispensers. When the money came out, he couldn't stop laughing.
The next was for my girlfriend's sister in law. We wanted to give her money for an upcoming trip. The year before someone had given a present that they had wrapped, but couldn't remember what it was. When it was opened it was empty. They had forgotten to put the gift in and later wrapped it in another present. Everyone laughed so hard. I thought it would be funny to do again with a twist. What if the package was the gift? So I taped the dollars together into sheets, then taped the sheets together and folded them into the shape of a gift bag. I took the handles off a real gift bag and taped that on as well. Next, to "wrap" the gift, I used wrapping paper to cover the outside. Then I put some tissue paper in the bag.
When she pulled out the tissue, she asked if someone had goofed again. I said, "Nope.". She dumped the bag upside down and looked again inside. Chuckling, I told her to look inside more carefully. I had left the bottom half of the inside "unwrapped". It was a big hit, everyone thought it was clever. (11/28/2008)
Last year I gave my 14 year old nephew a "box of rocks". I took a small box and put dollar bills, taped together end-to-end, and rolled them on an empty tissue roll (take the tissue roll out after you roll it). Put a slit in the top of the box and put the end of the roll of bills through it. Put this box inside of a larger box and as filling for the empty area around the little box - fill it with gravel, dirt, COAL, BBQ briquettes! What ever.
I made an exit "lip" (of cardboard taped together like a little chimney) around the the slit in my little box so the rocks wouldn't keep the money from being pulled out. Then I taped a lottery scratch-off ticket to the dollar that was sticking up through the little box - to cover the "chimney lip". My nephew thought he had a box of rocks and one lousy scratch ticket till he pulled on the lotto ticket and a roll of money kept coming out after it. It was a big hit and a lot of fun.
One year I gave my cousin Charlie, his favorite magazine which was Sports Illustrated. I bought 2 of the same magazine. one to give to him and one to destroy. I found photos throughout the entire magazine that I could easily cut out and repaste over the SAME picture in the magazine I intended to give. I folded money up as flat as I could and placed on top of one copy of the picture (in the magazine I would be giving) and then used a small amount of glue around the edges of the duplicate picture and placed that photo on the page exactly positioned over the other one. This sandwiches the money between the pictures and hides it.
When my cousin knows I always give him money in some way, shape or form for Christmas, and so he looked through the magazine, for money which he thought would be tucked throughout the pages.... but he came up empty handed and he was puzzled! Unless he really examined each page...he couldn't find the money. This made it necessary for him to REALLY examine the entire magazine finding one bill at a time and having the slowly tear of the top photo copy to expose his money ! He couldn't be quick and rough because he might tear the money! It was incredible and very sneaky! He loved it! (12/01/2008)
By Lora Tesh
Easy and simple way to give money, but they still have to open the present. Any box will do, I use a shoe box. I put colored paper through the shredder, but you can buy any kind of filler. Take ones and roll them and tie with a ribbon. Mix the money with the shredded paper in the box. (12/11/2008)
I like to drink DR Pepper, so my in-laws taped $20 bills around 12 cans of Dr Pepper and placed them back in the box. I opened this gift thinking, wow they gave me pop for Christmas, then they urged me to open the pop box.
Then it was my husband's turn. The gave him a calendar. On each page of the calendar they taped a $20 bill. We both got a kick out of it. (12/15/2008)
I gave my nephews walnuts for Christmas. It was a lot of work but was fun to see them having to open each walnut to get their money. I gave them each 10 one dollar bills. I would crack open the walnuts and take the nut out and then fold the dollar up and glue the shell back together. Then I bought boxer shorts and put the nuts inside the shorts and then in a gift box. (12/16/2008)
One year at Christmas my siblings were all looking at me with jealousy because there was a huge stack of gifts for me. All was fine until I started opening them and found the weirdest, most bizarre gifts (footed pajamas, an old grandma sweater with a huge crochet rose in the middle, a crazy ski hat). I was trying to be gracious but couldn't keep the faces in forever.
I finally opened the last box and found a receipt for all of the items. It was then that my mother broke into hysterics and announced that she couldn't think of what to get me so she shopped for things she knew I would hate and figured I could just take them all back and get the cash to spend on what ever I wanted. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless. (12/17/2008)
I like to "creatively" wrap money or gift cards each year for my niece and nephews. They now look forward to it. Some of my best were:
Kleenex box - I took all the Kleenex out carefully in a big pile, glued my gift card to the bottom, then cut cardboard out to create a false bottom. Then I put the Kleenex back in the box on top of that. My niece pulled all the Kleenex out and couldn't figure out why I was giving her Kleenex's until we told her to "really" look.
<pLast year I froze nickels, dimes, and quarters ($20 worth) into a block of ice in an old ice cream pail. We live in a cold climate so I did it in layers over a week or so. I put a layer in froze it, and then back again later and repeated that.
<p class="art">Cool whip container - I thawed the cool whip, placed a $20 bill wrapped in plastic in the middle and then refroze the cool whip.
Phone book - I got crisp $1 bills and placed them in a big yellow pages. Then I made 20 clues of where to find the cash. For example - one said "if you got locked out of your house you would need to call this person" and the answer was locksmith so she would have to look on that page. (12/20/2008)
My Soon to be sister in law is having a shower in a month and I am giving her a sand pail (complete with shovel) filled with sand and $200 golden dollar coins. at the top I am putting an X ("x" marks the spot) and some paper umbrellas, etc. to complete the honeymoon feel. Then we will have her dig them out on the porch! I hope she likes it.
She also was at a shower one time and someone received a nice salad bowl with a pair of silver tongs and 100 $1 bills crushed up as the lettuce. How fun would it be to get that as a gift! (02/20/2009)
By Kerry C.
Every year I give my nieces $50 in cash. Last year I got $50 in one dollar bills, went to Office Max and had them glue the tops together with a piece of cardboard on the back, like checks are put together. Then went to the bank, got some check book covers and registers, put the money in as if it were checks and put a $50 balance in their checkbook. They not only received $50 but learned how to keep a check book. Everyone loved it! (11/02/2009)
I haven't seen this idea posted yet, so I thought I would share it. Last year for Christmas my nephew wanted cold hard cash but like the rest of you, I didn't want to just hand him money.
I got a couple of cheap packages of straws and cut the straws into 1/3s. I ended up with about 1,000 straw sections. I rolled up the dollar bills really tightly and put them inside the straws. Putting all of them together in a shoebox he had lots of digging to do before he unveiled all his cash. It was easy, cheap and lots of laughs! (10/03/2010)
Find a large box with a separate top. Cut a 5-6" diameter hole in the center of the top piece. Wrap the bottom and top separately. Cut an "X" through the paper that is covering the hole but do not remove the wrapping paper. Fan-fold dollar bills (saving a $20.00 or fun note for the last piece).
Use curling ribbon, and spacing the bills 12-24 inches apart, tie on the bills (you may need to cut the ribbon every now and then to make tying them on easier). Keep the long length of ribbon/bills in a neat pie to prevent tangling). Now stuff the entire length of bills/ribbon into the box being careful to layer it so it doesn't get tangled and then thread the last length of ribbon through the hole in the box top.
Cover the box and add a nice bow to camouflage the hole. Ask the recipient to pull the exposed piece of curling ribbon and let the fun and laughter begin. You can attach notes along the way as well: "you're almost there", "having fun yet?", "Happy Birthday", etc. (11/24/2010)
One year my dad was being funny when he put "US currency in weigh-able amounts" on his wish list. We all knew he was looking for bars of gold, per some recent conversations. Well, I am his daughter with his sense of humor, so I couldn't pass up a prime opportunity to "misinterpret" what he wanted.
What he got was four bricks, brick colored paper with black holes drawn on. When he opened the bricks, each one contained $25 worth of pennies. (Four bricks of 2,500 pennies = 10,000 pennies hee hee).
You can get these from the bank, but you need to ask ahead of time. It's been several years, and he still has the bricks of pennies! (12/04/2010)