Cash is the ultimate last-minute gift, but giving it doesn’t have to be boring! Check out these creative ways to make giving cash as a gift more fun and engaging.
A “Money Tree” (pictured above) is a cute Christmas table decoration as well as a clever way to give cash as a gift. It’s pretty easy and takes less than 15 minutes! Start with a small terra cotta pot, some floral foam, a dowel stick and a styrofoam cone. Simply pin your dollar bills to the styrofoam to make the tree’s branches. Add a little moss at the base of the tree, and a star on top. It’s very festive!
Here is creative way to give money as a gift: a candy box of money! A great thing about this DIY way to give cash is that you can give any amount you like. Make it all dollar bills for a fun inexpensive gift, or fill up the candy box with $20 bills as a creative way to give a lot of money. This makes a fun Christmas gift for hard-to-shop-for teens, or a nice graduation gift. Instructions: Cash Candy Box
Reuse a Play-Doh container to hide money in and give it as a gift. This gift idea works really well as a stocking stuffer! Add a gift tag that says something like, “Here’s some ‘dough’ to play with this Christmas!” for a funny play on words. It’s such a cute way to give money.
Rubber Band Ball
Wad up the money you’re giving as a gift and start wrapping rubber bands around it. Keep wrapping until you have a nice big ball of rubber bands! Then, wrap up the rubber band ball itself. This is a way to give money that will keep the recipient busy as well.
Use a canned food item to hide your cash gift! If there’s a food your recipient particularly hates, be sure to use that for extra laughs. Use a knife to slit the label at the back of the can, near the glued seam. Peel the label away from the can (on the side without glue) and slip the money underneath the label. Carefully glue the loose end of the label back in place, without gluing the money.
A bill fits perfectly around a regular sized can without getting in the way of the glued area.
Make a “money pad” by glue a stack of bills together on one end. This is an easy and fun way to give cash as a gift. All you need is white school glue and money. New bills work best. I’ve done this, and the glue does not ruin your money! Kids especially will enjoy peeling the bills off the stack as they use them.
Stack up a pile of bills neatly. Place something heavy, like a stack of books, very close to the end you want to glue. Apply the glue to the very edge of the stack of bills and allow to dry (mine took about an hour). The bills will peel off individually, like a notepad.
You could also add a cardboard base to your money pad (cut a rectangle from a cereal box) or a note to the recipient on top of the money stack. I recommend using $1 bills, to make a more impressive stack. The money pad pictured is 20 bills and it’s not very big.
A Box in a Box – NOT!
This is a fun twist on the box-in-a-box gift idea. Wrap up a box within a box, within a box. Fill in the space with tissue paper, crumpled newspaper, grocery bags, junk, whatever you like. As the gift is opened, the recipient will dig through for the “real” gift, only to find nothing at all! Then you pull the money out of your wallet and say, “oops, guess I forgot to wrap it!”
Carefully open one or more walnuts, and remove the nut. Fold a bill and insert into the walnut shell. Glue the walnut shell closed. Mix the nuts with money up with regular walnuts and let the recipient crack them open to find the cash!
The poem reads:
This gift may not look lip smacking
But to get what’s inside, you must get cracking
So go get a hammer and have some fun
Because to get your gift it must be done
Sorry mom & dad for the mess this will make
But you can always save the nuts to bake a cake
Cold Hard Cash
Who doesn’t love cold hard cash? Place the cash in a plastic bag to keep it from getting wet. Put it in a container of water, and freeze it into a block of ice. When I gave this gift, I just left the ice block into the snow in the front yard and let the recipient find it.
This creative way to give money is similar to the walnut gift idea above. Tightly wrap one or more bills in tootsie roll wrappers and hide them among tons of real tootsie rolls.
Here’s a poem to use with this cash gift idea:
“I had a special bag of candy made just for you
To find your gift all you need to do is chew.”
Unwrapping is part of the fun!
Tightly roll the money, and tie it with ribbon. Fill an empty tube with the wrapped money and candy. Decorate as desired. This gift idea is also a great way to reuse those plastic candy-filled candy canes. I always knew there was a use for those!
Give money by cleverly hiding it in a magazine!
You’ll need two magazines with thick pages. Cut a picture from one magazine and glue it over the same picture on the identical page in the other magazine, with the money sandwiched in between. This one can be very tricky, so use it for older kids.
Roll up bills and bill-sized notes into a roll. On the last note, make a “pull here” tab. Put the roll of bills and notes in an old tissue box, or a box with a slit cut in it, with the tab sticking out.