Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creative Ways to Give Gift Cards and Money

This week we are looking at some creative and fun ways to have a great Christmas with teens.  Yesterday we looked at some homemade gifts that might be appropriate for teens (you can read the post here).   Although giving an actual gift seems like more fun for Christmas morning, it is often difficult to get something a teen will like and use.  Sometimes it is just easier and more practical to give money or gift cards, however, they seem to lack creative thought and don't leave much fun in the opening department.  

In the past I have given gift cards or money with an associated item, for example a mug with a Tim Hortons gift card in it, but I wanted to see what other interesting ideas I could find.  I googled creative ways to give gift cards and money and found some amazing ideas.

One of the best sources was here (you really need to read the list for yourself - there are so many fantastic ideas and they are so creative).   A few highlights of where to hide the gift card, include:
  • in a box filled with styrofoam peanuts
  • in a container of cool whip that you thaw, put the card in the middle, and re-freeze
  • inside a roll of toilet paper
  • put dollar bills and different messages in tiny boxes and wrap each one separately
  • bake money, wrapped in foil, inside a cake 
  • attach money by string inside a closed umbrella - when the umbrella is opened it rains money

I have to highlight three ideas, that I read on this list, that I thought would be brilliant for the right person.

The first idea is to buy two copies of the same magazine.  You cut out pictures from one of the magazines and glue them over the same picture in the other magazine hiding the money between the pictures.  The person you are giving the magazine to has to look carefully through each page examing each picture to see if there is money hidden behind it.  Not only do they have the fun of looking for the money, they have a magazine to read.  Brilliant!

The second idea is to buy some really hideous items that you know the recipient will think are awful and then wrap them up.  After the gifts have been opened, give them the sales receipts so they can return the items for money and buy what they want.  You would have to be sure the recipient has a good sense of humour and that the store has a good return policy, but it would make for a fun Christmas morning.

Third idea is to put the money or gift card in a treasure box (along with gold chocolate, and dollar store jewelry if you want) and bury it in a hole in the garden, although here in Canada in the winter it might be better just to hide it somewhere in the house.  Then buy a puzzle and put it together.  Flip the puzzle over and draw a map to the location of the treasure on the back of the puzzle.  Then take the puzzle apart and put it back in the box and wrap it up to give to the recipient to open Christmas morning.  They have to put the puzzle together to discover the location of the treasure box.  You can even make it more difficult by having a combination lock on the treasure box and the combination numbers are on the back of a second puzzle.  Is that not ingenious?

Try googling "money origami" and the designs will blow your socks off.  Although the ones in the photos above set the bar rather high, I have seen some very simple money folding ideas.  I remember seeing on someone's blog a banner with triangle shaped pieces of cloth and she replaced one of the triangles with folded money.  Here is another one that looks doable, with instruction from here.

I love these ideas and just may use some of them myself.  What about you - anyone given money or a gift cards in an ingenious way?  I would love to hear about it.


  1. Brilliant Grace, all my kids said they would just like money for Christmas. Wouldn't we all! I am thinking the origami could keep me and the recipient challenged over the upcoming weeks.

    Loving your ideas!

    Jeanne :)

  2. You wouldn't think a nearly-4 year old would be that difficult would you? He is when his mummy practically begged that he not be given toys as there isn't room in th house for any more! Adapted, some of these ideascould well solve my problem. Thanks Grace.

  3. What fun ideas Grace! Here's one to add to the list: When I was a teenager, I wanted to make cool looking soaps so I put various items inside of them (they were clear). Since my father is a big jokester, I decided to put a $20 bill inside a bar of soap. He showered so much to get that money out!!! And then he had to wait for the money to dry to actually use it. It was a fun gift to give!

  4. Great! gift ideas! Very creative! You really have such an artistic mind.

  5. Love the ideas you shared. Thank you.

    Carefully open a box of candy or cracker jack, put the money or card in and carefully glue the flap back to look like it was never opened.

    To the person who said they did not want anything for Christmas....I wrapped a beautiful box of nothing...loved the look on their face.

  6. Thanks for posting these ideas :-) I write about the same subject.

  7. Great ideas! I've seriously been trying to come up with some great, creative ways to give gift cards before Christmas, and I stumbled upon this site that I thought I'd share... www.StyleMyGiftCard.com -- TONS of great ways to give gift cards!