Are you tired of giving the same old gift cards or generic presents? Want to add a touch of creativity and fun to your gift-giving?
Whether for a birthday, graduation, wedding, or any other special occasion, these clever money gift ideas will surely impress the recipient.
I’ve compiled an amazing list of 27 creative ways to give money as a gift, making your present memorable and practical.
From folding dollar bills into intricate money origami shapes to hiding cash in unexpected places, there’s something for everyone in this list of creative ways to give money.
You’ll find yourself having just as much fun creating these gifts as the recipient will have receiving them.
Embrace these creative gift ideas, making money as a gift an unforgettable experience!
- Gift money in unique ways that are personal and thoughtful!
- Discover 27 creative ways to give money that won’t take hours but still show love and care
- I have inexpensive, budget-friendly gift ideas that won’t take days or hundreds of dollars to make.
- Wow your loved ones with DIY Chocolate Boxes, Cash Scavenger Hunts, Money Cakes & more!
- Make cash gifting fun and memorable by getting creative – origami moolah, candy necklaces & hiding it in games are just some money gift ideas
27 Best Creative Ways To Give Money
Sometimes, we just don’t know exactly what to gift someone, and getting them a spa basket or gift card just doesn’t seem that great.
There’s nothing wrong with gifting money if you can make it fun and unique!
Here are my favorite creative ways to give money for any occasion:
1. DIY Chocolate Box
Who wouldn’t love receiving a box of chocolates, especially when it’s filled with cash instead of treats?
For this creative money gift idea, simply take an empty (and clean) chocolate box and replace the chocolates with rolled-up dollar bills.
You can even add a few real chocolates to sweeten the deal and do less rolling.
You can also make it a little different by making origami flowers or other small pieces to fit in the chocolate spots.
This cash-filled box makes an ideal surprise on birthdays, Valentine’s Day, or any event where a blend of sweetness and practicality is desired.
2. Pizza “Dough” (Money Pizza)
Imagine the surprise when your loved ones open a pizza box only to find it filled with cash instead of their favorite pie!
This fun gift idea involves placing dollar bills inside a pizza box, giving a whole new meaning to the term “pizza dough.”
You can fold them into triangles, roll some for the crust, and use pennies and dimes as toppings to get that real pizza look!
I’ve seen candy pizzas with small boxes you can use- but if you reuse a regular pizza box, put parchment paper down to avoid oily spots.
Just make sure to have some actual pizza on standby to satisfy any cravings after they discover this creative money gift.
3. Cash Scavenger Hunt
Make receiving cash gifts a thrilling and engaging affair for any of your loved ones with a special scavenger hunt.
Organize a cash scavenger hunt by hiding money around a designated area, where they’re not too easy to find but not at risk of getting ripped or damaged.
Provide clues or hide clues with the money to help the recipient find the hidden treasure all around.
This interactive way is perfect to gift money for birthdays, holidays, or just for fun, making the experience of giving and receiving cash even more memorable.
But make sure you make a list of hiding places and how much you hid so you can tally things at the end and see if any got left behind!
4. Money Cake
For a truly unique money gift idea, create a money cake using rolled-up one-dollar bills as decorations.
This eye-catching centerpiece is perfect for birthdays, graduations, or any other celebration where cash is an appreciated gift.
Roll dollar bills up and stick them together with tape (carefully!). You want them to sit upright next to each other and make a big circle with them or other shapes for different occasions.
Arrange them to look like a heart for Valentine’s Day or an anniversary gift, a ring for a bridal shower or wedding gift, and a graduation cap for your grads.
Add a ribbon or other decorations to complete the look. Plus, use foam to layer the cake and make multiple tiers!
Watch the recipient’s eyes light up as they realize the “cake” is made of cash!
5. Balloon Popping
What could be more exciting than popping money balloons to find hidden cash inside?
For this fun money gift idea, fill balloons with cash and confetti, then invite the recipient to pop the balloons and collect their hidden treasure.
If you want to make it a little more fun, you could pin the tail on the donkey or darts by using posters and sticking the balloons to them for a game.
Even better, you can do money in some and coupons in others- whether Groupons or love coupons, you have plenty of options!
This interactive and entertaining money gift idea is perfect for kids and adults alike, making any celebration even more special.
6. Tissue Box Cash Roll
I love DIY ideas that help us recycle around here- use what you have and make fun money gift ideas like this!
Transform an ordinary tissue box into a unique money gift by creating a cash roll inside, similar to a toilet paper roll they can pull for fast money.
Connect bills with painter’s tape, it’s less likely to rip the money when the recipient tries to take it apart to fit in their wallet.
Place the connected bills in the tissue box, with the end of the roll sticking out for the recipient to pull.
Connect one tissue to the end of the roll so that the gift will be a surprise! As they pull out the “tissues,” they’ll discover a trail of cash waiting for them.
This creative money gift idea is one of the fun money gift ideas that are both enjoyable and practical, making it a great gift for any occasion.
7. Birthday “Cheddar”
Add humor to your birthday gift by presenting it as “cheddar.”
Insert the bills into a plastic baggie or envelope, print out a cheese brand to slap on it, and you’ll have a funny and unique money gift.
You can fold or roll the bills or leave it in strips- after all, cheddar comes in shreds, bricks, and pre-sliced bits, so you have some options for birthday “cheddar.”
This is the perfect gift idea to gift money- it’s a more practical gift idea that’s funny and doesn’t take much time to put together.
8. DIY Money Bag
Turn a paper lunch bag or ziplock baggie into a simple yet attractive money gift.
Decorate the bag with stickers, drawings, or other embellishments, and insert the cash inside.
For a birthday, use birthday-themed stickers or draw a cake or balloons on the bag. Decorate the bag with graduation caps or diplomas if it’s a graduation gift.
For a wedding, you might want to use heart stickers or draw a pair of rings on the bag- I’ve gotten some adorable packs of wedding stickers for scrapbooking at Michael’s.
You could use holiday-themed stickers or drawings if it’s a holiday gift. For instance, you could draw a Christmas tree or Santa Claus on the bag for Christmas.
You can also personalize the bag by writing the recipient’s name or including a sweet message. This will make the gift even more special and memorable.
This DIY money bag is an easy and affordable way to present cash in a creative and personalized manner.
9. Emergency Moolah
For the ultimate creative money gifts, frame cash in a “break glass in case of emergency” frame.
This humorous and eye-catching gift is perfect for birthdays, graduations, or any time you want to give cash with a twist.
The recipient will appreciate the thought and creativity that went into this unforgettable present.
As a side thought, you may want to use a frame with plastic “glass” and just make sure it’s an easy open back so there’s no risk of broken glass problems.
You can also personalize the gift with the recipient’s name and stickers and flowers- I love 3D flowers and stickers that stand out and embellish the frame.
10. Money Notepad
Combine practicality and creativity by creating a money notepad using real bills.
Simply stack the bills and bind them with tape and a cardboard backing, creating a notepad filled with cash.
I love writing real notes, so a notepad is always a great gift idea- you could even buy a regular notepad and put money in the pages rather than make your own.
11. Play “Dough”
For playful and surprising creative money gift ideas, you can always incorporate some toys and props from childhood!
The easiest by far? Pop money into a container of Play-Doh.
Take out the Play-Doh and clean out the container. Hide rolled-up bills inside the container and watch the recipient’s delight as they discover the hidden cash.
This fun idea and interactive birthday gift idea is perfect for kids or anyone young at heart.
(You can also give them the dough in a plastic container or baggie as a side gift if you think they’d like it- I would love it for me and the girls!)
12. Cash In A Can
Turn a can of fruits or vegetables into a clever money gift by hiding cash inside.
Simply open the can from the bottom, empty the innards, clean out the can, place the cash roll inside, and “seal” the can with the old bottom or some cardboard.
The recipient will be pleasantly surprised when they open the can to find their hidden treasure!
This is easiest with some snack cans, though, like a Pringles can, because you can stick the lid back on.
13. Hide Cash In Books
If you’ve got a book lover on your hands but don’t know what’s on their TBR list, hide money inside a random book as a surprise.
Choose a book with a small hidden compartment, or create your own by cutting out a section of the pages.
This unique money gift is perfect for book lovers and adds an element of mystery to your present.
Then the gift money can go towards whatever book they want or something totally different.
14. Cash Bouquet
Flowers are so lovely, but the petals never seem to last long. Why waste the money?
Instead, use that money as your actual gift and make money flowers for a bouquet!
Design a stunning cash bouquet using rolled-up bills as flowers. You can also try out your origami skills to make more realistic-looking flowers.
Attach the bills to floral wire or skewers, and arrange them in a pretty vase or decorative container to create a beautiful and unique money gift.
You can personalize it by adding regular paper flowers in their favorite color and use fun ribbons and washi tape to bring in pops of color.
This eye-catching present is perfect for weddings, graduations, or any other special occasion.
15. Candy Mason Jar (Hidden Cash!)
Cash can be an easy gift that anyone would be happy to get. Sweeten the deal by hiding cash in a candy jar.
Fill a mason jar with colorful candies (or their favorite candies). Then, secretly hide a dollar bill (or a few) inside the middle.
The recipient will be delighted to discover their hidden treasure among the sweets, making this a fun idea.
Just be sure your card says something about the surprise so they don’t forget about the treat and miss out on the cash!
I did that once with Easter candy that got left in my suitcase. I almost tossed it out because it was old- if I hadn’t read the card again, I would’ve missed out on $20!
16. Gift Card Snow Globe
Want some festive and creative ways to give money this holiday season? Grab a gift card and get ready to get it wet!
Add a festive touch to your gift card by creating a snow globe with a cute scene inside.
Fill a wide-mouth jar with fake snow, bottle brush trees, and small winter figures. You can use old plastic toys or miniatures from Michael’s to fill it up.
Also, you can glue them down on the bottom or lid, depending on how you want to make the globe.
Place the gift card in the center of the jar. Then, fill it with water, glycerin, and glitter.
Secure the lid tightly to prevent leaks, and use duct tape if you’re worried about the liquid going everywhere. Shake the jar gently to create a snowstorm effect.
17. It’s Raining Cash
Make it rain cash with this fun and interactive gift idea. Attach cash to an umbrella and present it to the recipient as a “raining cash” surprise.
I’ve gotten umbrellas at the thrift store for a few bucks, then used clear fishing wire to stick the money to and have it all dangle from the umbrella.
To spruce it up, glue pulled-apart cotton balls on top of the umbrella and create a construction paper rainbow to stick out from it.
This creative money gift is perfect for birthdays, graduations, or any other special occasion when you want to make a splash.
18. Full Piggy Bank
Encourage saving by gifting a full piggy bank filled with cash or coins.
This practical and motivating gift idea is perfect for children, teenagers, or anyone looking to start saving money.
I saw someone buy a shadow box and make a slit in the top to fill it with coins and one-dollar bills. They put the kiddo’s name on it with stickers, which she loved!
19. Peppermint “Cash” Mints
Create a festive gift with handmade peppermint cash rolls. You know, like the old-school individually wrapped mints you’d see in candy dishes?
It’s easy and festive, and you can make this a great gift for any season or occasion.
Roll up a few dollar bills and put them inside a toilet paper tube. I suggest putting the bills in a bag to make the next part easier!
Get a cute wrapping paper and wrap up the whole tube, with extra wrapping off the sides.
Then, twist the ends in a circle and tie them off to make the frills on the side- just like the candy wrappers look like.
20. Hide Cash In School Supplies
For a practical and surprising money gift, hide cash in school supplies. This is great for birthdays, graduations, and even a small Easter gift for younger kids.
Choose an item with enough space to conceal the cash, such as a pencil case or notebook.
They get something practical and money for something else they’ll like.
The recipient will appreciate the thought and creativity that went into this unique money gift, and they’ll be able to use the cash for school supplies or other essentials.
21. Money Popper
Add some excitement to your gift with a money popper.
Fill a balloon with cash and confetti, then use a pin or sharp object to pop the balloon and reveal the hidden money.
You can also get pre-filled poppers or empty ones that you can add stuff to; not going to lie, the noise from these is very satisfying!
This fun and interactive money gift idea is perfect for birthdays, graduations, or any other celebration that calls for a little extra excitement.
22. A Cash Pez-ent
Take a trip down memory lane with this nostalgic and creative cash gift.
Buy a cute Pez from the Dollar Store, Walmart, or wherever- they have Disney characters and many other cartoons for kids!
Fill a Pez dispenser with cash and candy for a unique money gift for kids and adults alike.
The recipient will love the combination of their favorite childhood candy and the surprise of discovering cash inside.
23. Money Lei
Create a money lei using dollar bills to make a unique and memorable gift that takes more time to create but is totally worth it.
You’ll need string or ribbon, dollar bills, and optional decorative elements like beads or flowers to make a money lei.
Start by folding each dollar bill accordion-style, then tie each bill in the middle with a piece of string or ribbon to create a bow shape.
String the folded bills onto a longer string or ribbon, alternating with beads or flowers if desired.
Continue until the lei is long enough to wear around the neck. Knot the ends of the string or ribbon together to complete the lei.
24. Origami Moolah
Show off your artistic side by creating origami shapes using dollar bills for a creative and unique money gift.
Follow online tutorials or use your own origami skills to fold the bills into intricate shapes, such as flowers, animals, or even clothing items.
I’ve seen tons of origami books at our library, so you can even borrow one for easy step-by-step directions.
Your loved one will appreciate the time and effort spent creating this one-of-a-kind money gift.
25. Money Tree
Design a money tree using dollar bills as leaves for a symbolic and unique cash gift.
Attach the bills to a small tree or branch, and place it in a decorative container to create a beautiful and meaningful money gift.
You can also make a DIY tree with a toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, ribbons, and tissue box, where the leaves are folded dollar bills.
This creative gift idea is perfect for weddings, graduations, or any other special occasion, calling for a thoughtful gift.
26. Cash Vitamins
Give the gift of health and wealth by hiding cash in an empty vitamin bottle.
Simply clean out the bottle, roll up the bills, and place them inside for a unique and practical money gift.
Your loved ones will be surprised with vitamins, but you can stick something funny to it to let them know cash is inside- like ‘Vitamin “M” For Moolah.’
27. Hide Money In A Game
For an entertaining and unexpected money gift, you can:
- Conceal cash in a board game or puzzle
- Choose a game with a hidden compartment
- Create your own hidden compartment by strategically placing the cash among the game pieces
One gift idea would be finding an old Monopoly game at the thrift store and replacing the fake money with real bills!
But I’d do a bit less than this Redditor- $8K is a bit much for most gifts!
How can I give cash creatively as a gift?
The scope for creatively gifting cash is boundless! Here are some creative ways to give money:
- Fold dollar bills into intricate money origami shapes
- Hide money in unexpected places like school supplies or candy jars
- Design a beautiful money tree with bills as leaves
The key is to think outside the gift box and find a unique and memorable way to present your cash gift.
Can I give cold hard cash as a gift?
Absolutely! Giving cash as a gift is totally appropriate in many situations.
In fact, studies show that money is the most welcomed gift and is often what people want.
Cash is a convenient and versatile gift, allowing recipients to use it as they please.
Never shy away from the opportunity to gift cash – the only requisite is to present it innovatively and thoughtfully!
What are some ways to give money as a gift and a small prank?
Give the gift of cold, hard cash! Freeze money in a block of ice by filling a container halfway with water and returning it to the freezer with the bill on top, then add more water.
Wrap the block in foil and give it with a card that reads, “This is your Cold Hard Cash and when it thaws, don’t let it burn a hole in your pocket!”
Another idea is buying a can of their least favorite food – canned spinach or sardines.
Empty the can from the bottom, clean it out thoroughly, and roll up some cash to put inside. Give them the can and watch their initial reaction turn from disappointment to surprise!
How do you put money in a tissue box?
You can use any old tissue box to give money, with quite a few interesting ideas!
Tape dollar bills at each end and roll them up into a long roll. Stuff them inside a tissue box and watch the excitement and laughter start.
Or use the tissue box as a pot for a money tree!
What are some unique ways to give cash as a gift?
Surprise your loved ones with gift money by creating money origami, hiding bills in unexpected places, or making a money tree with bills as leaves!
Can I give cash as a gift for a wedding?
Yes, cash is a great wedding gift! It’s perfect for couples who need help with their honeymoon, home, or other expenses.
Is it appropriate to give cash as a birthday gift?
Giving cash as a birthday gift is an excellent idea! It shows you care and respect their personal preferences by allowing them to buy something they truly want or need.
Giving money as a gift doesn’t have to be boring or impersonal. It can be just as thoughtful and meaningful when done right.
With these 27 creative ways to give money, you can turn a plain cash gift into a memorable and exciting experience for the recipient.
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, or wedding, these clever money gift ideas will leave a lasting impression and bring joy to the gift recipient.
So go ahead and try out some of these unique gift ideas to step up your gifting game!