UPDATED: December 29, 2022

Christmas is the season of giving, and though we’re expected to give out presents, some of us just prefer handing out cash. 

Some people also prefer receiving cash instead of the stuff they don’t really want or need. With cash, you don’t have to think about what they would like—they can buy it themselves.

However, just plainly giving money can really bum anyone out. The element of surprise isn’t there anymore when the receiver would just see the cash and nothing more.

The good thing is there are many creative and fun ways to give money during the Christmas season. 

Read ahead to learn how to make them, and discover our favorite creative idea you might also like.

Dollar Bill Origami

One way to give out money this Christmas is by presenting them with origami. 

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. Though it would be a little more complicated on dollar bills, it’s still doable.

There are a lot of shapes and sizes you can do with dollar bills. For instance, you can create a Christmas tree, making it more seasonal.

There are several ways you can do Christmas Tree Dollar Bill, but one of the simplest ways is to create it using multiple bills, and here’s how you do it:

  1. Turn the back side of your bill and tightly fold the right side onto the middle of the bill. Tightly means that the whole right side of your bill would overlap with the middle section of the bill.
  2. Fold the left side of your bill the same way as you did the right side – this will create a triangle shape, but with flaps showing because of the uneven shape of the bill.
  3.  Turn your bill over so you can see the front. Then try to tuck in the flaps that are showing to properly make it a triangle without any obstructions.
  4. Repeat it with two or more bills, but fold them to make them larger than the previous one. It means that the side folds would be nearer to the center of the bill, making them less tight.
  5. After creating several triangles, you can tuck them all together to make up for the “tree” – are you picturing it right now? Good.
  6. Then, for the final touch, you can fold another bill as the trunk.

You can put this in an envelope or even a Christmas card to secure them.

There are a few shapes you can create, too, such as stars, snowflakes, angels, and gift boxes. 

Mousetrap Box

You can literally take your loved ones by surprise! Try adding crumpled money on a mousetrap and putting it in a box. Have them get the “present” blindfolded or with their eyes closed.

You can buy a regular mousetrap in your local hardware store, but you can also buy a mousetrap specifically made for a money gift

We suggest you buy the latter so it won’t hurt as much as the real one. Remember, you want to surprise them and not hurt them.

Balloon Pop

Having decorative balloons in events has become a trend these days. Other than a décor, balloons can also be a type of gift—usually as a “get well soon” or a graduation gift. 

But since the balloon is an all-year-round gift idea, why not try using it for Christmas?

Adding money to your balloon is one creative way to give out money this season. 

You can buy a set of assorted unblown balloons for as low as $6.99. Prices vary depending on balloon sizes and materials. Common balloon materials are vinyl, mylar, and latex.

You can either present the balloon as is and let them pop it to get your money gift, or you can turn balloon popping into a more exciting event. 

If you’re going to celebrate with your friends and family in the same place, we suggest you turn this into a fun game.

You can arrange the balloons however you like (i.e., just let them float on the ceiling or tie them up in chairs), then you can let your friends and family choose their own balloons. They can pop them all at the same time, or they can do it in turns.

“How can this be a game,” you might ask. Well, you can add different denominations or amounts of bills in each balloon. Of course, the one who gets the highest amount is the winner. It’s a game of luck – and those types of games are exciting!

Play “Dough”

Who doesn’t like puns? You can surprise your loved ones with a money gift wrapped in a Play-Doh container – Play-Dough, get it?

This one is a fun idea because if you give it to teens or adults, you can really catch them off-guard because why, at their age, would they receive a Play-Doh as a gift? Then the surprise comes right after they open it.

You can still give this to kids, but we suggest that you keep the actual modeling clay in the container with your money gift. We all know that not all children are thrilled just by money. But they can still be thrilled with both money and actual Play-Doh!

If you don’t have spare Play-Doh containers, you can buy similar containers for a small amount (usually around $0.63 per container). Then, you can print your own Play-Doh labels and personalize them!

Box of Chocolate

Forrest Gump said, “Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.” Indeed, they will never know what they’ll get because it won’t be chocolates!

Wrapping your money gift using a box of chocolate is one way to surprise your loved ones. You can add different denominations on each slot to make it more “assorted,” as a box of candy or chocolate would be.

Peppermint Rolls

Another way to present your money gift is by turning them into peppermint rolls. But what makes this one different from other money gift ideas is that we have to use rolls of coins for this one. 

This is the perfect money gift for your friends and loved ones that are always short on change – it could be an inside joke, for that matter.

First, you need a roll of coins, striped wrapping paper, double-sided tape, yarn, and cellophane. You have to wrap your roll of coins using the striped gift wrapper and turn it into some sort of wrapped peppermint candy. 

Secret Book Money

Another creative way to disguise your money gift is by adding it to another gift! You can hide dollar bills on pocketbooks, comic books, manga, or even cookbooks.

The key to this surprise is not to tell them that you’re adding something extra to your gift. 

Well, if they didn’t respond by being surprised with the money gift you included, then they probably weren’t interested in the book you gave. So, we suggest that you pick a book that they would really like, so when they turn the pages, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Dollar Bill Wallet

Dollar bill wallet is another origami idea but with a twist—you use your bills as a holder—either a gift note or even more bills. It’s basically using your gift as the wrapper as well. Isn’t that cute?

Doing this isn’t that complicated. First, your bill must be face down. Then you fold the bottom left part until it reaches the top of the bill. After that, you do the same with the other side, but fold it from top to bottom.

Then, fold them right side up, making both ends point in the same direction. Imagine turning them into the shape of a mail envelope. 

After finishing one, you can do another one with the same directions. After making two of these, then you can slide them on together and place something inside.

Money Soap

This money soap idea is more of a long-term gag (and our favorite). As the title implies, you’ll use soap in giving out your money gift. But how?

You can create your own soap nowadays without really formulating anything. You can easily buy melt-and-pour soap for as low as $11, depending on the ingredients.

Usual ingredients include shea butter, glycerin, goat’s milk, and more. But for this project, we suggest you use a clear one, so the money will be visible.

After choosing your base (melt and pour soap), you can add scent or color, depending on your preference. We recommend a holiday-themed scent, such as mint, gingerbread, or candy cane.

Adding color to your soap is optional, but you can make it more festive if you design your soap using Christmas colors, such as green and red. These colorants can also be bought online. 

You also need a mold to create your own soap.

How do you make your own money soap?

  1. Wrap your bills using a self-adhesive covering like Con-Tact or any other transparent wrapper that will protect your money.
  2. Create your soap by mixing your ingredients—soap melts, colorant, and scent.
  3. Place your wrapped dollar bills in your mold. You can add a layer of soap first and let it cool with the bill on it, then add another layer after. This way, your bill won’t be placed near the surface of the soap.
  4. Wrap your soap creatively and put a label on it. You can even add the ingredients of the soap and its scent.

What makes this kind of cool is that your receiver must really use the soap before actually getting your money gift. It will also be perfect for kids as you can help them develop a healthy habit of washing their hands or bathing.

Jar of Money

You can use a jar and fill it with dollar bills. You can buy a 20-pack jar for $23.99, and not every single one of them should be used as a Jar of Money—they’re so multipurpose.

Keeping it simple doesn’t have to be boring, though. You can add notes in your jar to make them more personal. You can also add packed chocolate bars or candies to make it more colorful.

Make It Rain

We often hear the phrase “make it rain” in movies if the dialogue is about making money. Now, you can make that idiom more literal by actually making money rain. 

All you need is an umbrella, yarn or ribbon, tape, scissors, a ruler, and dollar bills.

  1. Attach your strands of ribbon to the end of your dollar bills using tape. Each strand could be more or less 10 inches, but make sure they won’t be too long that they would tangle. Make sure that they are secured and won’t easily come off.
  2. Tie the other end of your strands to the springs, stretchers, and ribs of the umbrella. These are the metal parts inside the umbrella that support it.
  3. Close your umbrella halfway so you can arrange the bills inside before folding it all the way. Once your receiver opens it, you have made it rain!

Mini Money Cake

The mini money cake is a different take on a money bouquet, but still a very creative way to give a money gift. 

For a mini money cake, you would need at least 50 crisp bills (you decide the denomination of each), a pencil, a bag of clear hair rubber bands, two to three round Styrofoam discs, ribbon, removable tape, double-sided tape, a cake board, and other decorative stuff.

  1. Roll your bills properly using a pencil, then attach the rubber band on the bill to keep it rolled. Repeat this in other bills as well.
  2. Create the core of the money cake. Put a large rubber band around the Styrofoam disc. After that, insert the rolled bills inside the rubber band around the Styrofoam disc. Repeat this step until the whole disc is covered with bills.
  3. To make it more presentable, use ribbons to cover the rubber bands you used to secure the bills. You can either tie the ribbon to lock it or use glue/tape. You can add another décor to your cake, such as a Christmas tree or a “Merry Christmas” topper.
  4. You may also place your mini money cake on a cake board for a better presentation.

Wrapping Up 

Thinking of great presents nowadays can be quite challenging, so you might consider giving money instead. In this current economic climate, many may prefer getting cash instead of gifts that they don’t really like or won’t use.

But giving money this season doesn’t have to be always boring or anti-climactic. Try the creative and fun ideas above on how you can give money and make this Christmas more memorable.