Holidays, occasions and events such as Christmas, birthdays, weddings and graduations are popular times for people to give cash as a gift. However, stuffing greenbacks into a greeting card with your signature lacks creativity and might seem impersonal to the recipient. Show that special person that you took the time to make the cash gift memorable by creating a fun presentation for the money.
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If you're good with your hands, fold single or multiple bills into different origami shapes. For example, for a couple that's getting married, fold the bill to look like a heart, rosebud or use several to form a bouquet of flowers. Plenty of detailed instructions for origami crafts exist online (see Resources).
Fill the slots of a photo tree or a multiple photo frame with money. Fold the bills so they will easily fill the photo area. If the photo areas are oddly shaped or too large, slip a piece of colorful paper behind each bill for a colorful background. Recipients such as graduates or newlyweds can remove the money and replace with favorite photos.
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Fold bills in half and paper clip them to different pages of a book you either buy or create. For example, as a Christmas gift, give the book "The Twelve Days of Christmas." On each page that describes one of the twelve days, clip a bill. For younger children, clip bills that equal the same amount as the particular day on the page for fun. For example, on the page that reads, "On the first day of Christmas..." clip a one-dollar bill to the page.
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Wrap small — or large — denominations of money into different sizes of gift boxes. Use character-themed wrapping paper for younger children for a fun touch. For adults, wrap packages in paper with money printed all over it to build anticipation or use any paper that you like. Wrap the money in tissue paper inside each box so the person has to search for it. Place companion gifts in the boxes if you wish — such as a wallet or a purse. Include a short note or rhyme with each cash gift that suggests how to spend it. "I know you like music, but I'm not sure what you like. So, use this cash to buy some tunes to listen to day or night!"
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Fold bills into a fan shape by folding the bill over and over again into vertical sections of about a quarter-inch. Pinch the bill in the middle after folding. Fasten a pipe cleaner around the middle of the bill to create a butterfly shape. Use the rest of the pipe cleaner to fasten the butterfly bill to the branches of a small Ficus or bonsai tree for an interesting arrangement.
- Young children will appreciate receiving multiple $1 bills. Older children and adults will appreciate larger denominations.
- If you include tissue paper wrapped cash inside a gift box with another gift, tell the recipient to look through all of the paper so she doesn't accidentally toss the cash.
Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.