I have two younger brothers and both are saving money for high-ticket items (Guitar AMP and XBox), so for Christmas I am gifting them each money.  Of course, there is NO WAY I can just give cash in an envelope, so I had to find creative ways to gift the money. Today I’ll share with you how I made a DIY Money Lei, but first, let’s discuss a few other fun ways to gift cash!

Creative Ways to Gift Money

I asked my Facebook fans how they gift cash and got some great ideas!

Kelly Clutter Fox suggested: Setup a treasure hunt…design a cool map, make up some clever clues. Make him work a little bit for it!

Beth Ann Service: I froze cash in water in a bucket and then put clues to help him find it.

Angie Nebeker Arbuckle: Check with your bank and get the gold dollar coins instead. Keep in mind (I work at a credit union) this time of year, you may have to order them. Then put them in a cool treasure box – you can find these at a party or craft store for very little. The other thing you could do is look up origami folding for money…

Lauren Bird: A money tree. Get a faux or real small tree and tie the money on the tree with ribbon. Make sure the money is in small bills so it covers the whole tree.

I had thought of tying the money to a helium balloon and then wrapping it in a big box so when they open the box the balloon flies up.  One problem with that is I can’t get a balloon on Christmas day.. I suppose a mylar balloon would last overnight. But in the end, I decided to make a money lei.

DIY Money Lei

How to Make a Money Lei

I wrapped 20 $1 bills and one $5 bill in saran wrap.  To start, pull out a length of saran wrap. It needs to be long enough to fit over a person’s head and sit around their neck like a real lei..

Rull up your biggest bill and lay that in the center of the saran wrap. If you have as many bills as I did, then roll up two – three of the bills together.  Space these out along either side of the biggest bill on the saran wrap.

Fold the saran wrap in half and press closed.

Roll the saran wrap up the rest of the way.

Tie ribbon between each set of bills. Curling gift ribbon would look and work great, but I was using items I already had on hand.

Connect the ends of the saran wrap by tying with ribbon and voila, you are done!

I placed the DIY Money Lei in a box and wrapped it up before giving to my youngest brother.

For my other brother I did the following:

Both his and my favorite cereal is Lucky Charms. I purchased a box of Lucky Charms and carefully opened the box. I placed bills inside of baggies and put that inside the cereal box. I glued the cereal box closed and then wrapped it up.

When he opened it, he was like, “yum! Cereal” but also come on, all our siblings get these great gifts and he gets CEREAL?!?  Once he opened it and was a bit confused, just said, “Huh… wonder what the prize is?” and he dug right in!

What are some fun ways you have gifted cash?