Creative Ways to Give Money for Kids Birthdays

Until a few years ago, I had chased around trying to remember my grandkids’ favorite superheroes, what size each of them wore, and what TV shows they liked best. It was exhausting to try to keep up with all of it! Until. . .I decided to try to find creative ways to give money for my grandkids’ birthdays. After all, I couldn’t just settle for a store-bought card with a few bills inside.

I still wanted to give something special but just giving money for birthdays doesn’t feel that way. So, if I was going to try to make gift giving easier, I was going to have to get creative.

Below, I am sharing 10 fun, creative ways to give money for your grandkids’ birthdays. I have used most of these myself and they have all been a hit!

**Updated February 2022**

#1 – Duct Tape Wallet

I put this one first because it is how all my little grandsons are getting their birthday money this year. I made five of the duct tape wallets at Christmas and filled them with gift cards for all my sons. It was a fun project to work on while watching TV with Papa at night, and my boys LOVED them!

These go together pretty fast and easy. Who knew the hardest part would be finding duct tape that I wanted to use! I used to be able to find lots of variety at our local Walmart, but their selection wasn’t great at Christmas. Maybe duct tape is seasonal?? At any rate, you can get some fun duct tape colors through Amazon.

I went through several tutorials to find one that explained it well and didn’t drag the video on forever. Here is the one that I like the best – he was not annoying and was easy to follow. However, if you just search “duct tape wallet” tutorial on YouTube, you’ll find several.

In case you would like the list of supplies that I used for this project, I’ve listed them below.

Duct Tape Wallet Supplies List:

Duct tape (fun colors) – you need 2 main colors and something for the inside where it won’t show. For the inside tape you can use a basic grey tape or just one of the main two colors.

Cutting knife – I love my cutting knives. This is the one that I use.

Cutting mat, ruler, rotary cutter – Okay, so cutting mats are just darn expensive. Hopefully, you already have one, but if you don’t, here is a set of mat, ruler & rotary cutter that is really good and not so pricey. (I’m a quilter so I already had these goodies. These are the main tools of the quilting trade besides fabric, of course. 😉)

Plastic (for ID slot) – you can use a vinyl tablecloth like this one. Or, go to a local fabric store and buy a small piece of clear vinyl. . .but the tablecloth option is most likely cheaper.

Clear packing tape – Unless you need a whole Costco-size pack of packing tape, you might consider just buying a single role like this one. One word of caution, you want a good clear packing tape that will stick, not a cheap one that will lose it’s tacky-ness.

#2 – Color Box Mailer

This one is fun and pretty easy to do. The beauty of this gift is that the box the gift is ”wrapped” in is the same box you mail it in. So, it fits perfectly in that category for creative ways to give money to long-distance grandkids.

Using a USPS mailer box (which are free from the post office), wrap the inside of the box with wrapping paper and fill with items of your grandchild’s favorite color. I put a few directions on how to do this in the picture below.

You can wrap money around or into items or put the money in an envelope taped to the inside lid of the box. You don’t necessarily need to keep it to a favorite color; it’s just as fun to fill the box with favorite candy, favorite character, favorite “anything”. . .

Collage of mailer box with birthday wrapping on the inside ready to mail - creative ways to give money - Adventures in NanaLand

#3 – Piggy Bank

Did you have a piggy bank when you were a kid? I did and it was shaped like. . .well, a pig. Go figure! Let me tell you, there are a lot of “piggy” banks these days, but not many of them are shaped like pigs. Now there are banks shaped like dinosaurs, unicorns, and favorite superheroes. There are some that look like safes, ATMs, and even jars that count the money for you.

Kids get a kick out of dropping coins into a bank just to hear the clink, clink when it hits the bottom. But what a surprise it would be if the bank showed up with money already in it! Just make sure that it’s a bank that they can easily break into. 😉

Photo by maitree rimthong from Pexels

#4 – Favorite Book

Choose a favorite children’s book (or one of your favorites from when you were a kid). Hide money between the pages. This was one of my most favorite and yet still creative ways to give money for my grandkids’ birthdays.

Girl reading book - Creative ways to give money to grandkids - Adventures in NanaLand
Of course, she’s reading Harry Potter

When I did this for my grandkids, I chose page numbers that were significant like the numbers in their birthdate. Or you can choose a page with an inspirational passage.

#5 – Memories Jar

Create a jar with memories of your grandchild. Write each memory on a small slip of paper. Roll up each paper with a dollar bill, put a ribbon around it (or a small hair band as I did), and put as many in the jar as you would like.

On the outside add a tag that says: “If I had a dollar for every memory of you, I’d be a millionaire!”

Glass jar with rolled up dollar bills wrapped in colorful paper - creative ways to give money - Adventures in NanaLand

#6 – Photo Album

Similar to the Favorite Book idea, you can create a photo album with money tucked in the pages. Twenty years ago, I was creating photo albums with scrapbook paper and pretty pens. But it seems I just don’t have the energy for that much anymore.

My favorite way to create photo albums these days is to do them through an online photo album maker. My favorite one to use is Mixbook. You can create a book of favorite memories or a book of pictures of you and your grandchild. They’re really easy to do – saves time and the page layouts are done for you! That’s MY kind of scrapbooking.

#7 – Origami

My son’s cute mother-in-law, Ruth, was folding dollar bills to give her grandkids for their birthdays. Now mind you, I had seen little Origami bills but truly thought it was outside my reach of craftiness.

However, when I asked Ruth where she gained her fabulous paper-folding skills, her answer kind of shocked me. . .YOUTUBE!

She said that no one had ever shown her what to do or how to do it except in YouTube videos. Wow! I couldn’t believe it was that simple. Give it a try!

#8 – Candy Bar

Wrap up a Hershey’s candy bar with a fun birthday wrapper and tuck some money inside the wrapper. I found it best to tape the money to the candy bar first before putting the wrapper on. That way, the money doesn’t fall out!

I created a generic Happy Birthday one to use on a regular Hershey Candy Bar to share with you.

#9 – Party Popper

These fun party poppers are easy to make and really fun to open! Just fill the toilet paper roll with money, confetti, candy, etc – the more, the merrier! Then wrap them up and put a pretty tie on each ends.

The kids will have a great time popping open the wrapping and letting everything fall out. It may turn out to be a treasure hunt of sorts. Your grandkids may have to hunt through everything to find their money. Here’s a tutorial if you need one.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

#10 – Birthday Wishes & Kisses

Fill a jar (or other container) with Hershey’s Kisses. Roll up dollar bills and slip them in to hide them among the candy. Add a tag to the jar that simply says: Birthday Wishes & Kisses for You!

There are lots of other creative ways to give money for birthday gifts, but these are just some of my favorites.

If you have a favorite, yet creative way to give money for kids’ birthdays, please leave a comment below and share that with us!

Cookies & Milk for Everyone!

Nana Jill Signature with yellow flower


1 thought on “Creative Ways to Give Money for Kids Birthdays”

  1. Ruth H.

    There are many free ideas for origami dollar bills. The selection of ideas is great – jet planes, animals, shirt, dresses, flowers, hearts, and many others. If I had an idea, I could usually find a video on it. There are even books available if you wish to buy one. The tutorials are good to use because you can stop and review anything that looks a little tricky. It is lots of fun and my grandchildren looked forward to them. It is good for a limited budget to stretch a dollar. Have fun.

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