What is a fun/cute way to display a large amount of cash as a gift?
November 28, 2011 12:03 PM   Subscribe

What is a fun/cute way to display a large amount of cash as a gift?

I just got married, and we've gone the joint checking account route, while both maintaining personal accounts for the small amount that we each keep weekly for gas, snacks, haircuts, etc. I've saved up $500 out of that, and my husband's birthday is next week. I plan to give it to him for his birthday on Friday, but I don't just want to hand him a wad of mismatched cash in a ratty envelope (as it currently stands). What would a fun way to give him the money?

I'm giving him the money so that he can use it for restoration of his 1989 Corvette- a project that has been on-going, but was shelved this past spring as we got engaged and started saving intensely for a house. It's not very romantic just to give cash (here, I love you $XX amount), but here we are. It's flexible and will allow him to buy the parts/labor that he wants, in the order that he chooses.

I've seen ideas about putting the money in bars of soap, or puzzle boxes, or folding it up into little origami, though those seem more suited to smaller denominations. Maybe a treasure hunt of some sort? He'll be turning 31, and I plan to take him to a restaurant to eat, though I can give the gift beforehand if the presentation so warrants. Thank you in advance if you have any ideas!
posted by heyheylanagirl to Work & Money (35 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Find an old, worthless and moderately thick book on cars/Corvettes on Amazon or wherever. Hollow it out -- there's tons of directions online, find one that suits your crafting ability -- and stick the money in there. Give him the "book" as the gift.
posted by griphus at 12:07 PM on November 28, 2011 [16 favorites]

My mother once put together a little tree, where the leaves were all cash, because she thought just giving money was so boring. It was pretty neat, even if it perhaps sent the wrong message to the young man for his Bar Mitzvah party.
posted by Grither at 12:07 PM on November 28, 2011

Get it in hundreds and put it in a model Corvette.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:08 PM on November 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Maybe hit up the toy section of a thrift store for a toy race car with doors that you can open — nothing crazy, but something you can put money (large denominations, of course) into.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:08 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe you could find one of those model cars, one that looks like what his car will when he's done with it, and stick it inside? Or even better, if the trunk works (if there is a trunk), stick it in there?
posted by addelburgh at 12:09 PM on November 28, 2011

The traditional way is a money tree, but that's more for the receiver to display/add to as more cash gifts come in, than for the giver.

But (assuming it'll be just the two of you, 'cause I'd say it was tacky if other people are present/involved), how about taping it to the wall, spelling out "Happy birthday!"
posted by easily confused at 12:09 PM on November 28, 2011

Actually, I just realized it'd be a lot funnier if you get a book for the wrong car to hollow out. Preferably a Chevette.
posted by griphus at 12:10 PM on November 28, 2011 [12 favorites]

Toy car with a note to "look in the tunk" Ralph Wiggum-style.
posted by MsMolly at 12:12 PM on November 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

I also recommend the "put the cash inside something he'll need for the restoration" method. And remember you can always go and get different denominations of bills if you need.

Or something like this, where you make a car out of bills.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:13 PM on November 28, 2011

go to the bank and get 500 dollar bills. stack them very neatly inside a black briefcase and slide it across a table to him.
posted by juliapangolin at 12:14 PM on November 28, 2011 [21 favorites]

I subscribe to the idea that the receiver should have to work for the money gift.

Grab some scotch tape and get to taping the ends of the bills together. Then once it's all taped together, put it in a box. Wrap that and put it in another, bigger box. Repeat as many times as you want/have boxes.

Not only will hubby remember the gift, but he'll have a fun story to tell for Birthdays to come.
posted by royalsong at 12:16 PM on November 28, 2011

Get it in quarters. A $500 brick of rolled quarters is bigger than a brick and smaller than a cinder block and HEAVY - like 25 pounds. Wrap it in regular gift wrap and it'll look like a smallish present. Until he lifts it.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:22 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, and rolled quarters, especially in bank packaging, are no trouble to get folding money for ata bank.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:22 PM on November 28, 2011

Give him a card with a clue (rhyming is good) and make him go off to another room to find the next clue in an envelope, which sends him to the next room etc etc until he finds a card with the cash and a note explaining what the money is for. We did this once for my brother at a family birthday barbeque and about ten of us gabbed and visited while my brother walked in and out of the house, and around the yard gathering the clues. Okay, maybe it was more fun for us than it was for him.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:22 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

I like Greg Nog's method. Big canvas sack with a dollar sign on it.
posted by bondcliff at 12:23 PM on November 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: My mom once gave my brother cash for a gift by stuffing bills ($5 ones in his case-- he was only 10) into a handful of balloons then filling them with helium (indoors, obviously.) The wrapped gift she gave him was a broomstick with a sharp nail in place of the broom head. We were all puzzled until she indicated he needed to POP the balloons hovering above us, using the stick with the nail in it in order to have the cash literally rain down on him.

You could do this with $100 bills, or fifties.
posted by egeanin at 12:23 PM on November 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

Wrap up a cloth in a nice box with ribbons, and write him a card saying it's for cleaning up oil spills, and you're so glad you're married now, and this is so he can get back to work on the Corvette like you know he's been wanting to do. In small letters at the bottom write "P.S. Look under the couch."
posted by chickenmagazine at 12:39 PM on November 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

My brother gave me some cash last Christmas.

He covered a shoebox in yellow construction paper, wrote Bluth's banana stand on the front, cut out a little hole to be a window, and then taped cash all along the inside of the box.

This might not be the best way to gift cash for everybody, but it is AMAZING if someone has watched Arrested Development at all.
posted by CarolynG at 12:43 PM on November 28, 2011 [14 favorites]

My first thought was a bouquet of cash flowers. Roll one edge of each note, secure (do you have Blutack where you are?), then arrange them in a cone of car-themed giftwrap.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 12:45 PM on November 28, 2011

Ask you bank to order you some un-circulated bills, tens for this I think. Get a cheap model of a corvette of the same generation as the one he is restoring and put it in a box using the money (slightly crumpled up) as packing material. It will take him a second to figure out that the packing paper is actually money.

I also like Griphus' idea of putting it in a hole in a book about a chevette. A single strap of five-dollar bills should be perfect.

Getting a briefcase full of cash would be cool but, even using one-dollar bills, $500 won't even come close to filling one up. You'd have five straps measuring about 13"x6"x .5".

If you get him a box of quarters (also a cool idea), make sure and talk to a teller or teller supervisor at the bank about depositing it again. They might be required to open all the rolls of quarters and run them through their coin counter in case someone tries to pull a fast one on them. When I worked as a bank teller, we couldn't accept rolled coin for that reason but if you clear it with the bank beforehand and their getting their own coins back, I don't think it would be an issue.
posted by VTX at 12:45 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Actually, I just realized it'd be a lot funnier if you get a book for the wrong car to hollow out. Preferably a Chevette.
Or a Corvair.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:51 PM on November 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

If you have an extra $20, how about putting the money in crisp 100s in this ? Your choice between the clip or the wallet.
posted by bearwife at 12:52 PM on November 28, 2011

My favorite is to get all of the cash in a suitable denomination in crisp new bills. Your bank can help with this. Bonus points if it is an uncommon denomination, like $2. Take an old checkbook with the checks torn out. Use rubber cement to glue the upper edge of the stack into the checkbook. When it dries, you should be able to peel the bills out as needed. It's like having a book of money.
posted by Hylas at 1:12 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Like VTX said, you could find a small box, get all of the money in coins and make a small treasure chest. I did this for a friend's wedding and they loved it. I finished off the top with some plastic pearl necklaces and some dollar store rings.

You'd be surprised at how little room the coins take up. I got $150 in quarters and it filled a 10" by 6" box to a depth of about an inch and a half. In fact I had to pad the box with foil lined cardboard to make it look like it wasn't half empty.
posted by talkingmuffin at 1:45 PM on November 28, 2011

In pennies, it'd be ~125kg. Tell him he's worth his weight in copper.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:10 PM on November 28, 2011

Get a strap of 100 fives and take it to a print shop and have them make a pad (like a notepad) out of them.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 5:08 PM on November 28, 2011

Cash inside a toy/model car, inside a tool he would use in the restoration, or inside of a car part he will need.
posted by JiBB at 5:24 PM on November 28, 2011

Does he have a good pair of mechanics' gloves? They'll keep his hands a bit safer from cuts and scrapes, and cleaner as well.

What about stuffing a new pair of Mechanix with bills and stringing them together like boxing gloves?

I also like leather work gloves like these Carolinas as linked today on the green.
posted by a halcyon day at 5:53 PM on November 28, 2011

Convert the $500.00 into $10 dollar bills. Crumple the bills and fill up a box, wrap the box as a gift.

I did this for my kids once with $1 dollar bills, 50 of them look quite impressive!
posted by JujuB at 6:06 PM on November 28, 2011

An older relative (who was known among the kids for giving the best gifts) got my niece a book for Christmas one year. It was an educational book, aimed at someone a few years younger than her. She tried valiantly to be polite and thankful, until she started flipping through it- every 5 pages was a crisp new bill. The money is long gone, but she still has the book.
posted by dogmom at 6:39 PM on November 28, 2011

"So I think your car is hot, and it's hot when you're working on it, so I want to earn some extra money to help you work on it.

So I'm going to give you a lapdance, and here is a bunch of bills for you to tip me with, and all proceeds from my stripper career go towards your car!"
posted by -harlequin- at 7:45 PM on November 28, 2011

Buy a cheap Fram oil filter, cut the threaded end off with a can opener or something, discard filter material, and roll up 100 $5's inside the shell.
posted by richyoung at 8:35 PM on November 28, 2011

Money tree?
posted by annsunny at 10:21 AM on November 29, 2011

Response by poster: You guys, you guys!! It was awesome. 31 balloons, because he turned 31. I stuffed them with cash as the balloon guy at the supermarket inflated them, brought them in as a surprise, and then we laughed ourselves silly popping them, and scared the dog half-to-death while we were at it. If I knew how to post a picture, I would. Thanks for making it a great birthday for my better half.
posted by heyheylanagirl at 6:33 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, that sounds like it was so much fun! Thanks for reporting back!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:23 AM on December 29, 2011

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