Creative ways to give coins as a gift
December 21, 2007 3:25 PM   Subscribe

What are some creative ways to give rolled coins as a gift?

I'm planning to give my grandma rolled coins as a gift. She now lives in an apartment with coin-op laundry. She finds it troublesome and expensive to scrape together coins. I'd like to give her rolled coins as a gift. What are some inventive ways to present the money? It's okay if the solution involves some unrolled coins, too, but I don't want this to be messy for her. Bonus points for a solution that helps her store or sort the coins. It's also okay to involve other items, although I don't want to spend too much on anything else.

Her interests include TV, reading and crocheting. She's in her 80s and has a good sense of humour. She is overwhelmed with gifts of soap and bath stuff and she'd probably crack up if the rolled coin gift somehow looked like it was going to be more (dreaded) bath items. She's got six kids and 13 grandkids (and about a dozen great-grandkids), most of whom are of modest means, so you can imagine how many gifts of bubble bath and what-not she gets. Thanks.
posted by acoutu to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Amazon link.
posted by bjgeiger at 3:31 PM on December 21, 2007

My Mother put together a fantastic gift for my boys, which could, I think, be adjusted for coins. She simply used a tissue box (the kind with a window opening in the top) and taped together a bunch of one dollar bills, put the roll of taped dollar bills in the box with a long tag attached to the last dollar that said, "Pull here," and threaded the tag out through the hole in the top of the box (I think she opened the box on the bottom with a razor knife to get the roll inside). When the boys pulled on the tag, dollar after dollar unrolled from the box. The gift only cost her about $10, but they had a lot of fun with it. Seems to me you could do this by taping quarters onto a roll of pretty giftwrap paper or something similar and then have that unroll out of the kleenex box (which gets bonus points for looking like bathroom stuff at first).

You could also make a wreath by buying one of those green foam circles available at floral and craft stores and then attaching the coins to it with some tacky glue (because it would be much easier to take the coins off than with stronger glue), and put a big bow on the top. Or, if you can find green coin wraps (I think the dime wraps are green), you could tie a few of them together with waxed linen cord to form a circle, and tie a bow on that for a wreath.
posted by misha at 3:42 PM on December 21, 2007

Would this be a Canadian coin-op laundry that your grandmother uses? And if so, does it accept a single type of coin, or any combination of coins?
posted by mumkin at 3:45 PM on December 21, 2007

This may sound silly, but there you go. :)

1) Get a pickle jar. Either decorate it with paints or leave on the label.
2) Roll your coins.
3) Paint the rolled coins to look like little pickles, warts and all.
4) Stuff your "pickles" back in the pickle jar.
5) Fill the excess space with green tissue paper "brine."

I received rolled coins as a gift in this manner, and I was delighted. If she has a similarly silly sense of humor, then she'll probably be amused as well.
posted by ElectricBlue at 3:51 PM on December 21, 2007

Use pipe cleaners to make coin roll animals. The roll is the body.
posted by smackfu at 3:52 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

If it were me, I would wrap them in different colors of tissue paper and use basic office supplies to make them into little animals. So a few pink thumbtacks and a paperclip and you have a coin pig! Wrap it in green and put some springs on the side: coin frog! Yellow and tissue paper tied at both ends, coin lemon!

You could give her "single serving" baby food jars of quarters. You might also want to give her some small containers of laundry soap in the same size containers. One of the complaints my grandma had when she moved to a place with coin laundry was that the soap containers that were cheap to buy (i.e. in bulk) were heavy to carry.
posted by jessamyn at 3:54 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

At a craft store, you can buy soap molds and colored translucent soap that you melt and pour, with a coin in the center of each soap. Then you could drop a coin down into a bottle of bath foam or shampoo. Make up an entire gift basket of traditional bath stuff with one coin per item, with the jackpot of rolled coins under the decorative filling.
posted by happyturtle at 3:55 PM on December 21, 2007

Assumptions: (1) you will see her at Christmas, and don't need to ship anything; (2) she needs quarters (or in any event one size of coin).

Maybe attach a hollow pole to a broomhead, fill the pole with quarters, and either reattach the original cap on the end or attach a funny figurine (e.g., like those stuck on top of shampoo bottles for kids, like Hello Kitty or a Sesame Street character). Stand in the corner. When she wants quarters, uncork and slide a few out.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 4:23 PM on December 21, 2007

spiral some pipe cleaners around each roll and twist the pipe cleaners together, making garland. Buy a box of soap and wrap the garland around the soap...Soap on a coin rope!
posted by iamkimiam at 4:33 PM on December 21, 2007

Print out red and white diagonal striped paper, and wrap them to look like peppermint candy sticks. Or get colored cellophane and wrap them to look like hard candies. You can probably buy an empty candy box at your local confectionary shop to pack the sticks or candies into for presentation, or better yet, a box that looks like it contains the dreaded soap.
posted by iconomy at 5:00 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Great ideas so far! Yes, this is Canada, I will be seeing her in person and it's loonies and quarters. (My budget works better with quarters, though!)
posted by acoutu at 5:24 PM on December 21, 2007

Besides the coins, you might want to get some postage stamps. Practical gift, saves her standing in line and having to make a trip to the post office. You could get her a bale of toilet paper/paper towels, stamps and the'd be the favorite, I'm sure! Think of being 80 and having to lug items and how nice it might be to have that jumbo sized laundry detergent in the house, something she could break down into smaller quantities, same with toilet paper, paper towels, etc. Buying that kind of stuff in small containers is a lot more expensive but that is probably what she does because 80 year olds aren't strong enough to carry 25 pound packages of laundry soap back from the store. I think your idea is a great one--elderly people would appreciate practical useable gifts that might be regular household items a lot more than a fancy hankerchief or box of candy.
posted by 45moore45 at 6:45 PM on December 21, 2007

Last year we did a gift exchange...the one where you can steal peoples presents, where there would be kids. The value of the item was supposed to be "about five dollars." So, I took 1 roll of nickels and 6 rolls of pennies and decided to give them as a gift. To wit, I placed the nickels in the middle and the pennies around the perimeter. This I secured in newspaper.

This I secured in cardboard. Then a layer of duct tape. A GOOD layer. THIS I secured in more newspaper. Then more cardboard. Then more newspaper. Then more cardboard. Then more duct tape. Also, duct tape. When that was done, more duct tape. It's VERY IMPORTANT that you use multiple pieces, as a long one will simply uncurl. You must also wrap in different directions, and ideally with different widths. Repeat as many times as you like.

The adults figured out what was inside once it got down to a mostly cylinder shape, but it was the most traded gift by FAR, as everyone wanted a turn ripping through it. Finally the last to steal it was a 6 year old girl, who was THRILLED to have $5 and the fun of getting at it. Were I to do it again, I might include some gold dollars or something just to make it more exciting for kids.
posted by TomMelee at 7:22 PM on December 21, 2007

get an old-fashioned bubble-gum dispenser and fill it with (unrolled) coins. that way she can dispense as many coins as she needs, and have a fun way to store them.

alternatively, a piggy bank would be delightful (but one that has some kind of hatch, not a glass one you have to break!).
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:28 PM on December 21, 2007

Quarter Dispenser (Amazon link) This looks like it may be for American Quarters, not sure if yours are the same size.
posted by JujuB at 11:19 PM on December 21, 2007

I may have imagined this, but I think those tubes of mini M&Ms are exactly big enough for quarters to fit inside... In fact, I think the small ones hold exactly ten dollars in quarters. You could get her a red one and a green one, and put some curling ribbon on them and make them look nice.... perhaps get a tiny gift basket and put some candy or popcorn or something in it along with the rolled quarters? Or you could get a small laundry basket and buy like... dryer sheets and a thing of laundry detergent or other laundry supplies (with some colourful Christmas tissue paper)?
posted by Mookbear at 11:31 PM on December 21, 2007

This looks like it may be for American Quarters, not sure if yours are the same size.

U.S. Quarters are 24.26 mm in diameter
Canadian quarters are 23.88 mm in diameter
posted by mumkin at 1:16 AM on December 22, 2007

I used to keep my quarters for laundry in the M&M mini tubes. So Mookbear, you are not imagining things.
posted by nimsey lou at 2:45 PM on December 22, 2007

I keep quarters for laundry in film canisters, but I'm not sure how you could work that into a gift?
posted by smackfu at 4:07 PM on December 22, 2007

Not appropriate for any grandmother I know, and possibly illegal to boot, but too cool not to mention: Fred Perrin Defense Wallet.
posted by callmejay at 6:49 PM on December 22, 2007

There are a ton of great ideas here. I think I'm going to go with the tissue box idea. However, if I had more time, I'd look into the Fred Perrin Defense Wallet. My grandmother is a huge fan of Rambo and other action films. Yeah, I know.
posted by acoutu at 9:54 PM on December 22, 2007

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