Baby I Got Your Money

Our kids are at a tough age when it comes to buying them gifts.  They're too old for toys, but they still want something cool to open.  We begged them to make wishlists for Christmas and their birthdays, but every time they did, money seemed to be the reoccurring item.  So Doc and I decided that money was what we'd give them...for their birthdays, at least.  Their mom is taking them on a Disney cruise the first week of their Christmas break.  It's in lieu of birthday parties and is their gift from her.  Even though Anna's birthday isn't until after they're back from the cruise, we decided to go ahead and give them both their money before they left so they'd have it to use as spending money. But we couldn't just give them cash in an envelope.  Where's the fun in that?  I racked my brain with how we could get creative with this ho-hum gift.  Scavenger hunt?  All change and make them roll it?  Earlier this year, a friend from work told me about how he and his wife folded a bunch of one dollar bills to make a lei for their son's graduation.  That sounded cool, but I couldn't figure out how to make the lei work for December birthdays.  (Guess I could've tied it in to the Caribbean cruise.  Hindsight...gets ya every time.)

I had already told Doc that we needed to figure out a way to creatively fold the money when I spotted this idea on Pinterest.

(found here)

Yessss!  This was a great idea!  We could creatively fold the money like I wanted to, and now we had a cute way to box it all up to be wrapped.  Winning!

I sent Doc to Target to pick up two cheap-o candy boxes.  Russell Stover was the winner.

The first step in this little project was to eat all the candy figure out how much of each bill we needed.  Our candy boxes didn't come with the little individual paper wrappers, but instead had little dividers to make different sized compartments.  We could work with that.  We went back and forth on how much money to give the kids, but eventually decided on $10 for each year of life.  That meant $110 for Anna and $120 for Wyatt.  I let Doc figure out how to evenly divide the totals into different sized bills...a task right up his alley!

A couple trips to the bank later and we had all the cash.  We struck out on half dollar coins, but did manage to snag enough whole dollar coins to use.  Each of them got one fifty dollar bill and one twenty.  I can't remember the amounts after that, except that Wyatt got one more ten dollar bill than Anna since he's a year older.

We spent a whole night folding money!  Doc gets most of the credit because he started while I was wrapping Christmas presents.  He got creative with his is Wyatt's box around the time I joined in to help.  You can see a couple that center on an E for our last name, and one that has a 12 for Wyatt's age.

I, of course, had to pull up some tutorials online so that I could fold the money into fun shapes.  My first dollar bill became a heart for Anna.

I also made her a ring.

For Wyatt, I made a Star of David.

And, the one that I was most proud of (and the one that took the most time and the most re-doing)...a shirt and tie!  Yes, that's only one bill and there was no cutting, taping, or gluing involved.  Bam!

Doc stepped it up a little on his folding, too.  He made this one for Anna that shows her birthday - 12/25.

I was pretty impressed with this one he made for her - it shows her name AND if you look behind the n's, you can see an 11 - her age this year.

And finally, this last one that he made for Wyatt totally cracks me up.  He gave Andrew Jackson some Bieber hair.

I forgot to take pictures of the boxes when they were finished.  (Obviously we rearranged Wyatt's from that initial picture after we had folded more bills.)  The kids loved opening them and seeing all the money.  Actually, first Anna saw the box of chocolates and said she sure hoped there weren't too many with nuts.  I'm pretty sure she was glad to see the money instead of just a bunch of chocolates!  I guess Forrest Gump was right about those boxes of never know what you're gonna get.