Introduction: Universal Gift Card

About: I love combining software, electrical, and mechanical engineering to come up with unique and fun projects. I'm not a chef, but love to cook. Follow me on and…

Gift card sales are once again on the rise.  I don't know about you, but it drives me crazy that when I trade my cash for a plastic card or certificate, it often expires, adds service fees, and slowly devalues itself over time if not used.  The receiving party can easily lose out if they don't promptly use it.  The unnecessary service fees and expiration dates have gotten so out of control that many states are now rushing to put laws in place to prevent companies from taking advantage of consumers.

So here we arrive at my idea of a "Universal Gift Card".  Simply put, this is a fun little gag gift taking a stab back at those companies that take advantage of us (and not ALL gift cards fall into this category, but most of the ones that I've received do).

This simple idea includes a printable template to give the ultimate gift card that never expires, has no maintenance fees or service charges, and everyone loves - CASH!

Step 1: Gather the Materials

The following materials are needed for this project:
  • 8.5 x 11 white paper.  I recommend a 110 lb card stock such as the one found here on If you don't have card stock, plain paper will work but the end result will be flimsy and not really feel as much like a gift card as the card stock will.
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Sharp utility or hobby knife (optional, but recommended)

Step 2: Print the Template

Print the attached PDF template on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. 

This template includes a gift-card sized envelop to hold your cash and an optional gift card to include a personal message if desired.

I purposely made this template generic so it could be used for any occasion. 

By request, I have also included a blank template so that you can design your own card if desired.

Step 3: Cut Out

Using a pair of small scissors, cut out the envelope and (if desired) note card.

Step 4: Score & Fold

I highly recommend that you score each of the dotted lines VERY LIGHTLY with a sharp hobby knife.  This makes the folding much cleaner. Use an old scrap piece of wood under your paper and do this only under adult supervision!

Fold each flap of the envelope tightly.  Do the same with the note card, folding it in half.

Step 5: Glue the Envelope

Apply glue to the white rectangle areas of the envelope as shown in the photo below.  Fold envelope closed and put a book on it while allowing the glue to dry.

Step 6: Add the Gift!

Write a personal note inside the card and add your cash!

As an added touch, use Google to find a fun way to fold your money before adding it. One of my personal favorites is the money t-shirt fold!

Step 7: Done!

Glue the back flap closed and you're done!

You now have a great TRUE universal gift card to give!

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