Hidden Money Birthday Card




My grandmother liked to give unusual bills and coins for presents. For my nephew's upcoming 10th birthday, I want to send him a memorable present. At the bank, I picked up 10 2 dollar bills. I enjoyed designing a Holiday Ribbon Secret Money Container for my daughter's Christmas money and decided to do something similar for him.

This card has bills hidden inside straw candles. This card is great for any milestone birthday. It gets a big impact with little cash, so it is a good choice for college students on a limited budget. Black straws like I used are perfect candles for over the hill cards.

Step 1: Materials

  • Card stock
  • Red tissue paper
  • Orange tissue paper
  • Yellow tissue paper
  • Black tissue paper or tissue paper to match straw color
  • Straws, preferably 1/4" in diameter and opaque

The straws I had in my pantry were too narrow to fit bills inside. Thanks to Donna and Mallory at our local Bahama Breeze restaurant for the straws I used for this project. The black 1/4" diameter straws were perfect. The dark color hid the money, and the straws were wide enough for the money to fit. I cut two 3" candles from each straw.

Brightly colored bubble tea straws would be fun for this project.

Step 2: Supplies

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Tacky Glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Poster board
  • Computer and printer, optional

Step 3: Print Birthday Message

The card is made by folding a piece of card stock in half. The lower half of the card stock is the front of the card. Using a computer and printer, print birthday message so that the message appears at the top position when the page is folded. I used Avenir Black font size 50 for my message. Alternatively, write the message by hand.

Step 4: Cut Straws for Candles

Cut straws into 3" candles.

Step 5: Prepare Tissue for Flames

Cut 1", 1 1/2", and 2" square poster board templates. Use these templates to cut yellow (1"), orange (1 1/2"), and red (2") tissue squares for flames.

Step 6: Prepare Tissue for Straw Ends

Make a 3/4" square poster board template. Use this template to cut tissue squares matching straw color. These squares are used to hide the bottom of bills so the money cannot be seen from the bottom of the card.

I did not have black tissue paper, so I colored some orange tissue black with a sharpie.

Step 7: Insert Money in Straws

Tightly roll bill, cover end with a tissue square matching straw color, and push into straw. If needed, use a pencil eraser to push in bill.

Step 8: Add Tissue Flames

Fold tissue squares in half diagonally. Place a yellow tissue triangle on top of an orange tissue triangle on top of a red triangle. Starting from the center pleat together. Using a toothpick, apply glue to the inside top edge of straw candle and attach tissue flame.

Step 9: Glue Candles to Card

Glue candles on card with tacky glue. The black tissue hides the ends of the bills.



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    13 Discussions


    5 months ago

    As a student (young teen), I am in love with this craft, and even though I am years late from when this was posted, I still feel the need to comment. Also, I’m so making this for a family member!!! Also, I would draw a cool 3-D ish cake at the excess bottom portion to give the candles some platform.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 months ago

    Thanks for the comment. I would love to see the card you make. Be sure to post a picture. The card is works well for a milestone birthday (e.g., 21, 30, 40) or a group gift where everyone continues some $.


    1 year ago

    Beautiful card.


    4 years ago

    You could add a string around the bills and attach it to the flames. So that the candles could be "blown out" by pulling the flaim and up comes the bill!

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    That is a good idea. Although, I have to say that my son had fun taking the card apart.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea! Currently you need to destroy the card and use something, like a pencil to push out the bills.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Our little man LOVED the card! THANK YOU!!!! :)

    We grabbed it out of the mailbox on the way to celebrate his big day. He was in the 3rd row of the car with a friend and I could hear them chatting about how cool the card was BEFORE they knew there was any money hidden in it. :D

    When I asked who the card was from and they mentioned you, I let them know that money was hidden. Then I heard, "No way! That's so cool! Aw man- $2 bills?! Your aunt is cool." I would say that the card was a huge hit among the 10 year old community and with the parents as well.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the comments. The card is in the mail, and I am awaiting to see what my nephew thinks. I like the idea of a way to remove the money and will use thin wire, like bread ties, or thread attached to the flames if I make another one.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the comments. I plan to mail it to my nephew tomorrow.


    4 years ago

    Very cool. And clever