I think it might be virtually impossible for me to just stick money in a card and call it a day. My brain just screams “You can do more! You can do it better!”. This money graduation gift takes it up a couple notches, but is still very quick and easy to put together!
I started by running to a local pizza shop and asking if I could buy 3 empty boxes. They charged me a quarter each, so at this point I’m at 75 cents and happy! I got the 12″ size and it worked perfectly. You can purchase them on Amazon too if you wanted plain, white boxes so you could decorate them yourselves.
I just used some scrap cardboard and a large plate as a guide to cut out a 10″ circle. I had previously been collecting small bills to add up to $100 (you won’t believe how proud I am of myself that I remembered to ask at every store I went to that morning. Big deal here, folks.)
I got mostly 10’s and 5’s but had some 1’s thrown in. Give whatever amount you feel comfortable with, but just know that this is what $100 looks like on a 10″ round, so if you’re giving a smaller amount, you might need more 1’s to bulk it up. I just layered them up to cover the cardboard and then added some quarters as pepperoni, because what college kid doesn’t need quarters for laundry. I actually have no idea, if they still need quarters but we did 20 years ago.
Wrap it up nice and tight with some plastic wrap and you’re good to go! I had to tape my plastic wrap on the bottom of the cardboard to get it pulled as tightly as I wanted. I’ll include a link to print the printable at the bottom of the post, but obviously it wouldn’t be much for you to quick type it up in PicMonkey. A graphic designer, I am not.
For the second pizza box, I included a book and some snacks with goofy sayings. It got a chuckle out of an 18 year-old boy
man, though, so I call that a win.
I would have loved to have included the book Oh the Shit You Don’t Know, but if there’s one thing I excel at, it’s waiting till the last minute. So we ran into Barnes & Noble and grabbed Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Peanuts. Which, incidentally, is also cheaper on Amazon… if you plan ahead.
For the last box, I included a giant cookie pizza that I decorated to look like a Smart Cookie. I had been dealing with a migraine/bad headache for most of this week, so I actually bought my cookie at the local grocery store. Not what I had planned on doing, but it was $4.99 for an undecorated, 10″ cookie and that was good enough for my migraine head.
Normally, I would have made my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and it would have tasted 100 times better, because this recipe rocks. But the point was the decorations, not the taste, so store-bought works too.
And the decorations were SO easy! Be sure to check out the tutorial post for how I made the Smart Cookie face. It took me less than 5 minutes to make the face. Seriously, it was way less time than it took me to wrap the boxes up.
The picture isn’t the best because who puts a blue box against a blue wall to photograph it?? Remember, my head was killing me…
All I did was stack the 3 pizza boxes on top of each other. I used a couple loops of tape to secure them together to make it easier to wrap. I only had navy wrapping paper on hand, but black wrapping paper would look much better if it wasn’t so hard to find in-stores anytime except October.
I cut a square out of scrap cardboard and wrapped that up too before attaching it to the top of the boxes with some more tape loops.
I made a quick tassel out of some embroidery thread in the school colors and taped that on top too.
Fun packaging and, hopefully, a fun little gift to open!
To print your own labels and signs, click on each link for the download: