Surprise Chocolate Box of Money Gift Box (Easy DIY Gift)

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You want to give a thoughtful gift, but you know they could really use some extra cash? How do you gift money in a fun and creative way? This Money Gift Box Idea is a winner! With an empty candy box, some dollar bills and coins, and a few candy or baking papers, you’re set for giving monetary gifts that are a fun way to give a gift of cash.

open box of see's candy filled with money instead of chocolate, surrounded by party supplies.

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Want to give a money gift but don’t want to be boring with gift cards? This easy DIY Money Gift Box is perfect! It’s a little bit of a gag gift, but a whole lot of usefulness. Who couldn’t use a few more bucks in their wallet.

This chocolate box of money is all thanks to my Aunt Cass. She was always super creative and liked to make much of special events. But she was also very practical. She didn’t give gifts that we couldn’t use. 

Back when we were paying off debt, she sent me a box of chocolate from her local sweets shop. Or at least, that’s what I thought it was. When I opened it, I found that she had transformed a simple chocolate box into a money gift box. This is the perfect way for you to gift money this year instead of gift cards that inevitably are forgotten or wasted on junk just to spend them and be done. Just saying.

chocolate box with money of different denominations
Aunt Cass’s original chocolate box of money, 2011.

Why Make a Chocolate Money Box?

It’s fun! Your gift recipient will probably smile at the thought of chocolate, but once they open this gag gift, they’ll smile even wider seeing coins and bills in different currency. It’s so much better than writing a check or buying a gift card.

It’s a simple DIY. You only need a few supplies to pull this off. No crafty skills required.

The cost will always fit your budget. Since you can vary the denominations that you include in your chocolate money box gift, it can fit whatever budget you have for giving a gift.

It’s great a great bon voyage gift. Someone heading off on a trip overseas will love to receive some foreign currency, making this a great gift for missionaries, exchange students, parents going to adopt their international children, and other world travelers.

It’s great for kids. Kids can learn about denominations they’ve never seen before. My mom and Aunt Cass have given me two dollar bills every year for my entire life. And, yes, $2 bills are real US currency.


Here’s what you’ll need to make a chocolate money box gift:

a candy box or cookie tin – You can use whatever empty candy box or cookie tin you have around. It’s best to choose a brand that your gift recipient really likes. Remember that the bigger the box, the more money it will take to fill, so choose wisely… ie small.

Also keep in mind if your gift recipient has any food allergies. You’ll want to make sure that the money doesn’t carry cross contamination of allergens. — I’m a mom of a kid with food allergies, so I appreciate the care others take in this way.

paper baking liners – The mini muffin or candy size papers are ideal. They are most similar to what candy stores use. You can use brown traditional chocolate paper cups or fun colored ones to make the package more colorful.

money – Vary the denominations and include some unique coins and bills if you can. Aunt Cass cornered the market on $2 bills (yes, they are real!) so she often gave them as gifts. Dollar coins are another fun touch.

But you can use anything: pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars, dollar coins and dollar bills, two dollar bills and as high up as you can afford. Inquire at the bank to see what fun selection you can come up with.

Obviously, you’ll want to use currency that the person can spend or likes to collect casually. For college students going abroad, including currency from their host country is super fun!

adhesive – You’ll also need glue, double-sided tape, or foam stickies to adhere the paper cups into the box and the money into the paper liners.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s how to make your Chocolate Money Gift Box:

  1. Glue or tape the liner papers to the bottom box. 
  2. Roll, fold, or stack the currency to vary its appearance. money in coins or paper denominations
  3. Use stickies or tape to adhere the currency to the candy liner.
  4. Close the box and wrap as a gift.

I see so much potential for a Chocolate Money Box gift like this. It’s creative and practical all at the same time!

completed chocolate money box gift surrounded by party decor.

More Great Gifts to Make

What do you think?

We love hearing from you! Leave a starred comment below to let us know what you think of this project. Thanks for sharing Life as Mom with your friends and family.

close up of chocolate box of money with party decor surrounding.

Chocolate Money Gift Box Tutorial

Turn an empty chocolate box into a money gift box with this easy tutorial. It's a great way to gift money without resorting to checks or gift cards.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • scissors only to trim tape or stickies


  • 1 empty chocolate box
  • adhesive such as glue, double-sided tape, or foam stickies
  • small paper candy liners
  • money in coins or paper denominations


  • Glue or tape the liner papers to the bottom box.
    1 empty chocolate box, small paper candy liners, adhesive such as glue, double-sided tape, or foam stickies
  • Roll, fold, or stack the currency to vary its appearance.
    money in coins or paper denominations
  • Adhere the currency to the candy liner.
  • Close the box and wrap as a gift.


Get creative with your money box! Find different denominations of coins and bills to include or vary the color of the paper liners. Be sure to choose a favorite chocolate of your friend’s.
Tried this project?Let us know how it went!

This post was originally published February 2, 2011. It has been updated for content and clarity. Read: this is the original that others on the internet have copied. πŸ˜‰

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  1. Thanks for the chocolate money box idea. I will be using this idea for 2022 Graduates. i believe they will really appreciate this. I am also trying to think about how I could use it for Teachers’ Appreciation less the money.

  2. Love this idea. I hate handing an envelope with money or a gift card to someone. This looks like way more fun.

  3. I love this idea. I want to do this for Valentine’s Day. Just curious, how do you tape the dollar bills in without tearing them when that are removed. Thanks.

  4. How cool was it for me to click on this and see LaCrosse, WI and Winona MN; I live in Winona! Great idea, I’m going to give these to my nephews for Christmas. Thanks much!

  5. I found this idea when looking for something for my daughter’s 21st birthday. She wanted to go to Las Vegas, and I needed to give her money, but didn’t want to just give it to her. So I used this idea and the one with the money taped together and rolled in a box. This was so cute, and it only took a few minutes to put together. Of course, I enjoyed eating all the chocolates, lol. Now trying to find something to send her for Valentines day.

  6. Thanks for the idea! I am making my brother this at this very moment. I pinned your idea a long time ago and just now has the time to read through it. I was shocked to see you mention La Crosse because I attended UW-La Crosse for four years and have been to this sweet shop. Small world! Thanks again!

  7. This is AWESOME!!! I just found the perfect Christmas gift for my hard to buy for teenagers! I think I will put a little twist on this however and put gift cards from different places around town like Subway, McDonalds and perhaps a gas card. Thanks for the idea!

  8. At Michael’s craft store I bought a chest and painted it..filled it with chocolate coins and 100.00 dollars worth of sacachawea neices were graduating from high school and we gave each $100.00 dollars.They thought that was a great idea.chocolate coins and real coins make for a fun gift at anytime..NO ONE REFUSES MONEY NO MATTER WHAT FORM IT’S IN. love the idea.

  9. A big hit my wife & I have done at Christmas, was to give a money gift to my newly-married children. We got a nice-looking multi-photo frame, like 10 cutouts for photos, and put a currency bill from $100 on down (100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 & 1 in each of the cutouts, and one coin of each denomination (including a dollar coin) in the rest of the cutouts. The money came up to around $190. They loved it, got a kick out of it, got some useful funds, and a nice picture frame as well.

  10. This is great! I’m not a mom, but my little sister is away at college so I’m always trying to find things that make her smile, this is wonderful, she will love it!

  11. This will make a perfect Mother’s Day gift too! My MIL, age 82, will love this!!!!

  12. Just got done making this for my husband who has everything. I know he will love it. I used tissue paper cut with decorative siccors instead of the baking cups. Thanks for the great idea

  13. What a cute idea! My niece is graduating from high school in may.
    I’ll be packaging her $100 this way!

  14. Love this idea! Getting ready to send Christmas gifts to nieces and nephews we don’t see during the holidays. This is perfect! Thanks so much for the very clever idea.

  15. I just came across this again and was reminded of a wedding gift we received from some friends. They got a small wooden chest from a craft store and converted their bills to coin so it was partially full of treasure! It was a hoot, and we still keep the chest for our spare change.

    1. THAT sounds like a great present! Especially for a teenager or college student. Love it.

  16. That is a really fun idea. A couple of years ago, some of our friends decided to go to Costa Rica for their honeymoon.

    For their wedding gift, we exchanged some money and have them some Costa Rican cash to have at the ready when they arrived. They loved the gesture, but this packaging would have made it even better! Thanks for the idea.

  17. This is a great idea! My hubby loves Esther Price Candies (we live near Dayton, OH). But we are both trying to lose some lbs this year so candy is def out for us. Well, when I saw this I thought of a great way to modify it. Instead of money, I think I may get an EP box and fill the candy spots with small love notes and verses. His birthday is the day before VDay. He is having a rough time at work these days and a few encouraging notes in a sweets box might just make his day! (: Thanks for the idea!

    1. great idea! love that it lends support, lots of love and cheap! Just my kind of gift lol

  18. That is so cute! My Sunday School teacher from when I was 2 years old (so I guess that was probably actually the nursery) sent me a $2 bill in my birthday card every year too!

  19. Super Cute idea!!! Must do for my kids! I’m originally from LaCrosse, WI – now live in a suburb of St. Paul, MN – and SO miss the Sweet Shop! Yummy Yummy Yummy! My husband is from Winona and has lots of Pellowski relatives there. What a small world!

  20. What a creative idea…I just thought it would be cute and also help to keep the coins from going everywhere if you could use a little cellofane and wrap them in long rounded “pieces” ( think about a section of a roll of coins… perhaps 5 coins at a time) and twist tie the ends like starlight mints. I always wrap gifts to look like candy. Here is what I Love to use ~red pipe cleaners to secure the ends and then I twist the excess around my pinky finger to curl them for a whimsical look! I love the look of red and white so I use white tissue paper and cut a pipe cleaner in half and use one on each end. I have also used the really thin red with white polka dots ribbon!! I think the bills rolled from side to side would work well like this! The $10 dollar bill in the red liners reminded me of this idea because it looked like a long piece of tootsy roll candy shape. So if you do not have the candy papers this idea will work in the heart shaped boxes.
    Thanks for sharing your fun and wonderful ideas.

  21. LOL! This is great, though I can’t help but think that my kids actually might be disappointed that it’s not actually chocolate or candy! This is also great for giving my Mom her gift this year! She is the worst person to shop for, has been horribly hard to do so for quite a while. She’s so bad, that she just goes out and buy’s herself what she wants, brings it home, wraps it and then write “from Dad” on the tag! I don’t think she kept a single item he has ever given her (well, maybe 1 – in 30 yrs of marriage!) So a couple of years ago she started asking for gift cards! Sucks to just buy her “gift cards” for her birthday/holiday season! 1 yr, because it drives me nuts that she knows what she is getting – I wrapped up 8 boxes in descending order (littlest to bigges) nesting inside of each other (so the littlest was the very last box to open!) She opened up all 8 boxes (I also made her open them up with oven mitts tomake it that much harder!) So she opened up the last gift – and there was nothing inside! I had tapped the gift card to the bottom of the largest box she had opened! I told her, if she knew what she was getting – she had to work for it!

    This year, she wants “cash, or a check” to put into her vacation fund (harder to do with a gift card to a specific location!) So this is what I will do! Makes it much more fun and interesting to give her that gift! Thanks for the info!

  22. That is a great idea for gifts. I just might do that for the kids this year, using smaller boxes though.

    I’m from a small (pop.750 on a good day) town just south of La Crosse. We always got our Christmas candy from The Sweet Shop. In my opinion, they are just as good as See’s for their own reasons. Thanks for the memory cue. – Dawn

  23. You could also use money origami to fold some of the bills into heart shapes. The tooth fairy just left a heart shaped $5 bill for my daughter. It sounds like it would be tricky but I just googled the instructions and it was suprisingly simple. Love the smaller 4 piece box idea too!! My step-daughter who lives out of state will be so excited to see this since she has braces and can’t eat the boxed candy!

  24. That is so cool! Great idea for older kids who have birthdays on Valentine’s Day too!

    We used to live in Winona, MN!! Two of our 3 kids were born in Lacrosse! Small world! πŸ™‚

  25. I think this would be perfect to use the little 4 piece candy boxes-especially the heart shaped ones. I have a five year old daughter who would love to get a $1 bill, a couple of quarters, 50 cent piece and maybe even a $1 coin. It would cost less than $5 that way and come right in at our usual Valentine budget.

  26. I can imagine using this idea for our office gift exchange. We have a $20 limit and it’s hard to buy a present for someone you don’t really know. But it always feels way too tacky to just give someone a $20. But dressing it up in a fun way like this would totally work!

  27. I hate giving money or gift cards because I don’t want people to think it was a last resort…but who can’t use some extra cash? This is the best of both worlds, because it actually takes some effort and thought, while being practical.

  28. This is an awesome idea- and I can’t think of a single age who wouldn’t appreciate it! (On another note, my twin, I have family in La Crosse. It’s uncanny, really…)

  29. I think it would be a great multi-cultural lesson if you included money from different countries. My inlaws travel a lot and always bring my son back some currency from their trips. What a fun way to present it! Another idea is to turn it into a counting lesson. For example, put in a 1 dollar bill, and put in 2 fifty cent pieces, 4 quarters, etc. Then have your child match the amounts.

  30. I have been looking for a different Valentine gift for my kiddos and this will work perfectly! Before my granddad passed away, he would periodically give my kids a $2 bill. DD is the only one that can remember him and his tradition and she has kept every bill. She pulls them out every so often and reminisces about Paw-Paw. πŸ˜‰

    1. When I went off to college, my mom filled a laundry basket with little baggies of laundry detergent (1 scoop measures) and tied them up with colorful ribbon and attached another little bag with 4 quarters ( the cost to wash and dry a load way back when) It was enough to last me for 3 months! What a great gift it was and I never had to worry that the cash machine worked.

    2. I did the same thing at Easter with the plastic Easter eggs for my Grandsons. The boys loved the idea. They were so excited over the money, they didn’t even notice we had cut the candy down!