For Christmas, I made this necklace and earring set for my 22-year old nephew, Timothy.
I haven't seen him for a couple of years, but as far as I know, he doesn't wear necklaces or earrings. In fact, I fully expected him to completely destroy this gift within 30 seconds of opening it. Why? Because he knows that every gift from me has hidden money inside. This one has 8 bills of varying denominations. Affiliate links below.
Hidden Money Gift: Necklace and Earring Set
Paint the beads with acrylic paint. When the paint is dry, add Extreme Glitter. I found that putting the beads on a skewer and propping that up on paint bottles was the easiest way to paint them.
Choose a patterned paper that coordinates with your beads. Cut 8 strips of paper, each slightly bigger than 3/4" wide by around 3" long.
Working with one bill at a time, fold the bill lengthwise into thirds, creasing the fold well. Roll it into a tight bead. Wrap the patterned paper around it, adding glue only to the area where the paper overlaps itself. Don't get any glue on the money! Repeat for all 8 bills.
In this picture, you can see the steps of prepping the money. The third bill is loose because I let go of it for the photo; you'll actually want it to be as tight as possible, as you can see with the finished bead on the right.
Here's a look at a finished bead.
To make the earrings, thread a bead onto an eye pin, then curl up the end to secure the bead in place. Use a jump ring to attach it to the earring hook.
To make the necklace, arrange six paper beads (hidden money) and seven wooden beads in order. String them onto the necklace chain. Depending on the necklace and the beads, you may need to temporarily remove the clasp of the chain (if it's wider than the gap in the beads) and/or use a yarn needle to thread the beads.
This is what the finished jewelry set looks like.
Package your gift in an elegant jewelry gift box for an extra fun touch. Then wait and see how long it takes your recipient to notice that the necklace and earrings aren't actually the gift they think they are!
My sister sent me this photo of Timothy modeling his new jewelry (pre-destruction). I love it.
Browse through the dozens of ideas for money gifts I've given to Timothy and others over the years. I love looking back at them.