Potholders and Dishtowel Hidden Money Gift

My nephew turned 23 yesterday. I have been giving Timothy hidden money for every gift-giving occasion since he was 13. Almost all of the 37 money gift tutorials I have on my blog were for him. It is getting increasingly difficult to come up with an idea that is both new and able to be mailed out of state, but I enjoy the challenge. 

For his 23rd birthday, I gave him two homemade potholders and a dishtowel. 

Making the potholders was a major blast from the past. I was obsessed with my potholder maker as a kid in the 1970's. Getting a fresh bag of loops was the best! I still have my red metal 1970's potholder maker (affiliate links here and below); at some point I got a plastic one (which they sell in a variety of sizes). Some have instructions to make other things, like this awesome pineapple. Seven-year-old Cindy would have circled that in the Sears catalog for sure! Fifty-one-year-old Cindy *might* buy some yellow and green loops and do some experimenting. 

Speaking of experimenting, I had no idea if hiding money in a homemade potholder was even possible. 
I added loops in one direction, folded a dollar bill so it was really skinny, and wove it into the potholder. So far, so good.  

I wove in more loops, then realized I needed a loop where the money was or I wouldn't be able to bind off properly. So I added a white loop over the dollar bill. 

I was pleased with how hidden the money was when I finished. You can see it, but barely. It was more visible on the backside, but not bad. Time to bind off!

Uh oh. 

Darn it. I forgot how much smaller the finished potholders are than the loom. 

Fortunately, I was able to fold the ends over and weave them back in. This is the back (worse) side.... which isn't bad at all. You can see the money, but wouldn't necessarily notice it at first glance. 

For the second potholder, I started by folding the money smaller, plus I folded it so that the green portion was hidden and only the plain edge of the bill (this one's a $5) showed. 

The results were even better than the first one. Time for the dishtowel! I started with a purchased cotton dishtowel, then carefully opened up 1/2" of one of the hems. I folded the $10 and $20 bills up and slid them through the hole, one at a time, in opposite directions. 

Once I re-sewed the hem, you had to look really carefully to see that it was ever opened. The money was not visible at all (but you could feel it). If Timothy didn't know that I always hide money in his gifts, I don't think he would have even noticed it there. Even with the arrows pointing to the four hidden bills, it's pretty well disguised. 

Happy birthday to Timothy! Now I have about six weeks to figure out another money gift to give him for Christmas.

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