My grandson Aaron is turning ten this month, and his birthday party is scheduled for this Sunday. Last year, I gave up trying to find him a gift for his birthday, and instead I am now relying on a present of cash. I’m saving his “want” list for Christmas, and who doesn’t like money? But I didn’t want to just give him money with a card in an envelope — how boring! This was my last year’s idea: I taped 30 dollar bills together end-to-end using painters tape on the back.
I then rolled up the cash, inserted it into a Kleenex box, and taped a giant pink construction-paper finger to the last bill. A sharpie helped me make the finger wrinkles, fingernail, and the best part — the “Pull my finger” direction. Aaron loved the gift (though he missed the finger-pulling allusion) and loved to see the money come out and out and out and out.
This year, I found a little box (maybe 4″ x 4″ x 4″) at Michael’s for under $3. I figured with a little ingenuity, I could make a “treasure box” to hold the cash for this year’s gift. Since Aaron’s room is decorated in camo, I first applied brown craft paint to the entire box.
After it was dry, I used sandpaper to scuff it up a little. (BTW, my favorite part of this is the lock. It’s so cool!)
Next I kind of, sort of, followed directions for aging wood with Vaseline. The site http://lovegrowswild.com was my inspiration. I used a little Vaseline throughout the outside of the box, just spreading it on with my finger. You can see in the photo above where the shiny Vaseline-d spots are.
To make the box look camouflaged, I wanted several shades of green on the top. The idea is that the green won’t stick where the Vaseline is. Remember the crayon-resist technique from elementary school? I dabbed a bright green craft paint next to a dark green one, getting a little of each on my brush. I then painted the whole box. CRAP ALERT: Unbeknownst to me, the extra glaze that was in the dark brown paint was a key to avoiding crapsmanship.
After painting the outside of the box, I needed to wipe off the green paints with a wet rag. The green paints stayed tacky until I was able to use the rag. Looking a the photo above, you can see mostly brown, a few scuff marks, a little green, and my favorite lock.
To decorate the box, I camo-ed an “A” that I found in my craft box to the outside lid. I covered in all over with ModPodge — my favorite tool to seal the box.
Finally, I found one lonely army man toy in the grandkids’ toy box, so I glued him to the inside using E6000. I used about three inches of a plastic straw, cut it lengthwise, and inserted rolled-up bills into the cylinder. Now GI Joe holds the money in the box.
He’ll be perfect for holding the cache of cash!