Prankster gift wrapping

So I’ve been rather creative, to say the least, with my gift-wrapping for my nephew ever since he’s been old enough to open his own gifts. He’s 16 now, and for the past few years, it’s been getting rather difficult to keep stepping up my gift-wrapping game. Last year, when he opened up his Christmas gift, he found something that looked like this:

All he had said he wanted was fishing supplies, so I decided a gift card for his favorite fishing shop would be my best bet. I pounded a pry-bar into one end of a section of 2x4 cracked it open, hollowed out a little room in the middle, placed the gift card inside, and then glued it back together and clamped it, sanded it down and got it to look like just a normal (though nicely finished) piece of 2x4. He examined it for about 10 minutes before he noticed the very slight line of glue that went all around the board. He (and everyone else there) got a real kick out of it.

This year, I think I’m just going to give him cash, but I’m trying to figure out how to present it. If anyone else has any similar stories to tell, here’s your chance, I’m looking for ideas.


Gonna be hard to top that one! Chuckle! :smile:

Bottom of a box of cereal? Center of a rolled ball of TP? Or you could re-seal a can…

Get a can of something that has both a pull top end and a plain end with a rim. (spaghettios, some kinds of nuts, etc.)

Open the bottom end of the can with one of the special can-openers that opens along the seam instead of cutting down through the top.

Empty and clean the can without messing up the label. Insert the gift, and glue the bottom back on.

(It’s getting a little harder now to find cans that have that bottom rim though.)


I have hollowed out old books and put my items in there. There are lots of videos on how to do that. Another advantage is he can use the book as a safe–just put valuable items in it and put it on the bookshelf and nobody will ever know. For this purpose I like to use a book that has a real boring title that nobody would ever want to read. :wink:


We used to have an electric can opener that would open a can without damaging the lid. You could empty the contents and just pop the lid back on and it would look like you had never opened it. It didn’t use a blade it used a dull wheel. - Rich


He’s expecting a puzzle, perhaps you could think different than that. Give him a regular gift where the money is either hidden or turn it into a scavenger hunt…or just make it obvious but painful to get to it (glue the aforementioed 2x4 in a matrix of other 2x4’s glued together with one in the center but isn’t the one that has the money in it…it’s in one of the outer ones!


A set of candles that appear to be the real gift but you have actually re meted one and put a plastic envelop in with cash


I have one of those ‘no-cut/safety’ can openers, it looks like this:

Mine does not like small cans (4-8oz sizes) but it loves the 12oz+sizes (progresso soup cans work great to pop the crimp from the top without disturbing the pull-tab.). Could be fun to pull the label off and make your own: Unicorn Meat, Human Giblets, Dodo Eggs, Soylent Green, Uranium-235 in Tomato & Basil Sauce…

Another: This guy has a pretty great idea/tutorial sor using a 20oz soda bottle:


My dad was big on giving enormous boxes filled with detritus–gravel, pine cones, etc., and other boxes filled with such things–that you had to dig through to get to the teeny little present down at the bottom. What a kidder.

My brother does far better–he tends to do treasure hunts. You start by opening a card that has a clue in it to the first place to go, which leads you to the next clue, etc. Sometimes, you have to drive to find the clues. One memorable year on the ranch, my present involved an hour-long hunt using his quadrunner for the vehicle. The actual presents themselves tend to be pretty modest, akin to the flashlight-keychain I found at the end of the quadrunner chase. I don’t think anyone who’s gotten one of these adventures hasn’t thoroughly enjoyed it, and remembered it for life. We’re designed to enjoy solving puzzles and hunting for things, and his treasure hunts hook right into those instincts.


My cousin once put on her list “cold hard cash” so my in-laws froze $400 into a block of ice.


This is wonderful…and quite the accomplishment, making it look like nothing had even happened to it.


You could try making a vase trap so that he can see the money secured at the bottom and he can fit his empty hand in, but he can’t pull his hand out while holding the money.


my parents did the treasure-hunt-hidden-gift many times. One of the ways to make “present opening time” last longer. Tricks learned from my grandfather dealing with the issue of struggling to afford presents for all of his children.


How about a hardback book with all the pages glued together. He’ll spend time trying to open them up, but you’ll have just hidden the money in the spine.


Not quite in the prank category, but many years ago, someone gave my folks a really ugly nut bowl with a built-in nutcracker. Thus began a long tradition of gifting the nut bowl to another family member each Christmas. Anyway, the nut bowl went around for many years and then disappeared, never to resurface again. So, while in Austria, my dad picked up a walnut in the shell, wrapped it up, and gave it as a gift. Thus, the walnut passed from family member to family member, finally presenting in a tiny wooden box that dad made especially for it. The walnut shell was inscribed with the date and place in Austria when it first began it’s silly journey. Now, the walnut too, has disappeared. It would be cool if someday it would again make itself known. In a similar way, we also used to present the ‘Loser’s Trophy’ at family Christmas games. The person who received this ignominious prize was required to embellish it further before the next Christmas. So much fun and so many great memories.


The 8-year-old did something like this for his older brother’s birthday this year. A nicely wrapped box containing… a nicely wrapped box. And so one for about four layers. I forget what he actually gave him.


And you could put a few dried beans in the innermost one so the box has an intriguing sound when you shake it.


When my niece was little, I liked to get her giant stuffed animals for Christmas. After 3 years in a row of progressively larger bears (my niece was maybe 8 at this point), my sister put her foot down and said “NO MORE GIANT BEARS!”

So come Christmas, I hand my niece a medium sized box and see my sister sigh with relief. On the box was a note on a string from inside that said “Pull!” She yanked on it, ripping the vacuum sealed bag inside and we all watched as a giant stuffed animal ripped its way out of the box, tripling in size.

My sister said “You promised no more giant bears!” and my niece turned it towards her and said “No mama, look. It’s a giant puppy!”

I’ve been banned from stuffed animals since then, which was probably a good call since Costco started selling that 8’ tall bear.


My ex-mother-in-law had a thing for throwing wads of cash into running ceiling fans. That was always entertaining. LOL


I could see a variation on the living hinge work for making the trap.

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When my niece was born, I got her a 5ft stuffed giraffe. My brother warned me that I should be careful, because I would have a kid soon. I want to get her more giant stuffed animals, but my wife warned me that we don’t have the room in my house, so we won’t be able to handle the retribution. :cry: