When you stand looking out at an ocean, the world seems vast, endless. And at that moment, dreams can sometimes seem that way too. This month, as we witness all the high school and college graduates setting their course for the next steps in their young lives, we’re inspired by their optimism. It is the time for setting goals and chasing dreams. A very lovely time, indeed.
Recently, we were chatting with friends about the grads we know. With celebrations and parties filling the calendar, the group discussed appropriate gifts to commemorate the occasion. The prevailing conclusion was that for high school and college graduates, the most desirable gift is cold hard cash! Which always seems like such an uncreative gift to give, however necessary. Since it would be unlike Thread & Whisk to just fork over an unembellished envelope, we decided to at least put a twist on our monetary gift for the grads that we know and love.
Why not a message in a bottle? While we love giving gifts that are practical, we can’t resist imagining their faces as they wonder what could possibly be in that bottle? It’s an opportunity to send good wishes to our grads, with a bonus ($).
To make our message in a bottle, we chose a tube-like vial with a cork top. The cork has more soul than a plastic lid, and the bottle we chose is tall enough to accommodate a bill of any denomination. You can find these bottles in many shapes and sizes at a craft store, or online at Specialty Bottle.
For your message, cut a piece of lightweight paper at least the width of your paper money (or personal check), to keep it hidden when rolled up in the paper. We used a pretty metallic gold paper, and a white gel pen. Write your message on the paper and then set it aside for a moment.
Next, use a hand sewing needle to thread a cord through the cork. You will use this cord to tie around your rolled up note. Colorful polyester cord used for jewelry making or anything that fits through the eye of your needle will work. Once the string is through the cork, tightly roll your money into the message paper, making sure that the diameter of the roll is smaller than the bottle opening. Otherwise, retrieving the gift gets a bit difficult.
Tie one end of the cord snugly around your paper roll, and pull the cord to a length so that your message can dangle in the middle of the bottle when corked. Knot the other end of the string, on top of the cork. Make sure the knot is big enough to hold, otherwise double knot it. Set the message/string/cork aside for a moment.
Now, fill the bottom of the bottle. We used glittery confetti, but other choices might be charms, candy, or sand from a favorite beach. Finally, insert the message into the bottle, and cork the lid.
Once the contents are inside the bottle, seal the end of the string to the glass with embossed wax, or a personalized adhesive label. This will keep the cork safely in place until opened by the recipient. Keep it simple, or add a charm or tassel to the outside of the bottle.
This gift idea can be used in many different ways. Secret love notes come to mind, special mementos, or anything that would usually be presented in a plain old envelope. No need to send a card with this gift, since your special message is already in there! Think of this as the best three-dimensional money card a person could receive. Handmade by you. Always more special.