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How to Create a DIY Money Train Balloon Surprise

Are you looking for an exciting way to surprise someone on their special day? Why not try something unique and fun? I would love to teach you How to Create a DIY Money Train Balloon Surprise!

This fun and festive centerpiece is not only a great decoration, but it also doubles as a memorable gift that’s sure to surprise and delight the recipient. And the best part? It’s super easy to make!

Check out my step-by-step guide for this memorable gift below!

DIY money train balloon surprise using a giant helium happy birthday balloon tied with ribbon to a plastic container filled with purple and pink tissue paper.

To get started, you’ll need a few supplies from Party City. You’ll need some small, clear, plastic treat bags, tape, clear scalloped containers, candy, tissue paper, a giant helium balloon, a star balloon weight, and some ribbon.

(Of course, you can find the links to the exact things I used to create this DIY balloon surprise below.)


DIY Money Train Balloon surprise supplies including pastel tissue paper, two clear plastic containers, one pink star balloon weight, white ribbon, pink chocolate coins, small clear plastic bags and purple decor.

How to Create a DIY Money Train Balloon Surprise: A Step-by-Step Guide for a Memorable Gift

Before you begin, if you haven’t already seen my instructional video, you can watch it here.

DIY Money Train Balloon surprise INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) Begin by placing money into the small, clear, plastic treat bags. Secure each bag with a piece of tape on the back. Once all the money is bagged, place the bills face down and attach them together with a piece of tape. This will create the “money train” that will be attached to the balloon.

2.) Next, take the clear scalloped containers and place the candy into the bottom of one of the containers. You can add up to half the container full of candy. Then, add two sheets of tissue paper over the bottom container and carefully push the top container down over the candy. This will create a layered effect that will be visible through the clear plastic.

3.) Now it’s time to assemble the centerpiece! Tie the giant helium balloon to the star balloon weight with a temporary knot. Take the money train and tape the ribbon to the backside, attaching 8-10 bills at the most. Pull the string until the money reaches the balloon weight and tie a permanent knot.

4.) Next, tape a long piece of ribbon to the bottom of the plastic container. Make sure to tape it in both directions to ensure it stays in place. Place the balloon weight inside the top clear container and pull the money train down until the balloon is flat against the top edge. Tie a bow over the top of the balloon with the ribbon to secure it in place. Add as much tissue paper as you’d like under the edge of the balloon to cover the containers.

giant helium happy birthday watercolor style, pastel colored balloon tied with a white ribbon sitting on a clear plastic container filled with pastel tissue paper on a table. White table cloth with a silver sequin table runner set with four place settings with pink plates, and pastel marble colored napkins and cups with silver paper straws. Birthday bouquet of balloons in the background with a shimmer pink and purple backdrop.

Watch your loved one’s face as they open their diy money train balloon surprise!

And finally, just like that, your Money Train Balloon centerpiece is complete! This unique gift will surely surprise and delight the recipient, and it’s something they’ll always remember. Best of all, it only takes 30 minutes to make. So the next time you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate a special occasion, try making this Money Train Balloon centerpiece.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if I can help you in any way! Also, please let me know how it goes because life is worth celebrating!

Also, feel free to reach out to me directly on social media and share what you created so I can share it! You can find me on Instagram here. But if you’re on TikTok instead, you can find me here too!

More Party Ideas:

By the way, if you’re excited to try our making this DIY money train balloon surprise, check out these 50th Birthday Party Photoshoot Ideas I posted about!


Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” Therefore, if you click on a link and purchase the item, we will receive a small commission. Regardless, we give our promise that we only recommend products or services that we use personally. Above all, we believe this adds value to our readers.

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  1. Love this! Can’t wait to do this with my grandkids birthday coming up. I’m also buying them ATM piggy banks to go along with the money. Thanks for sharing!

  2. AWSOME idea !! Im gonna do this for my mom’s Birthday .. but I’m gonna try using lottery tickets !! Hopefully it works out if not she’ll be getting dollars lol !! Thank you so much for AWSOME idea !!

  3. Is there a reason for the 8-10 max? I was going to do this for my daughters 16th birthday but do 16 $20 bills.

    1. The size of the helium balloon determines how many bills it can hold and still fly upwards. If you tape the bills directly to the balloon ribbon with scotch tape, you can add more bills. You can also try adding more than one giant helium balloon and use glue dots to stick the balloons together back to back so they can hold more bills. I’m excited for your daughter’s birthday! She will be so surprised!

  4. That is the cutest thing I’ve seen! Might do this for my adult children come Christmas, instead of them getting a boring cheque.

  5. All i could think of when i saw thus was a quote from Charlie Brown Christmas ” Just send tens and twenties!”

  6. I did this for my daughter’s 21st birthday…She loved it! Filled it with a variation of $21 for her first drink or couple of shots…if that’s how she wants to spend it. Honestly this trick can be used for endless celebrations be it baby shower, birthday, or Christmas! Any occasion! Everyone loved it and was easy to do. Bonus!

    Thank you so much for sharing this project!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m SO glad your daughter loved it! Yes, this balloon surprise can be used in so many different ways. I’m working on more ideas as we speak. Stay tuned!

    1. You can us a gift box instead or a basket. Feel free to be creative with the Container. The helium balloon should be large enough to hold the weight of the items you plan to attach to the ribbon. I tried different things out before I made this one. I also ended up using a jumbo balloon. But a regular sized helium balloon can hold the weight of a smaller amount of items. Make sure to test it out first. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I’m happy to help!

  7. I’d love to see this without all the use of plastic. Please list some alternatives like woven baskets for base, fasten money to string without sandwiching between plastic sheets. We need to do better as consumers so companies will reduce the production of so much plastic that can’t be reused or broken down safely.

    1. Hi Wendy, Thank you for your feedback! I agree. When we know better, we can do better. In this particular case, it was an ad for party city, so I chose from the products they carry specifically. After making this project, I figured out that you can simply use scotch tape to tape the bills or the items directly to the ribbon. I posted reels and stories about this on my social media as well. I have taken all things into consideration which is why I’m taking extra time before I post my next idea.

  8. Twin granddaughters graduation is May 20, 2024. Enclose $100 with photos of 1st day of school for 12 years for each girl. Total of 24 photos and $2400. Don’t see them often, live in different states
    Thanks for the brilliant and unique way of gifting.

    1. What a fantastic idea!!! A jumbo balloon won’t be able to hold the weight of that many photos plus the money, but you can certainly put the photos down into the gift basket or add the amount the balloon string will hold and put the rest down into the gift basket. Make sure to test the balloon gift before giving it. (The balloon will need to be a jumbo size.) Congratulations to both your granddaughters!!!

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