I mentioned Friday that when I broke my first $20.00 back on Canadian soil (for a $1.13 purchase at Value Village, I thought the cashier was going to wring my neck), I found a 1950 Canadian penny in my change. I was sitting at my desk fiddling with it, when I thought it might be the same size as some ring shanks I bought in Budapest, for a different project. I plonked the penny into one and, wouldn't you know, it got stuck! Don't worry, we managed to coax it out so I could start fresh and make an easy-peasy penny ring.
Although I love patina as much as the next person, my penny was really grey and mucky. Its "patina" largely came from 60+ years of dirty, unwashed hands fondling it. I hesitated cleaning it, because I knew I couldn't bring the patina back if I didn't like the results, but then I gave my head a shake. It's a friggin penny. Why do I take these things so seriously?
Here it is, pre-clean (it photographed much prettier than it was in real life):
- Baking Soda
- Paper Towel
- LePage Gel Epoxy
- Ring shank (base)
Cleaning my penny:
I grabbed a bowl of vinegar (maybe half a cup) and poured a couple teaspoons of salt in it for the penny bath. I dropped in the penny and within seconds it already looked brighter. About five minutes resulted in a shinier penny.
Next I created a baking soda paste with a couple tablespoons of baking powder and a few drops of water. Using the corner of a piece of paper towel, I rubbed the penny with the paste. Even brighter!
Assembling the ring:
My ring shank looks like this:
You can find similar ones at craft stores or online. Etsy and Amazon both have a good selection; just measure your coin and search by diameter. You can also use a plain ring shank without the setting (like these).
I mixed up and applied a dab of my favorite fast drying epoxy (it sets in five minutes and has a rock hard hold) to the ring shank and gently pressed the penny in. I made sure not to apply an excess of epoxy, because I didn't want it to squish out the sizes.
This DIY was so simple, it feels like cheating.
My penny ring is unadorned just because my penny was nifty. Take a peek at Friday's post for some ideas for other projects, including bedazzled penny rings.
P.S. before you make something, see if your Canadian penny is worth anything here (and here's a rough guide for American pennies).