Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

January 11, 2013

11 Ways to Use Pennies for Crafts

Given that the Canadian penny is going the way of the dinosaurs, I was especially excited when I found a penny from 1950 in my change the other day.  Actually, it was in the first mitt-ful of Canadian change I've held for four months.  I thought I'd share a few inspiring penny projects while I think about what to make with mine.  It seems fitting, given the launch of my Money Talks series earlier this week (which I'm really looking forward to, by the way, because the discussions have been so informative and motivating already!).

Have you seen how many penny accessories are for sale on Etsy?  Here's a sampling:

Penny ring
Etsy
Penny key chain
Etsy
Penny earrings
Etsy
There are also some fabulous tutorials out there, too.  Surely, most of you have seen jaw dropping penny tiled walls, like this beauty:

Wall tiled with pennies

I also spotted floors, counters and backsplashes tiled in pennies.  

Penny backsplash

But there are less painstaking ideas too, like this ombre penny art:

Ombre penny art

A penny desk top is another low commitment idea, and there's a really detailed how-to tutorial here.

Penny counter

For DIY penny jewellery, I love the originality of this tutorial, which shows how to decal a penny.

Penny necklace

This glitzy penny ring tutorial also caught my eye.  I like unexpected projects.

Penny ring

Projects with copper and mint (like this pretty ring tutorial) are also sure to win my heart.

Enameled penny ring

Before you start rummaging through your change, here are a few ways to clean pennies.

P.S. Law abiding Hubby interrupted this post to point out that "The Currency Act and The Canadian Criminal Code clearly state that no person shall melt down, break up or use otherwise than as currency any coin that is legal tender in Canada" (Source).  Hmmmm.  May I suggest a stealthy penny craft then?  Perhaps some painted pennies on a chic vase?

Painted penny vase

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25 comments

  1. I love that decal penny! I was thinking the other day that I need to start hoarding my pennies (and by the sounds of it maybe my nickles and dimes too!).

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    1. Haha, yes, we should definitely save our pennies, lol. The decal penny IS so pretty. I love the projects where it's hard to tell it's even a penny, except for a little edge of copper.

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  2. wow, these are all so cool! i love the one with be the change and the one with the flower over it!

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    1. I'm always amazed at the creative ideas people come up with!!

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  3. I just love that penny wall!! I was thinking of doing a coin project myself...you've definitely got the creative juices flowing :)

    Can't wait to see what you come up with!

    http://www.owlfawn.blogspot.com

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    1. Oooo, I'm excited to see what you come up with too!

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  4. Oh Tanya I needed a good laugh.
    I have had that lucky penny keychain on and off my etsy favs for awhile.
    I too showed it to my hubby and he said the same as yours LOL
    party poopers!
    Have fun in your rebel like crafting ;)
    Amy

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    1. What is it with these goody-two shoes hubbies?!? Lol.

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  5. This might be a good time to tell you that I'm married to a penny hoarder.

    No, unfortunately I'm not kidding.

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    1. Really??? I looked up the value of my penny: 50 cents. Holla! Think of what his collection could be worth . . .

      Okay, but why does he hoard pennies?

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  6. Hah! We made a beer pong table covered in pennies and beer bottle caps in college. Does that count a penny crafting?

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    1. That is 100% penny crafting, I love it. That must have taken a while to drink all the beer and collect all the pennies. Or maybe not?

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  7. Mike is hoarding all possible pennies - just to have. He gets strange attachments to things. I thought hmm, maybe we can keep like, 10 for memories sake? No. We have like 100 and counting.

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    1. Just to have because they'll be gone? That's kind of cute! What does he do with them?

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  8. Ooooo-ooo-ooo! Love the earrings, the turquoise/penny ring, and the painted vase! I am trying to find pennies minted in years that are meaningful to me, but didn't know beyond that what I would do with them. Thank you for the great ideas!!!

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    1. I love the idea of finding pennies from meaningful years. Hopefully you can track down all the ones you want and make something fabulous. Knowing you, it will be super inventive and make our jaws drop!

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  9. These are some awesome ideas I'm particularly swooning over the decal penny necklace. Technically, pennies won't be legal tender in the very near future. Plus the government plans on melting them all down into base metals and selling them off to manufacturers to make a few bucks, so I say craft away!

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    1. I hope this doesn't mean I have to wait to show off my penny ring until they are no longer legal tender, lol. Do you think the government is secretly tiling walls and tables with all these pennies?

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  10. I won't tell the penny police that their currency is being misused as beautiful rings and such when it could be sitting in the gutter somewhere, completely useless. ;)

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    1. LOL. Let's spin this and talk about how patriotic these penny projects are - my penny ring is Canadian. Represent!

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  11. Who knew you could use pennies in so many ways??!! I mean from jewelry to home decor... the possibilities are endless.

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  12. Fantastic ideas! Awesome and perfect for the kids! This is very innovative and educational. I loved the way you complete this collection. We did a Penny game out of the same materials you used. You should check it out! :)
    EarlyLearning.Momtrusted.com: Penny game for Preschoolers

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  13. Awesome ideas. I made a fun vase out of pennies - it looks awesome.

    http://voneinspired.com/2013/05/lucky-penny-vase/

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  14. When I was a kid, my dad topped a bar with coins, and of course, mostly pennies. I wonder what ever happened to to that bar...

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    1. Your dad was way ahead of the curve! That's so neat!

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