ByKimberly Button

Jan 29, 2015

Ah, the lowly penny. Worth just one cent, people don’t even bother to bend over to pick them up off of the ground anymore. There has even been talk of getting rid of the coin since its value has severely diminished over time.

In fact, the materials used in making a copper-covered penny are more expensive than the value of the penny itself, according to the U.S. Mint.

These cast-off coins make perfect materials for unique art and home decor, though.  The metal materials “cost” nearly half the price of what they are worth.

So, it’s time to start rethinking the penny. You might not want to carry them around in your wallet anymore, but chances are you will want to put them on your walls or wear them as jewelry after seeing these amazing penny art designs. From easy DIY crafts to intensive home renovations, there’s something for anyone who has a jar of pennies gathering dust:

DIY Penny Wall.
DIY Penny Wall. Image courtesy of The Sustainability Adventure.

The folks behind The Sustainability Adventure created (right) a 16-foot accent wall behind their stove with 19,500 pennies when they found that tile was too pricey. That’s only $195 worth of material to cover a huge section of wall!

Penny backsplashes are a popular way to reuse the currency, too. With a square foot of pennies costing around $2, using pennies instead of tiles can definitely save on renovation and design costs.

Using pennies to replace tile on the walls isn’t the only solution to save on construction materials. How about using pennies to tile the floor, too? From simple layouts of shiny pennies, to decorative designs using aged pennies and other currency, a penny floor is sure to make a statement that friends and family will be talking about.

Pennies can be sentimental. Ever hear of a bride putting a penny in her shoe? Celebrate a special occasion, from an anniversary to a birthday, by collecting pennies minted in a year special to you. Display the pennies in a frame, use them to make a charm bracelet, or create an ornament. The possibilities are endless, but the meaning behind the craft is priceless.

Bowling Ball Penny Yard Art.
Bowling Ball Penny Yard Art. Image and idea courtesy of House of Hawthornes.

Create a piece of garden art (left) by covering an old bowling ball with pennies. The shiny copper will glisten in the sun. All it takes is less than $5 in pennies and silicone rubber sealant to attach the coins to the bowling ball.

Make a fashion statement that costs just pennies when you repurpose your coins into jewelry. Add decals to pennies to create a pendant necklace, drill holes into pennies and hang off of a charm bracelet, or glue to a ring band.

Add a coppery shine to mirrors (picture below) and picture frames by covering the outside with layers of pennies.

Cover the top of an old table with pennies, such as a side table, dining room table or desk.

Want to use shiny pennies for your penny art, but your coins are a little dingy? The easiest way to polish up your coins and remove the copper oxide is to put them in a bath of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of table salt. Allow to soak in the bath for a minute or so, and then rinse off.

Now that’s advice worth its weight in..well…..pennies!

DIY Penny Art Mirror.
DIY Penny Art Mirror. Image courtesy of Honey Sweet Home.

Feature image courtesy of theilr

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit for more information.