Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Smashed Penny Jewelry

penny bracelet

We love to get smashed pennies from all the fun places we visit.  
Its a great souvenir if you don't want to spend a lot, or junk up your house with nick knacks.

Smashed Pennies from Disneyland
Vacation Pennies
If you want to find a specific smashed penny you can check out the
They have a list of smashed pennies and their location.  Great idea to check it out before you go on vacation or that special place you want to collect pennies from.  
Click on locations  
Click on the State you are located in 
a list of locations of smashed pennies will appear
Some will have  pictures of the smashed penny stamps available.

First, you'll need to decided what kind of jewelry you want to make with your pennies, and count how many pennies you want to include.

Penny charm bracelet
Pennies linked together
If you just want to link the pennies together, you will only need enough pennies 
and jump rings to fit around your wrist or neck, and a clasp for the end. 
 This is also the quieter bracelet, because the pennies are stationary.

penny bracelet
Pennies charm bracelet style
  If you like the dangly penny style better, you'll need a chain as long as your wrist, a clasp for the end, and as many jump rings as pennies you want to include.  This style works best if you have a lot of pennies you want to include.  You can even make this a necklace.  The dangly style is a little loud to wear as a bracelet, because the pennies hit each other with movement.  It's not quite as loud as a necklace since the pennies don't move quit as much.

 To size a larger chain, measure chain out and use your pliers to open and remove extra rings.

 If your pennies are a little grungy, they might need a little shine.  We searched pinterest for the best methods to clean our pennies and we found this method worked the best click here.

shine a penny
1. Salt and Vinegar

penny bath
3. Add Penny

Shine a penny
2. Mix salt into the vinegar
We used 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of table salt.
The vinegar is 5% acetic acid this dissolves the copper oxide and
 the salt acts as a catalyst and speeds up the cleaning process. 

Now that your pennies are all shiny and beautiful, and you've decided what style bracelet/necklace you want to make, grab your drill, 1/16" drill bit, and two needle nose pliers or jewelry pliers.

Drill bit size 1/16"
Drill your penny over wood
 Once you've gotten your drill and bit, hold or clamp your pennies one at a time and drill where you want your hole.  We found most of the pennies had a lip on the top, so we drilled right under the lip.  You just want there to be enough space for your jump rings to hold on.  Over a piece of scrap wood drill your hole.
Repeat this step for all your pennies.

Drilled Smashed Penny
Drilled hole in penny just under the lip

Now, your ready to assemble your bracelet.  Grab your needle nose pliers or jewelry pliers, chain, jump rings, clasps, and your hole drilled pennies.

 Using your pliers, pull open one jump ring per penny and attach to bracelet/necklace.  

It's a good idea to start attaching the pennies in the middle of the chain and working out. 
Disneyland Smashed pennies
penny bracelet

You can convert a bracelet into a necklace.  Simply attach another chain or necklace hooking the clasp of the necklace to the end ring of the bracelet and the clasp of the bracelet to the end ring of the necklace.  The best of both worlds, wear it sometimes as a bracelet and sometimes as a necklace.

If you have a favorite penny you can wear it by itself, or add beads.

I made one that is only from our big trip to California and another that is one penny collected from many different locations like a real charm bracelet,

have fun and get creative!

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