“Recycling Old Pennies into Homemade Jewelry”

“Recycling Old Pennies into Homemade Jewelry”

Recycling Old Pennies into Homemade Jewelry

Old pennies have little monetary value these days, but they can be transformed into beautiful works of art. Recycling coins by turning them into homemade jewelry allows you to give new life to what would otherwise be discarded. Plus, making your own jewelry is an enjoyable hobby that lets your creativity shine.

Gathering Supplies for Penny Jewelry Making

To get started with recycling old pennies, you first need to collect the necessary supplies. Here’s what I typically use for my homemade penny jewelry projects:

  • Old pennies – These are the base material. Collect pennies from before 1982, as those are 95% copper. Newer pennies contain more zinc and won’t work as well.

  • Jewelry pliers – Needle nose and flat nose pliers allow me to bend and shape the pennies.

  • Jewelry wire – I use copper, brass, and silver wires to string pennies together or attach other findings.

  • Findings – These include clasps, jump rings, bead tips, and other jewelry pieces that complement the pennies.

  • Jewelry glue – A strong adhesive is needed to permanently join pennies and findings. E6000 is a great choice.

  • Clear nail polish – I apply this to pennies before gluing to remove oxidation and prevent future tarnishing.

  • Sandpaper – Lightly sanding pennies helps the glue adhere better. Fine grit sandpaper is ideal.

  • Drill – If making pendants, a drill helps put holes in the pennies for stringing.

Techniques for Crafting Pennies into Jewelry

Once I have the basics covered, it’s time to start creating! Here are some of the main techniques I use when recycling old pennies into homemade jewelry:


  • One of the easiest ways to alter pennies is to carefully hammer them. I use a steel hammer and pound lightly on a penny to create a wavy, bumpy texture. This adds visual interest.

Bending and Shaping

  • With jewelry pliers, I can bend pennies into interesting shapes like scrolls or ovals. I slowly bend the penny using the needle nose pliers to avoid cracking it.

Drilling Holes

  • If I want to make pendants or necklaces, I need to drill a small hole in each penny. I go slow with the drill bit to prevent the penny from warping.

Texturing and Stamping

  • For added decoration, I use textured hammers or metal stamps to imprint designs onto the pennies’ surface. Stars, dots, and other patterns look great.

Joining and Stacking

  • To connect pennies for jewelry, I often glue stacks together. I also solder jump rings or wire between them so they can be strung.

Patina Finishes

  • Heating the pennies with a torch or soaking them in a liver of sulfur solution creates gorgeous patinas in blues, purples, and rainbow hues.

Jewelry Designs for Your Recycled Pennies

Pennies can be transformed into all kinds of homemade jewelry items. Here are some of my favorite projects:

Pennies Bracelet

Pennies Bracelet

  • Stringing pennies together with wire creates a casual boho bracelet. I use different sized pennies for visual variety.

Stacked Penny Pendant

Penny Pendant

  • Gluing several pennies on top of each other makes for an interesting pendant. I drill a hole near the top and add a chain.

Textured Bangle

Textured Bangle

  • For this piece, I hammered the pennies with a star-shaped hammer to imprint a pattern. I joined them into a bangle bracelet with flexible jewelry wire.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to upcycling pennies into wearable art! With a few basic tools and techniques, you can create your own unique penny jewelry designs that reflect your personal style.

Benefits of Turning Old Pennies into Jewelry

Recycling old pennies into homemade jewelry is a fun craft that also provides many benefits:

  • It keeps pennies out of landfills. Old US pennies don’t decompose when buried. Upcycling them is eco-friendly.

  • You can make one-of-a-kind jewelry and gifts. Handmade penny items have so much more meaning than mass-produced jewelry.

  • It allows you to put your creativity to use. Follow your inner artist and make the designs you envision.

  • The cost to get started is low. Pennies and basic jewelry findings are very inexpensive crafting materials.

  • The finished jewelry is durable and lasts. Pennies don’t easily tarnish or degrade. Their shine lasts for years.

  • It’s an enjoyable hobby that reduces stress. Making jewelry relaxes both your mind and body.

So if you have a jar of old pennies taking up space, consider giving them new life as handmade jewelry. It’s a budget-friendly craft that’s kind to the planet and feeds your soul.