Monday, October 8, 2012

Souvenir Penny Charm Bracelet


While I was unpacking a few boxes of childhood treasures that came from my bedroom at my parents' house, I came across my souvenir penny collection, along with my American coin collection and some foreign money left over from trips to Europe.  I laid them all out on the ottoman where I could see them so I'd remember to think about what to do with them (out of sight, out of mind!).  With the foreign coins, I made magnets, but the souvenir coins seemed wrong for magnets.  So they sat there for a few months while I considered my options.
Then one day, I came across an idea on Pinterest (click HERE), which was a souvenir bracelet for sale in a shop on Etsy.  I liked the idea of a bracelet but didn't like being limited to using only 5 or 6 pennies, so I decided to make my bracelet into a charm bracelet so that I could include all of my pennies if I wanted to, and even add pennies from future trips.

So I gathered the following supplies and sat down to create the bracelet:
  • Souvenir penny collection
  • copper-plated chain, jump rings, and lobster clasp
  • jewelry pliers
  • an awl
  • hammer
  • scrap piece of plywood
I began by selecting 10 pennies to use and took them outside with the awl, hammer, and scrap of plywood to pierce them.


I began by putting the first penny on the scrap of
plywood, rested the awl where I wanted the hole
 to be, and hammered 3-4 times.


Close-up of the result of the hammering


I then flipped the coin over and hammered down the sharp edges.


...then put the awl in the existing hole to hammer through from
the wrong side to make sure the hole stayed open...


...and flipped the penny back over to the front side and smashed
down the sharp edges one more time.


The 10 finished products!
After all the pennies had been pierced, I added a jump ring to each and laid them all out side by side to arrange them the way I wanted.


Pennies, chain, and jump rings
I went with a setup of one penny per large loop on the chain, which leaves 3 loops for additional pennies, unless I want to go in and double up in the future.  We shall see!  


I determined where to place the pennies by putting on
the bracelet and judging how long I wanted the tail to be.

After adding all the pennies, all that was left to do was try on and photograph the final product!

Finished product, resting on a necklace display neck.
It's a neat way to display and use the cheapest (and probably easiest to lose) souvenir you can find!


My best attempt at photographing my own hand in a somewhat natural position.
Time: 2 hours
Cost: Under $5 (chain- $2.50, jump rings- $2, pennies- souvenirs...technically $.51 each)

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