Introduction: DIY Ombre Penny Art Project!

Picture of DIY Ombre Penny Art Project!

DIY Ombre Penny Art Project!

This is a super fun science project for kids!
Great little Back to School project--or possibly a fun elementary science fair presentation!

You will need Pennies!  We used 96!
A frame, no glass
some fabric...we used burlap...something heavy is best!
Vinegar
salt
Hot glue

Yes, that easy!

Step 1: Sort Supplies and Pennies!

Picture of Sort Supplies and Pennies!

How many pennies?
Find a frame you like...remove glass.
Cut some cardboard for a backing if frame doesn't have one.  Trim the backing board slightly, so it fits back into the frame when covered with material...this will depend on the material you've selected.  I used thick burlap, canvas or denim or duckcloth is good too!
Cover the backing with fabric and hot glue in place.

Now, line a row a pennies across the top and the side.  Multiply to see how many pennies you'll need.

Have your child(ren) sort through all the pennies and put them into color categories.
Shiny copper, dark brown, hints of black, and teal.

Now you want to have about an even amount of each variety...

If you are like us, you'll only have 1 or 2 teal ones!

Step 2: Use the Power of Science!

Picture of Use the Power of Science!

Now, the science...(okay, I'm no scientist and didn't have the equations and chemical changes to impress my kids)

Take some mid-range colored pennies
and put them in a glass dish.

Add 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Immediately they will brighten and become shiny.


Step 3: Changing of the Colors!

Picture of Changing of the Colors!

Let them soak about 5-10 minutes.
Pull them out and set them on a plate...
don't dry them off...

Over the next 2 hours they become slimy looking

and turn very bright turquoise--or verdigris.  The fun part is watching the change!  Every 20 minutes the kids would check to see how green they were becoming!  Some were completely changed, some very little difference!

Step 4: Arrange and Display!

Picture of Arrange and Display!

Our pennies dried over night.
Arranged them on the burlap.
I let the kids decide which were brighter and didn't
care too much if they weren't exactly so.
Then hot glue them onto the burlap!
Picture perfect!

Fit your backing into your frame!  Hot glue in place and display!
Cool Ombre effect made with pennies!

Comments

emarusa (author)2013-08-21

is the blue crystalie looking

amandaghassaei (author)2012-08-21

cool, I love the color of that oxidized copper!

Me too! I am swooning over teal right now...okay, my whole life...my favorite! I am thinking about a teal and copper penny bracelet or necklace...

Agreed! Awesome color you got there :)

Dietrick K. (author)2012-08-21

the penny in the bottom right corner is a dirty penny.

doodlecraft (author)Dietrick K.2012-08-21

:)

AZsid (author)2012-08-21

So, I'm guessing copper content makes a difference. I would think the more copper the more of an effect. That would make the newer pennies on top which would match the "new" penny in the top left position. That would mean everything in the lower half would be pre-1982 (the year zinc was introduced)

mrayw (author)AZsid2012-08-21

The surface of the penny actually has a higher copper concentration in post-1982 pennies.

The pre-1982 pennies were a homogeneous mixture of 95% copper, 5% zinc. The post-1982 pennies have more zinc, but it's all hidden in the core. The plating is pure copper.

doodlecraft (author)AZsid2012-08-21

Crazily, some of the most turquoise pennies were the year 2000 or newer. So, lots of shiny 2000's pennies on the top row, and several on the bottom 2 rows! :)

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily ... More »
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