I love to be able to see the coins accumulating in a bank. With kids it encourages the idea of saving for the future. You could teach the different values of each coin and have the child use a different jar for each type of coin. After a foreign trip, it gives you a keepsake to remember the trip and display the foreign coins you collected.
This bank uses bake clay and an empty bottle. Mine was a large pill bottle but it would work with a lot of different kinds of bottles.
Step 1: Conditioning Your Clay
I know some people use a heating pad (like the one that eases the pain in my back) to warm the clay. Other people put the clay through a pasta machine a few times.
Step 2: Face and Body
Use a small ball of clay to flatten and attach as the snout. Use a pencil eraser to make impressions for the pig's nostrils. Two small balls make the eyes. Take 2 small balls that you can pinch to form triangles. These become the ears.
A tiny bit of clay rolled into a snake can be curled up to make a cute little tail.
I rolled out an extra ball of clay to act as the under body. I pinched this flat also. Press it into the side of the bottle to make the curved surface.
Step 3: Legs
Attach each leg to the under side of the body. Seal the seams where the legs meet the body.
Stand the bank on its legs and press down gently. This will flatten the bottoms of the legs and force them to conform to the table top.
Step 4: Bake
Lay the face and tail on your baking tray. I used a trivet that is made from ceramic tiles. Stand the leg/under body piece on the baking tray.
Bake as directed on your package. The face and tail can come out of the oven sooner than the legs.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Cut a coin slot in the side of the bottle. I used a saw blade and filed the edges to de-burr the hole. Check with your largest coin to be sure it is big enough.
I like the pig resting on its legs but not glued.
I have plans to make some more animals such as an elephant and a giraffe now that I know that this is so easy.