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I have a thing for piggy banks. I have several in different parts of my house. Some of them are even pigs. Many of the ones I have made over the years, I have given away. I have made a couple of Instructables that show you how to make paper banks that actually move when you feed them.

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

Bake clay like fimo and sculpey needs to be warmed up a bit to become plyable. This can be done in a lot of different ways. I usually play with it like play doh for a while. I like the feel of it and it relaxes me.

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

The face neededs to cover the cap of the pill bottle. This can be done with your fingers or you can roll out the clay. I like to start with a ball and pinch it to flatten it. You can use a rolling pin or a pasta machine. I like the slight irregularity that you get from pinching it flat. Make a clay disk that fits the cap of your bottle.

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

Roll a thick log of clay. Cut it into 4 equal sized pieces. Shape each one into a short stumpy leg.

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

Once you have everything the way you want it, you have to remove the clay from the bottle. I don't know for sure, because I did not try it, but I think that the bottle will melt in the oven.

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

Use a small amount of super glue to attach the face to the cap and the tail to the bottom of the bottle.

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.
I have a rather large collection of coin banks myself; pigs, dogs, horses, elephants, bears, eagles, shotgun shells, mason jars, shoes, gas pumps, vehicles, and the list goes on...made from all kinds of different materials...some of them are even mechanical. None however, were once pill bottles. I'm going to try this over the long weekend, I have a freshly emptied pill bottle to try this with. I just need to get some clay.
<p>I have been giving this some thought. There is no reason that you have to use the bake clay. You could use one of the many homemade clays that are on the internet. Look around and you will find one that uses ingredients that you already have. I just have a lot of the bake stuff that needed to get used up.</p>
<p>Ask around--there are a lot of different sizes available. People will save the unusual ones for you if you ask. My sister-in-law had green ones from her dog's meds. </p>

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Bio: I have taught math for 30 plus years. I am one of the crazy ones who actually think math is fun. I am learning how ... More »
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