My hubby John and I made this fun penny desk for my office. The pennies are covered in bar top epoxy, and it isn't nearly as heavy as you might think. The process is a little tedious, but not overly difficult except for the wrapped edges, which you can always skip. Keep reading to see the step-by-step instructions.

Also, this is my very first Instructable, so my apologies if I manage to mangle it horribly. ;)

My original post regarding this desk can be found over on my blog Epbot. If you like geeky girly stuff, please drop by to say hello!

Step 1: Material Girl

First and foremost, you'll need lots of pennies. I think we used about $35 for the desk, which is approximately 40 by 22 inches. Don't have a massive change jar handy? Just swing by your local bank.

I polished half of our pennies with Tarn-X. It's super easy to use: just pour it over the coins and then rinse. Polishing some of the coins gives the end result a pretty mix of shiny and tarnished finishes.

Step 2: Prep & Landing

John built my desk from scratch to fit the space we needed, but you could use a pre-existing table top or desk no problem. We painted it black before starting to set the pennies.

Start placing your pennies on the front edge, securing them with a small dot of super glue. We clamped a straight edge ruler to guide our first line, and bent our first line of coins to fit around the rounded edge of the desk. You don't have to do this, though: you could place the pennies just on the top, and snip them in a straight line.

Step 3: Getting Bent

If you decide you do want to bend your coins to wrap the edges, here's how we did it: We wrapped a small piece of electrical tape around one of John's titanium rings to pad it slightly. (He wears a size 10.5 ring, if that helps.) Then John used pliers to bend each penny to the inside curve of the ring. Just stick the penny inside the ring, and clamp down with the pliers.

Fair warning: this requires a LOT of hand strength. Much more than I, weakling geek girl that I am, could ever manage. John wore heavy leather work gloves to protect his palms, since he had to bend a bunch of coins.

Step 4: Mind-Numbing Tedium Is Your Friend

Now, start gluing! I spent about four nights working on arranging and gluing down each coin. It would have gone much faster, but I was carefully arranging the different colors and mixing in "special" pennies (wheaties, other countries' coins, etc.) in at regular intervals. As you can see from the second picture, it only took a tiny spot of glue to secure each coin, but you *do* need to glue them all.

Step 5: Mind Your Edges

If you have a Dremel, glue the pennies on first - hanging over the edge - and then trim them off later. (first pic) If you don't have a Dremel, use heavy snips to cut the coins before gluing them down.

In the second picture you can see how John bent and snipped the pennies to wrap around the desk's corner edge. This was the trickiest part, and again requires plenty of hand strength (and strong snips!)

Step 6: Prepare to Pour!

When your surface is ready, prep your area for pouring the epoxy. You need someplace you can leave it undisturbed for about two days, and that is relatively dust-free. We set up in a back room of our house.

Cover the floor with lots of heavy plastic - very, VERY, important - as the epoxy will be dripping down to the floor - and set your desk top on some sawhorses or other stands, making sure that the edges are free.

Step 7: POUR!

Mix and pour your two-part bar top epoxy. I'm sorry I don't remember the exact brand we used, but so long as you use the stuff restaurants use for their tabletops, you'll be fine. Our epoxy was old - left over from another project - so it had yellowed a bit. You can see the golden tint in the photos. Usually epoxy is crystal clear, though, so don't let my photos scare you. :)

Once you've poured it all on (use as much as the label dictates for the amount of area you're covering), start tipping your surface to get the epoxy all the way to the edges. You want it to drip *over* the edges, in order to coat them. (See why you need all that plastic on the floor?)

Step 8: Even Things Out

To get an even coating on your edges, you may need to scoop some epoxy off the floor with a metal spatula or spoon and dump it back on the edge. Do this as often as necessary to get a smooth covering.

Also, keep in mind that the pennies on the edges will prevent the epoxy there from being glass smooth. My desk has a slightly ripply effect to the front edge, which I actually think feels really cool. Just be sure that the epoxy gets in all the cracks, and that you don't miss any areas.

Step 9: Torch It!

This part is surprisingly fun: use a small blow torch (like the one you have in your kitchen for toasting the creme brulee) and pass it quickly over the surface of your epoxy - about 6 inches above it - to eliminate all the air bubbles. (And there will be a LOT of air bubbles.) The bubbles will rise and pop like magic, leaving a glass-smooth surface. Like I said: fun!

Step 10: I Hate Waiting

And now: you wait.

Your epoxy should take about a day to set up, and two days to cure. Check the label of your epoxy, and go by that to be sure.

When it's fully cured, use a utility blade to cut/scrape off any excess epoxy drips from the bottom edges of your desk, and install it as you would any other surface.

And you're done!

Go show off your new desk to all your friends. Be sure to mention how much "cents" it makes to make a "change", etc. etc.
<p>with epoxy it looks like you used some kind of penny foil</p>
<p>Awesome Job done. :)</p>
<p>That is awesome, thank you ! :)</p>
NIce job and good use of the penny. Makes cents.
Pun intended? <br>
How did you bend the coins around the edge after they were super glued? I've been trying to do this project, and ended up using a vice and hammering the coins over, which gave some really unreliable results.
I think they were bent first and then glued onto the rounded front of the table edge. The ring was used as a form and the vicegrips were used to bend the coin to fit the curve of the ring, so they all were an identical radius bend.
Thanks for posting this inspiring Instructable. I was thinking of doing one with lego bricks. Do you think that would work, or do you think the Lego &quot;studs&quot; would prove to be problematic? For example, would it require multiple coats of the resin? Would multiple coats of resin work well? (if needed) <br> <br>Keep up the good work!
Hmm. Well, the resin is self-leveling, but the LEGO studs are fairly shallow, so I *think* the resin would still cover them. A second layer of resin would certainly do the trick, though, if there are any pokey-parts sticking out. <br> <br>Another option is to build up the sides of your surface with wooden or metal trim, almost like a tray, so that the resin will pool inside and not drip over the edges. That way you'd get a nice smooth table top in one application. <br> <br>I hope you'll post a photo if you try this; I'd really love to see it!
Find a penny, pick it up..... <br> <br>Hey look, I just found 3500 pennies...
I thought you (the creator AND the viewers) might like to look at this if you enjoy this project. These people did basically what she did here, but with their kitchen floor tile! <br>http://www.curbly.com/users/diy-maven/posts/6849-tiled-penny-floor
You might want to do this. The penny will be phased out in Canada in late 2012.
Beautiful Job !<br>
Thought you'd like to know. TL;DR: It's against the law.<br>http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=426715
Incorrect. it is not against the law. its only against the law to &quot;deface currency&quot; is there is an intent to defraud.<br><br>this is why where's george stamps are legal and why penny smashers are legal and why making &quot;coin jewelery&quot; is legal and why this table is perfectly legal.<br><br>Please stop propagating that myth.
Thanks for pointing this out, nerys. I initially had a paragraph in my intro about the legality of coin craft, but then took it out because I didn't think it'd be an issue here. Guess I was wrong! (It still amazes me how many people think this could be illegal with all the penny smasher machines out there.)
Well you don't need to use pennies; you could use buttons, old playing cards or any other small things. They could work.
you wouldnt do thi table because it againt the law?<br>use in an open space, use a respirator and common sense. use safly.
It's against the &quot;law&quot; to deface currency... and I am SO going to do this for a small table... in Mexico! lol... I think I'd be safe from prosecution here. ;-D
I voted for you, too bad your going to prison for life! Just kidding! I love when nameless, faceless experts on all things come out of the wood work. I hope the feds don't throw the book at you!. Someone said they are going to make a frame, that seems more practical for me.
I hope you looked through the pennies first for old wheat/ Indian head pennies lol
I did! And then I mixed them in at regular intervals throughout the desk. :D I also planted a Bahamian penny right smack in the middle. (It's the same copper color, but with a pretty starfish design.)
nooooooooo! those are worth money!! :P I hope there werent any rare ones cause imma be sad lol
Me, too, ctrejo! I used to have a HUGE collection of wheat pennies, as well as some 1942 lead pennies. My older sister broke open the container and put them all thru a coin-star machine, and ...poof! ... gone. BROKE MY HEART!! I've forgiven her, though. :o)
Okay, everybody who's jumping on the OMG This Is Illegal train. Chill.<br><br>Have you never dropped 2 quarters and a penny into a little hand cranked machine? It's a rolling mill which imprints an image of some particular attraction onto and squished and elongated penny. These machines are ALL over the country, at various attractions large and small, there's even one on an overpass north of Chicago that prints and image of the skyline. Brookfield Zoo, the San Diego Zoo, most museums, every amusement park in existence, including both US Disneys have these little souvenir makers. Do you actually think Disney would put itself at risk from the Federal Government over a squished penny?<br><br>The deal is, you cannot melt them to recycle the metal, so as to extract the value of the metal from the coin. And these days, it really wouldn't be worth trying, anyway. The micro thin copper coating of a zinc blank doesn't melt, it burns. Impressively.
It depends on the country. In Canada, it is actually illegal to deface the coins. Those little machines use blanks instead of pennies.
Okaaaaay...<br><br>The blogger lives and writes in the US. And not even one of the US/Canada border states. Not even a US/Mexico border state. So, it's pretty much a given that the laws in question are US laws. I'm saying the the blogger in question is not breaking any US laws. No disrespect to Canada or anything, but totally meaningless to the discussion.<br><br>Personally, I think Canada has the right of it. If you allow something small, it's harder to stop something large. But, in the US, what the blogger in question did does not violate any laws, anymore than the rolling mill coin smashers do.
awesome! got my vote.
ohh look!! a penny!!
where, I can't find it
I will do this with pennies from the year my Wife and I were born.....1972.
Good luck. JK
Pennies before 1982 were 95% copper and 5% zinc, and are worth approximately 2.5 cents (see www.coinflation.com).
Perhaps I will do a frame for one of our wedding pictures.<br>
A picture frame! That's a great idea! One could also make a frame for a baby shower gift! Love that!
That's a brilliant idea! About how big is the frame?
That's for the pure copper value.<br><br>This goes back to the legality of removing the coins from circulation without a permit from the Feds...
Say What?
The older pennies are worth more as copper scrap than they are as currency, but it is illegal to destroy them without a permit from the government.<br><br>From what I understand, there is a large community of people that are trying to get permission to legally remove large quantities of 95% copper coins from circulation so they can sell them for the copper value. They actually trade rolled coins for their copper bullion value as if they were ingots...
How many pennies will you have to go through in order to get the amount you need? How big a surface are you going to cover? I'm just thinking it will be a challenge to get that many pennies of the same date. I'm not knocking the idea, because it's an unbeleivably cool twist on the instructable. Do you have a trick for getting all coins of a certain date?
And, by the way...<br>anybody realizes that it is not legal?<br>it is a inappropriate use of money
it is not illegal. such a concept is a myth. the law regarding defacing currency ONLY applies if there is an &quot;intent to defraud&quot; since there is no intent to defraud anything here there is NO VIOLATION of the law.
hahahaha myth?!?! only with defrauding intention?!?! INFO: nobody is owner of money <strong>but State</strong> Nobody can stops money and may allow free circulation, always and ever... It is a lot of chapters before. But, anyway, I am not american... do what ever you want!!! even to interprete laws as you want, as seen.<br> <br> regards
Yes, myth. This has been settled law in the American court system for well over a century. Please restrict yourself to posting on topics on which you have at least a modicum of knowledge.
yes myth. the secret service and the courts have confirmed it.<br><br>of course this is regarding US LAW only. I have no clue about other countries.
Think of it as a true patriot trying to deflate the massive inflation created by the federal reserve. What they're doing is wrong, this is just a cool desk.<br><br>The key word from the section below is fraud. I'm not saying that the current administration wouldn't raid the authors home and throw him in prison for doing something that hurt nobody, but traditionally making things out of money has not been treated as a crime. I think if some one tried to mass produce these there might be a problem, but making one for use at home should keep you under the radar.<br><br>United States Code<br>TITLE 18<br>PART I<br>CHAPTER 17<br>&sect; 331. Mutilation, diminution, and falsification of coins<br><br>&ldquo;Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States; or whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or lightened&mdash; Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.&rdquo;
&quot;Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or<br>unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank<br>bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national<br>banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal<br>Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note,<br>or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined<br>under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.&quot;<br><br>18 U.S.C. &sect; 333 : US Code - Section 333: Mutilation of national bank obligations<br><br>Ain't no &quot;fraudulently&quot; in that....
Being that you are quoting the statute re: paper money, one wonders what your point is v&iacute;s-av&iacute;s this thread.<br>Your purpose for posting is even more difficult to understand considering that the proper relevant statutes were already posted above. To wit:<br><br>TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE<br>PART I - CRIMES<br>CHAPTER 17 - COINS AND CURRENCY<br><br>-HEAD-<br>Sec. 331. Mutilation, diminution, and falsification of coins<br><br>-STATUTE-<br>Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs,<br>diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined<br>at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are<br>by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money<br>within the United States; or<br>Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or<br>sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into<br>the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered,<br>defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or<br>lightened - <br>Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five<br>years, or both.<br><br>There most certainly IS &quot;fraudulently&quot; in that.<br>Again, the idea that altering coins for non-fraudulent purposes is illegal IS A MYTH.

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