For this project, I was making a memento necklace for my wife with pennies from the years we were both born and the year our twins were born. I did a bit of searching and found the years and number of pennies I needed to make us both charms and got to work!
Step 1: Drilling the Eyelets in the Pennies
First I clamped the pennies in my vice and tried to use a dremmel to drill the holes but my knockoff tool and drill bit was too underpowered to do the job. I moved over to using my cordless drill and a small drill bit from my craftsman set.
I could REALLY tell a difference in the different materials used for each penny. The 1970 and 1977 were both really hard to drill through and the 2011 pennies were so soft and drilled very easily.
Step 2: Cleaning
i did some research and found lots of methods for cleaning them and settled on this simple method. i just put a bit of ketchup in a dish and let the pennies soak for 2 minutes. i took them out and used a toothbrush to clean them up. gave them a rinse and they are a lot better looking but not perfect. i may take the next step and rub them with baking soda or just leave them with a little color.
Step 3: Deburring
i used a very small harbor freight file to debur the hole. this step took a lot longer than i expected because i didn't want to scratch the penny any more.
Step 4: Eyelets and Ready to Assemble!
i took the pennies that have now been drilled and cleaned (at least some) and i bought some charm holders from walmart for $3 to mount them. these are sterling silver but they had others. you could use a circular keychain type holder as well but i decided against it because it would look like jewelry in my opinion.
i was reusing a necklace here but you could use anything. i thought a box chain, leather string, shoestring (i REALLY wanted to do that so i may do it for myself) or just about anything your heart desires. mounting them was a breeze with two needle nose pliers. thats it! i rubbed the pennies with a cleaning cloth to see if they would brighten up and they didn't so i may do more cleaning or just leave it. whatever my wife wants. have fun making this if you like and enjoy the feeling of giving something handmade for valentines or a birthday or just to show your love.