Introduction: Souvenir Necklace

While on vacation recently to Disneyland, I realized I needed to get gifts for my friends. The cheapest item I could find (a personalized keychain) was eight dollars. At the prospect of spending over a hundred dollars on souvenirs for friends, I started searching for a way out.

I saw the penny machines, a fifty-one cent gift, but knew how cheap it would be to come back with a handful of smashed pennies.

As I'd been studying jewelry lately, the thought hit me: I could simply drill a hole in the pennies and turn them into nice looking necklaces. Sure, still a little cheap, but the added necklace would make it new and different. I figured it would make for a decent gift.

Step 1: Supplies

Items:
Necklace chain (I used 18")
Jumper ring (needs to be large enough to fit in the hole you drill in the penny)
Pennies (the Stitch is made from a quarter and I made another (not pictured) from a nickel)

Tools:
Hammer
Punch (a nail will work fine too)
Drill (with small drill bit, depending on the hole size you want to make)
Scrap Wood (something to drill on)
Shop Rag (something that won't scratch the penny)
Needle Nose pliers (Jewelers pliers would be better, but I didn't have any on hand)

Step 2: Punch Hole in Penny

When drilling, don't push hard. You're using a small drill bit and it will break easily (which I sadly found out), a little bit of pressure and some patience and it'll cut through great!

1- Place punch on center top of penny
2- Use hammer to make an indent
3- Drill out indent (I laid the penny on a rag in case it started to spin, I didn't want any scratches)
4- So pretty

Step 3: Prepare Jumper Ring

There is a very specific and very easy way that these should be done. DO NOT pull the rings straight apart, this will ruin them!

1- Place pliers on either side of the jumper and twist the ends apart.
2- Make sure you twist it apart and don't pull it apart.
3- Every thing's prepped!

Step 4: Connect Everything

1- Place opened jumper ring on penny
2- Slide chain on jumper ring (if the chain will fit through the jumper when closed you can slide the chain through the jumper when you're finished)
3- Grab both sides of the jumper with pliers
4- Twist jumper ends back together.
5- Finished!

Step 5: Take a Bow

Touching the penny so much is going to put oil and fingerprints all over it. If you have any rubbing alcohol on hand, use it with your shop rag to wipe everything down for a decent shimmer. If not, then you can always just wipe them on your shirt (it works for CD's, right?).

That's it! Here's the final pictures of my necklaces.

Thinking about it now, the same project can be done with earrings.

If you get some French Hooks (while you're at the jewelry store getting your chain) and the jumpers, you can attach a penny to each hook.

Damn! Now I have to make another trip to Disneyland!

Comments

author
Kyla544 (author)2014-09-02

I love this idea! I collect press pennies and have tons, but they just sit in a jar. This is such a great way to display them!

author
StumpChunkman (author)Kyla5442014-09-03

Awesome! I'm glad you like. Please share some pictures if you end up making any. I'd love to see them!

author
SJF007 (author)2013-08-15

Awesome Awesome Awesome

author
kattynasco (author)2012-04-14

i love those little squashed penny things! i used to collect them, but i lost them after a while. but thanks, you just got me back into collecting them again! putting them on neclaces will definately stop me from losing them this time!!

author
potatoperson (author)2010-10-03

This is clever!
It'd be really cool to take someone on a date where you can get a smashed penny and give it back as a necklace as part of a gift for an anniversary type thing.
I will definitely be trying this tomorrow though!

author

That sounds awesome! Let me know how it goes!

author
porcupinemamma (author)2009-05-17

OK. Thanks very much-before I look..may I ask, is the punch an attachment that fits into the drill?

author

The punch is completely separate. You can either hit it with a hammer (very similar to a nail), or get one that uses a spring to in effect hit itself, both ways make a divot. This divot is what you need in order to drill into. If you don't want to buy a punch, you can use nails for the same purpose. Though it's a bit like using a flathead screwdriver on a phillips screw: you can do it, but that's not what the tool was intended for.

author
porcupinemamma (author)2009-05-17

could you tell me just a little more about this step please? (I have never used tools before) Lovely idea, very unique. I would have been thrilled to receive one, and would never have thought the gift was cheap

author

I'm not sure if you're talking about the punch or drill...I think the punch. There's good information at Wikipedia, if you read the Center section. Let me know if you have any other questions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_(metalworking)#Center

author

Thanks for the link-a good one. I bookmarked it. You've been very kind to share your project :0)

author
UltraMagnus (author)2008-07-21

its a nice idea.... although i doubt how much one would wear such a thing perhaps it would have been better put on a keyring or bracelet

author
mg0930mg (author)UltraMagnus2008-10-06

I would wear it. Sadly, I've never been to disneyland. All I have is stupid battleship ones.

author
porcupinemamma (author)mg0930mg2009-05-17

Road Trip!!! :0)

author
mg0930mg (author)porcupinemamma2009-05-17

I wish. I'm underage. :(

author

Well I would certainly wear it as a reminder of a fun time in my life. The children I know would also really enjoy and treasure it

author
arcticpenguin (author)2008-03-06

Good instructable one, I was planning to do now that I found this site.

I'm a semi-pro collector (over 6,000 collected over 8 years) of these elongated coins and would like to add my two cents worth... crushed as they are.

To locate machines in your area (and worldwide) check out http://www.pennycollector.com/locations.html

There are machines for penny, nickle, dime and quarter pressing.

Do not use new pennies as they are no longer copper (just plated) as the plating stetches and leaves silvery marks. These corrode to black and can not be cleaned. Copper pennies (pre-1982 in USA and pre-1980 Canada) can/will actually go up in value over time (ok, not with the hole). Some are rare already. For dimes and quarters use older (mid 1960's and earlier) as these are silver rather than nickle. Don't worry if the design is worn.

Do not use copper chains unless you like a green neck.

There are ways to keep the original design and date information on the back side of the coin.

Check ebay and pressed penny collector sites for values and other tips.

Happy collecting!

author

Really helpful. Thanks.

author
porcupinemamma (author)2009-05-17

Oh yes, and anyone looking for the special pennies, you can find them on Ebay

author
Dr.Fox (author)2009-03-14

pretty tight!

author
betl (author)2008-07-24

Where can I find a drill like that? :)

author
pandaboy292 (author)betl2008-09-13

lowe's or home depot. you can get used ones cheap at flea markets.

author
container_gardener (author)2008-06-20

Thoughtful and resourceful.

author
ImCateB (author)2008-01-09

I love it. I collect smashed coins and have hundreds. What a great to display also!!!!!

author
StumpChunkman (author)ImCateB2008-01-10

Thank you very much! I mentioned to someone else, if you drill two holes in either side, and connect coin to coin, you could probably make some cool bracelets as well. Sadly I don't have that many yet.

author
Shifrin (author)2008-01-03

eh, my father is a jeweler...

author
StumpChunkman (author)Shifrin2008-01-03

Cool. Congratulations! Making jewelry is very calming. And when you have a finished piece it's very fulfilling.

author
Shifrin (author)StumpChunkman2008-01-03

Tough Job, so....

author
Darkshot (author)2007-09-30

hey man i just want to say you inspired a idea for me i have always picked up a bullet or two off the shooting range and i had a neclace and when i saw this i combined the two together to make a awsome lookin necklace and yes yes i know they sell them online but hey a real bullet looks cooler! thanks for the inperation :)

author
Darkshot (author)Darkshot2007-10-27

somone stole my necklace while i was in p.e. :(

author
StumpChunkman (author)Darkshot2007-11-28

D'oh... Well, on a brighter note, I suppose that means that it did look good!

author
Darkshot (author)StumpChunkman2007-11-28

yeah :) but im gonna make another one i just need to go out and get off my lazy ass and buy some metal bead string and a few connectors then go shooting with my dad and grab a bullet then make a few ;)

author
StumpChunkman (author)Darkshot2007-11-29

hahahahahahaha...Nice! Make sure you post a picture up after you get it made! I'd like to see that!

author
Darkshot (author)StumpChunkman2007-11-29

kk :)

author
StumpChunkman (author)Darkshot2007-11-28

Absolutely! I'm really glad you liked it. And a bullet sounds like it would be pretty sweet!

author
clipwritesnap (author)2007-09-27

What a great idea for these little souvenirs. Most craft stores (AC Moore, Michael's) have these supplies, as do Wally-Marts. You can also try a hardware store for chain cut-to-length, or look in the lighting dept. for fan chains that are easy to cut to size.

author
Murdok (author)2007-07-30

There aren't any bead shops in the area that I live. Could you give me some online resources?

author
StumpChunkman (author)Murdok2007-07-30

Not a problem!

Fire Mountain Gems looks to be a very good store (though I've never shopped there), you can buy chains in bulk for quite cheap, you'll just need to remember to get the clasps separately. You can always look at chains at Beadworks and see if there's any you like there (keep in mind, they sell theirs by the inch).

If all else fails, you can always go to Amazon and type in 'silver/gold chain' and see if any of them suit you.

Best of luck!

author
angelsandoutlaws (author)2007-07-26

Ohhh, so cool. They would make great charms for a bracelet or even a collage type necklace, too. Thanks for sharing this - most theme parks and some zoos have those machines, and it is a lightweight, compact souvenir too!

author

Thank you! Yeah, and when I was looking, they have quarter machines making silver ones now as well. They match the chain, and are a bit bigger. I like the bracelet idea a lot, I was thinking of earings...the next time I go, I'm going to have to get a bunch.

author
Murdok (author)2007-07-29

Where can I buy that chain?

author
StumpChunkman (author)Murdok2007-07-30

The chain I picked up at my local bead shop for less then three dollars. If you look at the yellow pages online and search for "bead store" in your local, you should find something. If you'd prefer buying the chain online, I'd be glad to give you some sites for that as well.

author
Dzwiedziu (author)2007-07-06

Heh, remidns me of the time when I made guitar picks by gluing grosz coins (an Polish equivalent of cents), witch chewing gum, to railroad tracks and waiting for a train full of coal :)

author
LasVegas (author)Dzwiedziu2007-07-06

Hehe... Having grown up next to a viaduct (train bridge), we flattened our share of coins.

author
Mitten (author)2007-07-05

Nifty Nifty Quick and Thrifty

About This Instructable

20,343views

79favorites

License:

Bio: You can see my personal website at sneezingturtle.com.
More by StumpChunkman:Italian MeatballsRubik's Cube Throwie InstructionsMaking a Stop Motion LED Throwie
Add instructable to: