Introduction: Souvenir Necklace

Picture of 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

Picture of Supplies

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)

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!


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!

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!

SJF007 (author)2013-08-15

Awesome Awesome Awesome

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!!

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!

That sounds awesome! Let me know how it goes!

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?

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.

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

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.

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

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

mg0930mg (author)UltraMagnus2008-10-06

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

porcupinemamma (author)mg0930mg2009-05-17

Road Trip!!! :0)

mg0930mg (author)porcupinemamma2009-05-17

I wish. I'm underage. :(

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

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

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!

Really helpful. Thanks.

porcupinemamma (author)2009-05-17

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

Dr.Fox (author)2009-03-14

pretty tight!

betl (author)2008-07-24

Where can I find a drill like that? :)

pandaboy292 (author)betl2008-09-13

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

container_gardener (author)2008-06-20

Thoughtful and resourceful.

ImCateB (author)2008-01-09

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

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.

Shifrin (author)2008-01-03

eh, my father is a jeweler...

StumpChunkman (author)Shifrin2008-01-03

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

Shifrin (author)StumpChunkman2008-01-03

Tough Job, so....

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 :)

Darkshot (author)Darkshot2007-10-27

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

StumpChunkman (author)Darkshot2007-11-28

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

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 ;)

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!

Darkshot (author)StumpChunkman2007-11-29

kk :)

StumpChunkman (author)Darkshot2007-11-28

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

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.

Murdok (author)2007-07-30

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

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!

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!

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.

Murdok (author)2007-07-29

Where can I buy that chain?

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.

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 :)

LasVegas (author)Dzwiedziu2007-07-06

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

Mitten (author)2007-07-05

Nifty Nifty Quick and Thrifty

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