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
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
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.
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!