This Table Cost Pennies....literally

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Introduction: This Table Cost Pennies....literally

About: I enjoy taking a pile of junk and making something unusual out of it. I like wheeled vehicles, and currently own two motorcycles, two electric bikes that I've built, and an electric scooter pushed by a soc...

If you've ever wanted a new patio table for pennies, then this instructable is for you!

I was getting ready to throw away an old cheap glass-top patio end table when my wife came up with the idea of covering it in pennies.  Since I really hate to ever throw anything away, it naturally seemed like a good idea.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

I only needed a few things for this project.  First, was an old, ugly table that happened to have a glass top. 

Second, I used an adhesive that works on non-porous surfaces (I used Goop, but other similar adhesives should be fine).

Third, I didn't count them, but I probably used about $4 worth of pennies.

And finally, I used grout.  I happened across a pre-colored bag of grout that was marked down substantially, so this worked for me.

I also used some cleaner to clean the table, a putty knife to spread the grout, and damp sponges and paper towels to apply and finish the grout.

Step 2: Start Gluing

We started at the outside edge of the table to glue down the pennies.  In our particular case we decided to do two rows of "heads," two rows of "tails", etc. 

After gluing down all the pennies, we let the glue cure per the manufacturers recommendation.

Step 3: Add the Grout

Once the glue had cured, we applied the grout.  I mixed up a very small batch of grout, mixing it to a fairly stiff consistency.  After mixing, I let it sit for about 20 minutes and mixed again to make sure all the dry ingredients were mixed well.

Since I was doing this part by myself, I wasn't able to photograph the process, but it was pretty simple.  I placed a bit of the grout mixture on the table and forced it into every gap with a plastic putty knife.  After covering all gaps, I then let it sit for about 20 minutes.

Next, I took a damp sponge and begin wiping the grout off the pennies, cleaning the sponge frequently as I progressed.  After cleaning all the grout from the tops of the pennies.  I wiped them down with a dry paper towel.  All that was left was to let the grout cure overnight.

Step 4: Let the Grout Cure

This turned out to be a relatively simple and inexpensive way to turn a cheap ugly table into a real conversation piece.

By the way, before anyone feels a need to tell me I violated federal laws by defacing coins, there's no need.  No coins were defaced in any way (not cut, nor drilled, nor anything else).  All the coins are still intact.  No coin was harmed in the making of this table......

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    48 Discussions

    It cost the US tax payers 1.5 cents to make just 1 cent or "penny". Lets say it takes $10.00 in "pennies" to cover it. The actual cost for those "pennies" is $15.00. Add in the fact that you are permanently taking those "pennies" out of circulation and it will cost the US tax payers another $15.00 to replace those $10.00 worth of "pennies" brings the total cost to $30.00 for the initial manufacturing and replacement cost so you could have a "penny" table top. As a US tax payer I can't afford your "penny" table top!

    This appears to be a complete waste of time and money. I would rather roll up the coins and change each 100 to paper. I have over 10,000 pennies with which I am doing just that. Putting them on tables, bars and floors renders them practically useless. Just imagine the work in trying to recover them later.

    Actually, it is NOT against the law to 'deface' US money. It is against the law to deface WITH THE INTENT TO DEFRAUD. You can drill, cut, hammer your money to your heart's content as long as you don't try to fool someone into thinking it's something other than what it is.

    6 replies

    whilst you own the 'value' of the coins the coins still belong to the state/bank (depending on country)

    Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States. This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.

    So, what fraud is this author trying to perpetrate upon the American public? I do not see him representing his table as anything other than a table covered with pennies.

    You people need to get a life. There is very little value in the metals used in coinage today. One would be hard pressed to even get face value for a coin; as they are no longer made from pure copper, silver and gold.

    Knife141, I think your ible is great!

    Thanks, bettyroug54. What I did with the pennies is really no different that taping them to an object, or putting them in a jar and screwing on a lid. They were not defaced in any way, and should someone want to use them as money, all they need to do is pry them off the table and they're back into circulation. I covered this is the last step of my instructable, but apparently some people didn't read that far before they felt a need to find what they considered to be a transgression against the penny. Thanks for your comment.

    I love how positively you responded to these negative comments. Lol, people love to make something out of nothing. Love this idea btw. I might just try it. Thanks for sharing!

    the key word here is "fraudulently". This "means" you can do what you want just admit that is/was a penny.

    I love this. However, I can see my kids trying to dismantle it for ice cream money when the truck rolls by. :D

    1 reply

    Glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like you might want to use some really strong glue! Thanks for the comment.

    That is SO neat! The simplest designs are usually the best! If it wasn't for you, I swear I never would of thought of this unique idea.

    Would do a great design for a coffee table too!

    Any table, really. In the backyard, in a cool hangout place in a garage or basement, you name it. I was thinking of using a whole combination of coins from around the world too for a table like that as well.

    2 replies

    Thanks, mochimaster, for the kind words. This was a fairly simple project, and I'm keeping an eye out for another small table -- still have a lot of pennies around!

    This is very cool. I have also seen penny counters and floors (Google it) - also very cool! The gov't is thinking of doing away with the penny anyway because it costs 2 cents to make every one cent! So, have it!! Thanks, knife141.

    This is such a cool table!!! Can't wait to try it myself. Your instructable is great. :)

    1 reply

    Great project, Time to look for a table at a thrift store or in a junk pile!

    I like the idea of different finishes, you can buy/make patina solutions to change the colors before or after the project is done, or just wait and see.

    Nice :),

    I'm gonna copy this some day:)
    Since I'm from Europe, I'll do this with cents.

    It might be cool to have 2 tabels, one in Euro's the other in Dollars :)
    Question: Euro cents are made of copper, so they will turn green after a while, what about Pennies?

    1 reply