Friday, July 8, 2011

Pressed Penny Charm Bracelet


Pressed penny machines are everywhere.  We see them at the zoo, aquarium, science center, children’s museum, and even sometimes the grocery store in little touristy towns.  My kids have collected them for years.  I came across my daughter collection about 6 months ago and as I looked through them memories flooded back to me.  The day we went to the Trees of Mystery on our CA trip last Spring… the day we went to the Space Needle… the day she first saw the octopus move at the Pt Defiance Zoo… those memories were there in pressed copper glory.  I just had to find something to make with these things that would be as beautiful as those memories.

I made this pressed penny charm bracelet along with my friend Jessica (who makes beautiful jewelry) on our mamas weekend away.  I punched a hole in each penny with a metal awl and then we put tiny rings through and connected them to a copper bracelet.   


What we used:

  • 10 pressed pennies
  • 1 copper chain bracelet with clasp
  • 10 copper jewelry rings
  • metal awl
  • hammer
  • large piece of flat wood
  • jewelry file
  • two pair jewelry plyers

How to do it:

  1. First I punched the holes in the top of the pennies with the metal awl on the piece of wood.  I had to make sure the hole was big enough for the rings we chose, but once I had the size down it went really quickly.
  2. Then I used the hammer and file to make sure there were no sharp edges on the back side of the penny.
  3. Then Jessica and I laid out the bracelet in the order we wanted the pennies to go and set them up to go evenly across the chain.
  4. Very carefully, bending the rings sideways (how-to and reasons behind that tip) we slid the rings on to the pennies and then onto the chain and closed the rings up.
  5. Jessica shortened the chain for Cyan’s wrist and we were done! 

It did take me buying an awl and Jessica’s jewelry tools, but it was a super simple project in the end!  And now all of those amazing memories can be showcased right on her wrist! 



Luisa said...

That's a fantastic idea. What a special way to keep all those memories together.

Brie said...

Great idea! Wonder what we've done with our pennies...

Aimee B said...


Committed Recycler said...

What a great idea!

I am so inspired, I have been collecting what our family refers to as 51 cent pennies for years, and this looks like a nice flexible project for me.



Linda's World said...

I collect pressed pennies (squishers) and this is a great idea...a good way to wear the ones most important to me. I've have hundreds of them so will have to choose wisely. Or maybe I should just use some of my duplicates!

Tara62 said...

I told my husband we should collect those pressed pennies on this vacation...he poo poohed my idea so I nixed we are on the last day of our vacation and I discover this post!

mitch1066 said...

What a great idea,WOW!Thanks somuch for posting :)

Emily said...

I LOVE this idea! I collect the pennies and keep them in my "Penny Passports." I'm on my third and have been collecting for 10 years. I think I'll start getting doubles of pennies so I can put one in my book and one on a bracelet! Thanks again for sharing!

Theresa said...

What a beautiful idea! I have so many pressed pennies! But my collection started as an adult. I don't go anywhere new without quarters and pennies!! Thanks so much for the idea!

Anonymous said...

Love this idea. My Mother-in-law collects these pennies. I think I will make her one of the places we have visited with her. And, she LOVES jewelry! Also,you can go to this link and then choose a state and it tells you where each machine is located at. If it has camera beside it, then you can see a picture of the actual pennies available in the machine.

Thanks so much for the wonderful idea.

Sandy A.

Ann Marie said...

Val I LOVED this when I read it the first time on your blog! So imagine my DELIGHTED surprise when I saw it on Dollar Store Crafts Blog! I got so excited!!!

Great bracelet!!!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Thanks for the heads up Ann Marie! I didn't realize I was being featured on Dollar Store Crafts. :) It is a great bracelet!

Has anyone done it yet? I would love to see other peoples versions!



Lauren said...

Wow, I used to collect pressed pennies during my trips to the States as a child. I don't know where I kept them now though. This is an awesome project!

Miss Lynne said...

hi! I saw this project on dollar store crafts and I had included a link and your photo on one of my blog posts. I totally spaced asking for permission because I was so excited! so I hope you don't mind I used your image I credited you though. keep up the great work! Also let me know if you would like me to take down your picture! Ali

Dyana365 said...

My friend knows how much I love my pressed penny collection and just sent me this link. Love, love, love your idea. I just got finished artfully framing my collection, but now I'm going to start getting 2 pennies per machine because I must make this bracelet. Thanks for your craftiness and for sharing!

learningtable said...

I've been collecting pressed pennies for years, and now my kids are in on it too. I love, love, love this idea! How cool! I am linking to your post on my blog, and I'll be following yours now!

Suzy Myers said...

Very cool idea! I have a jewelry box full of pressed pennies! I would be honored if you would link up to my Commercial break Thursday link party!


Val in the Rose Garden said...

I am not sure if that worked Suzy, but I tried. I saw that a bunch of people posted twice so it may just be slow and I didn't want to try to post it again and have it show up twice too.

I am so glad everyone is having fun with this project! She seriously wears it all the time!



Maggie said...

Hi Val,

I'm leaving a comment here because I didn't find an email, but I just wanted to let you know that I featured your tutorial on my site, I linked to this project:

I would like to know if I can link like this to you, including a photo, in the future. Or if you would be willing to allow me to post projects in full on the site - full credit will always be given to you, of course. It would be yet another source of traffic to your blog.

Please let me know, I would love to work with you further.
Maggie Kmiecik

Jackie Darrington said...

This really is a super cool idea. I've always thought that pressed pennies were kind of a dumb idea because there was nothing to do with them, but the charm bracelet idea is genius. Lately I've been really into charm bracelets with my attention mostly on pandora silver charms, but I'm definitely going to look into this more.

Unknown said...

Holy Cow, this is such a great idea! I love pressed pennies and now I know what to do with all of mine!

Thanks so much for the wonderful idea.
Love your blog and am your newest follower.


Rob Bowmer said...

Wow good idea and they'll be cheaper than a links of london bracelets only pennies lol

Riverspitter said...

My daughter has been collecting these since she was small. Now I wish I had been, too!
It's never too late!! Thanks so much for the post.

Lynda said...

Love this! I haven't seen a penny presser around here for years though!(SLC Utah)

Emi's Butterfly Shop said...

I tried this idea and it turned out fantastic! Just like the photos. I used pennies from Universal Studios. Thank you!!

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