4 crafty ideas for all those pennies you've been hoarding

The Globe and Mail

(Stock photo | Thinkstock/Stock photo | Thinkstock)

Amid the public sector cuts and Old Age Security announcements in Thursday’s federal budget, there was a quirkier bit of news: The penny will be phased out this year.

Folks nostalgic for the coppery coin are taking to social media to plea for a stay of execution – hence the Twitter hashtag #SaveThePenny. Many of us will be unceremoniously dumping out our piggy banks and trying to spend pennies as fast as we can. And coin collectors will be trying to round out their collections.

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But others may take the news as a call to pick up a glue gun – and immortalize the obsolete Queen-and-maple-leaf-adorned coin in another way.

Herewith, a few ideas for budding coin artists. (Good taste not necessarily included.)

Frame a loved one in coins

This is the kind of project that has been landing in basement boxes for decades: A penny-covered frame that kids are supposed to give to their dads for Father’s Day.

Frame the coins themselves

There’s a whole genre called “ ombre penny art,” which taps into both a crafter’s impulse to create and the organized person’s drive to have everything in its place. Last month, blogger Kristen of My Covered Bridge wrote about her first try at lining up rows of pennies organized from shiniest to most “dull and weathered.”

Another site on the topic includes ideas on how to clean up pennies so more of them gleam in your ombre art: If you’re more advanced, you might consider actually creating an image with all those shades of copper and grey. As Canadian broadcaster and blogger Buzz Bishop points out, a portrait of the Queen à la this Abe Lincoln could be swell.

Tie one on

Martha Stewart (of course) recommends creating a brooch, lapel pin or hair clip out of a shiny penny on her website. Sure, she intended these for President’s Day, since Abraham Lincoln graces the American penny, but Canadians can surely improvise.

Or, go big

Mr. Bishop also posted this photo of the penny-tiled floor at The Standard in NYC on his site. For the DIY with time on his or her hands.

What will you do with that jar of pennies sitting on your dresser?