Family Penny Craft

We save all our loose change as a family. It’s a great way to work towards a family savings goal and helps fund a little bit of our larger goals. The kids saved over $100 towards their swingset, several hundred towards our Disney trip, and now they are saving up for a return trip to DisneyWorld.

Since our giant piggy bank was getting full I umped out all the change so we could sort it before taking it to the bank. The little kids were helping (great practice for my 7 year old learning multiplication and adding money) and noticed the dates on the coins. We talked about how some of the coins were really old and the grime on them showed that, while others were shiny and new. A few were the opposite covered in dirt but only a year old or shiny but from 50+ years ago.

I’ve always wanted to do something fun with pennies after seeing penny floors and tiles in so many places. This is a great example of what I’m talking about. I love this, but there is NO way I’d do a floor with them!


But while I was inspired to create a super simple and sentimental craft that is now on display in our family room. I searched through the coins and found a coin for each of our birth years (a little harder than it sounds!) and made this adorable family penny collection. You could use dates like your wedding anniversary or even make a larger one that acts as a family tree.

Family Penny Frame
Here’s what you need:

  • coins with everyone’s birth year
  • white vinegar
  • a frame
  • watercolor paper and paints

After you hunt down the coins you want to use (we chose pennies since they are so pretty) you can decide if you want to clean them up or leave them as is. Since my coins all were different shades of dirty I decide to soak them to clean them up and make them sparkle.

Just plop your coins in some white vinegar for about 10 minutes. If you have stubborn spots you can use an old toothbrush or a sponge to clean up stubborn dirt.

Next you’ll let them dry and work on the backing.

I chose to use a bright blue watercolor paint and watercolor paper though you could just as easily use cardstock, scrap paper, wrapping paper, or even newspaper. Just make sure it has a strong backing behind it.

Now you’ll figure out the arrangement of your coins. I went with a circle because it reminds me that our family is always connected. Cheesey I know. 😉

I hot glued the coins to the paper and let it dry. I had to get a LOT of glue on them to stick, so in the end I didn’t add the glass front to the frame because they stuck out too far, but I kind of prefer them this way.

What crafts have you worked on lately?


Linking up to the Winter Pinterest Challenge-check out the hosts projects too. Sherry’s  board and batten hallway,  Katie’s,  Megan’s  fabric ottoman and  Michelle’s  button wall.  

About Kelly

Kelly Whalen is the founder and editor of the Centsible Life blog. She started the blog 6 years ago as her family faced a mountain of debt. The blog became a resource to readers and a hub for everything you need in life for less. Kelly lives in the Philadelphia area with her superhero husband, 4 awesome kids, and one adorable dog. She still believes you can have it all....just not all at once.


  1. says

    Oh I love this! I’ve been hoarding all our pennies now since Canada decided to do away with the penny :( It’s so sad. I will keep this project in mind for my pennies!

  2. says

    Oh, what a cute idea, using pennies from everyone’s birth year! I wouldn’t do the pennies on my floor either. I’d rather put them in the bank! :-)


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