Pennies are the lowliest type of coin. When it comes to buying things, they are pretty much impossible to use. Can you imagine rolling up to the cashier with a bag of them to pay your grocery bill? That would definitely not go over well.
Luckily, there are all sorts of other cool uses for pennies that have nothing to do with spending them.
It’s hard to believe that a penny can actually be valuable, but once you learn these fun uses, don’t be surprised if you too find yourself changing your mind about the one-cent piece.
“Can I have my change back in pennies please?” — you on your next shopping trip.
1. Stabilize Wobbly Chairs
Have you ever sat down on a chair at a restaurant and found that one leg was shorter than all the others? It’s an all too common problem… that, and table wobbling. However, pop a penny underneath the leg of the defective piece of furniture and you’ll be good to go.
2. Save Stale Wine
Every wine connoisseur knows that once a bottle of wine is open, it won’t be long before it starts to go bad (which is also a good excuse to drink an entire bottle). If you find your wine has already gone stale though, don’t panic. Just drop a penny into your glass. You’ll have to make sure that the penny is dated between 1909 and 1982 though as it needs to be a copper one. The copper neutralizes the sulfur compounds that form when wine starts to go bad.
3. Make A Penny Portrait Of Lincoln
Next time you are bored, try using your spare pennies to make some cool art. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can even make an entire penny portrait of Abraham Lincoln like this guy did. They sell kits to help you make one of your own at this website.
4. Repel Garden Slugs
We don’t know the science behind it, but they say if you bury a ring of pennies around your plants, the slimy insects will stay well away. It’s technically unproven, but many gardeners swear by this little trick. It is true though that copper reacts with the slime of slugs in a way that sends an annoying electrical impulse to their brain, so who knows, there might be something to the old wives’ tale.
5. Make Buttons
Pennies can easily be turned into trendy new buttons for your coat, jacket, or pair of pants. Just polish them up by letting them soak in a bowl of vinegar and salt for a while. Then drill two small holes in each of them. Keep in mind that some jurisdictions do have regulations surrounding altering currency, so it’s always recommended you do some research on the laws in your area first before attempting something like this.
6. DIY Ruler
Pennies are minted with a standard diameter of exactly .75 inches. If you’re in a pinch, you can use them to measure things. 16 pennies lined up in a row on a flat surface will measure exactly 12 inches, or in other words, the same length as a ruler. If you stack the 16 pennies on top of one another, the height of the stack will equal .96 inches.
7. Weigh Down Curtains
Many varieties of curtains are too light to hang properly. Fortunately, that is a problem that is easily fixed by using pennies. All you have to do is make a small opening in the hem at the bottom of the curtains and slip a few of the coins in there. You’ll want to make sure that they are evenly spaced across the bottom.
8. Penny Screwdriver
If you forgot your toolbox at the shop, don’t worry! Pennies are actually the perfect width to drive in screws. They fit right into the little grooves on screw heads. While you won’t get as much leverage using a penny as you would an actual screwdriver, the one-cent coins will definitely get the job done.
9. Construct A Birdhouse Roof
The roof of a birdhouse is a bird’s first line of defense, protecting the little babies living inside from the snow and rain. Over time, the weather definitely wears them down. Although, the good news is that you can create an entirely new roof with pennies. The pennies act like little shingles and depending on the size of your birdhouse, it should only take about 500 of them.
10. Check Your Tires
Pennies are great for diagnosing the state of your tires. You can use them to check the depth of the tire tread and make sure they are still safe to drive on. Just insert a penny in between the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. According to Goodyear Tire, if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then your tires need to be replaced.
11. Create Tap Shoes
Haven’t you always wanted your own pair of tap shoes? We know we’ve definitely thought about buying some. Instead of investing your hard-earned money in a new pair though, all it really takes to start tapping is a few cents. Just super glue three to five pennies on the front sole of an old pair of shoes and another two to four on the back.
12. Collect Them
Not all pennies are created equal. In fact, certain types are worth much more than just one cent. To the right collector, an especially rare penny can go for hundreds of dollars. For starters, you can try searching through your coin jar for wheat pennies. Wheat pennies are pennies that were minted between 1909 and 1956. Instead of the Lincoln Memorial, pennies made during this time period have an image of two stalks of wheat on the back.
13. Use Them When Laying Tile
While it’s true you can buy bags of plastic tile spacers at almost every hardware store, why not save yourself the trip? It’s better and cheaper to use something you already have on hand — such as pennies. When it comes to spacing tiles, pennies are the perfect width and they are also reusable. Just rinse them off after the fact and throw them back in your purse.
14. Or Actually Tile Your Floor With Them
That’s right, penny flooring is totally a thing. If you have a lot of time on your hands and a lot of pennies, why not? Copper is in style right now. You can find a tutorial for how to do something like this here, but basically, you just glue the pennies down with epoxy and slowly work your way around the room. It costs $2.78 worth of pennies per square foot.
15. Decorate Your Home
There are all sorts of fun sorts of home decor items you can create with pennies. Try accenting a photo frame or mirror by gluing them around the edges. Or build a cool penny coaster like in the photo below. There is a video tutorial for how to make one on The Penny Hoarders YouTube channel.
15. Keep Flowers Fresh
A neat trick from florists for keeping flowers fresh longer is to use pennies. All you need is one pre-1982 copper penny and a sugar cube. Add both of them to the water in your vase along with the flowers and the flowers will last significantly longer before wilting. The copper works as a natural fungicide and the sugar will keep the blossoms fresher.
16. Make A Cold Pack
Pennies are great conductors of heat and cold. This interesting property makes them very good for use in cold packs. Put a bunch of pennies in a cotton sock, tie it up, and throw it in the freezer for a while to chill. Because the pennies are loose inside, your homemade cold pack will mold around your arm, leg, or wherever else you apply it to, too.
There is no doubt that pennies have some pretty neat uses. Now that you know a few of them, you might start thinking about the little coins much differently. Pennies are something to be cherished, and saved, and used to make tap shoes.
Have some fun with them and let us know how it goes. What creative ideas for using pennies can you come up with?
See more pictures of interesting ways to use pennies below.
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