Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lucky Penny Charm (DIY)

Meet Taylor: she has mad artistic talent and the loudest laugh I've ever heard.  
In high school, nobody had more ridiculous adventures, inside jokes, or better handmade gifts than we did.  As the two best runners on the Oxford Cross Country team (no, I'm lying: we sucked) we spent all of our time together.  
Each of us has an enormous collection of unique handmade treasures from the other.
Taylor & I with our 'Joined at the Hip' Cross Country awards in High School
My all time favorites are a set of lucky pennies that she customized with a wildcat paw print and Blue's Clues just for me.  We were all about luck: it was going to help us win a race - or, at least not die during it- and McDonalds Monopoly (because for some strange reason, we were pretty sure we had that in the bag).  Looking back, I guess they did work because although we didn't exactly win any races, neither of us ever died during a track meet.
Inspired by Taylor's cute little charms, here's a tutorial to make your own:

First, you will need to make a hole for the ring.  
Using a clamp, secure your penny to a wood surface, preferably a surface that you don't mind having holes.  Before drilling, lubricate the penny with a dab of oil: the heat of metal on metal can cause a friction fire on your wooden surface.  
I couldn't find anything else so I used olive oil;  Rachel Ray would be so proud of me.  
Drill slowly and wear safety goggles to avoid getting metal slivers in your eyes.
Once the holes are drilled, its time to clean your pennies.  Using a recipe I found here, I soaked them in lemon juice and salt to make them sparkle.
Taylor painted the designs on my pennies with nail polish, but I am not nearly skilled enough to do that with a nail brush, so I used a skinny paint brush and acrylic paint.  
You can use just about anything to personalize your luck charms: stickers, glitter, rhinestones, nail decals, confetti, etc.
If you use paint, give it a few hours to dry, then gently sand the edges to remove any stray paint for a clean design.  
I recommend using a nail file because its great for tiny surfaces.
To keep your pennies in good shape, you will need to coat them with something.  
Use a spray-on clear coat or clear nail polish (I'm going with nail polish).  Rather than one thick, gooey coat, do several layers.  Allow them to dry over night.
For the back of the penny, I painted the word 'Luck' but you could write other words, names or more designs.  
Coat this side with your top coat and give them another night to dry!
When the clear coat is dry, add a ring.
Wear your lucky penny on a necklace, key ring, or bracelet.
I added a horseshoe charm to each of my pennies for a little extra luck.
 What will you put on your lucky pennies?

1 comment: