coins.jpg It’s 2015, and my telephone is what I use to pay for at least 50 percent of the things I buy. Norm Macdonald put it best on the final David Letterman show when he said, “It was all different back then, you know. It was back then, I remember, if you wanted to take a picture, you would use a camera – not a telephone. As a matter of fact, if you used a telephone, people would look at you odd.” He has a point. Physical money, for a lot of people, is a thing of the past. Everything is connected to the phone. Whether you use Paypal, WePay, Apple pay, Venmo or any of the other services out there right now, dollars and cents are now primarily numbers on a screen inside your pocket. So, what do we do when our money is in small round pieces of metal piled up in puggy banks, five-gallon water jugs, or under our mattresses? Other than bringing it to your local bank or Coinstar, there must be something else to do with all of those Abraham Lincolns collecting dust.

Resurface a table

In a time when flea markets and thrift shops are the trend, why not give that old table a shiny new finish? More than a few people have created DIY articles on surfacing tables with pennies and giving them a very unique look! The examples I am submitting are with pennies, but certainly any currency could work. Especially with the different colors of silver, copper, and gold that U.S. change comes in. 

Resurface a counter

Not happy with that old counter? Instead of spending all the money on remodeling your kitchen, why not brighten things up with a thin film of change? Surprisingly enough, this is way cheaper than buying costly tile or granite materials. At about $2.00 per square foot, you’re budget will be way less than with the $50-$100 per square foot for something like granite. 

Kitchen Backsplash

Similar to my recommendation of resurfacing a counter or table, kitchen backsplashes are another costly upgrade to your kitchen. Kitchen backsplashes, even made with recycled glass tile, average about $20-$30 per square foot, according to But with the average of $2.00 per square foot for a backsplash made of pennies, you can save some pennies by using pennies. 

Create Jewelry

DIY jewelry seems to be a popular item on the internet these days. So much so that popular shows, like Portlandia, have taken friendly jabs at its popularity. But with platforms like etsy or storenvy, it is easy enough to create and sell your own jewelry. And even if you don’t want to sell the jewelry you create, it’s still a fun craft with millions of possibilities. You could even consider mixing in some recycled glass beads to make your jewelry really creative – and eco-friendly. 

Start a collection of pressed pennies Pressed pennies are a popular souvenir. I have them from aquariums, zoos and other tourist destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge. They generally cost about $0.51 cents. $0.50 going to the machine, and the one penny coming back to you with an imprint that allows you to remember the destination you went to. Much like any other “collectible item,” there is a market if you’re looking to make a little bit of cash. I’m actually surprised people pay for these, but alas, there are even some from my local aquarium, The Mystic Aquarium, on

A combination of the last two!

You could always get real fancy and make a fashion statement with a combination of the last two items in the list! Pressed Penny Jewelry, anyone? You won’t want anyone to steal this fine piece of jewelry, so keep it safe!

Make art

I know. This suggestion is very broad. There are endless possibilities of what you can create as change is ultimately just another medium for creating art. Change comes in all different colors, especially when you think about change from other countries. Change tends to be affected by being handled and left out in various weather patterns, and you can find pennies naturally in shades of black and green. You could even paint your coins to have very colorful circles. A very simple and elegant example of the usage of these different colors of pennies can be found on

Make a vase

I found multiple examples in my search of people creating vases out of change. Not sure why, specifically, but it’s an excellent use of coins. I have heard rumors of copper/bronze deterring slugs, so this may be some descendant of this rumor but that is purely speculation. Either way, they look nice!

Start a coin collection!

One obvious solution to what to do with all of that extra change, is to start a coin collection! If you really sit down and look at coins, there is all types of information to learn from them. Where they are minted, what year they were minted, what shape they are in and so much more. All of these facts can lead to a very profitable hobby. It’s too much of a hobby to discuss here, and one link won’t suffice, but if you start to search around, you’ll find plenty of information on the topic.

Make tap shoes!

Last but not least (and my personal favorite): tap shoes! I thought this was such a fun and unique way to use change. Especially for people who can’t afford to buy tap shoes for a child whose interests are changing weekly. I am not sure how these compare to actual tap shoes, seeing as how I’ve never tapped in my life. But why not give it a shot? It will likely be fun at the very least.