Most of us are barely patient enough to count the change in our cup holders much less create a penny floor. But a Portland, Oregon DIY whiz by the name of Tonya Tooners decided to do it and it was certainly worth every penny, literally. The project wasn’t easy. There were some obstacles along the way, like pets pooping on the floor and a couple of other penny colored setbacks. But in the end, she ended up with a floor that was perfectly designed and beautifully patterned and all it took was over 13,000 coins to make it happen.It looks so nice and shiny and all it took was 10 bottles of Elmer’s glue, some grout, a few pieces of wood and $150 worth of epoxy. Yes, the irony is not lost on us. The materials were more expensive than the floor.
After all, plywood has holes and pennies are so small they can fall through those holes and cracks.
The dog managed to cross through the barricade she made and pooped on the pennies, which tarnished them and not in the way she wanted. This slowed the process down significantly while she tried to clean things up.
Otherwise dirt and dog poop courtesy of Trouble would tarnish the dark pennies and in some cases lighten them overnight.
All Tonya needed was 3 $50 bags of pennies that she got from the bank and some glue. Then she started measuring the area to find the center. The next step was to glue a diamond shape in the center and let the pennies dry.
It was useful in tapping down all the nail heads that were poking out. It also served as a test because when she tapped the hammer on the bed of coins, some of the loose pennies would jump up, which meant she had to re-glue them.
It would just be a matter of pushing the next pennies against the center without causing the diamond middle to slide out of place.
Once she reached the edge of one of the walls, she decided it would be a good idea to come up with a border.
She had no choice but to pull a wide strip of pennies up and then fill it in with wood filler to give it a more gradual appearance.
It was a good thing there was a gap between the floor and the molding. This allowed her to run the pennies under the molding to finish off the edges. This wasn’t as easy as it sounded. She had to use a ruler to push the pennies around under the gap.
She needed the dark and light coins to be even but she was running out of dark pennies. So she bought herself some liver of sulfur to turn the pennies into a mixture of bluish-purple and black.
In some cases, she had to pry a few pennies up, despite the fact that they were naturally tarnished, and replace them so that the pattern matched.
They’re the pennies that have that bluish-black matte. Fortunately for her, that matte went away during the grouting phase, which caused the pennies to get wet.
The most obvious being that she didn’t like some of the corners when she finished them, so she had to undo them and try again.
It was just a matter of continuing to add more coins until the job was done.
She had to continue copying the same pattern until she reached the very end.
If you look closely you’ll noticed that the pennies alternate between heads and tails, but the ones that are heads are all facing the same direction.
Although Tonya didn’t take photos of the actually grouting process, she recommends following the instructions on the box and press the grout into the little gaps, but to use unsanded grout. Otherwise, the tarnish on the darker pennies could rub off. Then it’s just a matter of epoxying to finish it off and voila! You have a penny floor that anyone would envy.