Increasing Home Values, One Penny at Time..

A few years ago, I started gluing pennies to the wall. It was simple. I had put my knee through an already patched hole on the bar wall and decided we needed a surface more durable than drywall.  Normal people would have installed tile.  Normal people would have a bank account that has more in it than pennies.  Over the past couple of years, my home value has dropped by almost a zillion dollars 65,000.  Depressing, isn’t it?  Fortunately, I was at work looking for random articles to amuse and annoy my coworkers with when I stumbled upon this guy.  Turns out, I am not a crazy lady gluing objects to the wall, but an astute investor who is minimizing risk by investing in funds that will hold their face value. My finance professor should be proud.

In the spirit of the 1 trillion dollar coin, I have decided to glue upcycle  currency to fix the housing crisis stairwell landing. 

Finished Pennies

Finished Pennies

 I used hardi-backer instead of cement because it is easier to cut, and Charlie likes to eat the little bits of cement.   When you’re cute, you don’t have to be smart. 



 Glue the pennies using construction adhesive. There are thousands of adhesives / mortar options out there, just pick one you can use without gluing your hand to the floor or the car steering wheel (true story).

28 Hours of My Life

28 Hours of My Life

My honey acquired all the pennies through a penny drive at work.  They were happy to sell him the pennies at the end of the drive.  You know your honey accepts your weirdness when he texts you a picture of the bag full of penny rolls he bought for you. Hands down, best gift ever!

If your honey isn’t this nice to you, you can get the pennies from the bank, but go to a bank you don’t like.  It is very difficult to explain to the teller what you need $40 worth of pennies for, and they will give you the look of death. 

After you’ve glued the pennies, shine them up with some classic Brasso, seal with a thin coat of laquer and grout your little heart off.

Finished Pennies

Finished Pennies











Easter Egg – I left a couple of penny holes so that I could screw / easily unscrew the cement board if I ever need to remove it.  I know, someday I may manage to sell my house and the new folks may not share my investment enthusiasm.

Don’t forget the other lovely ladies in the Dueling DIY Diva Staircase Challenge.  They are all working their hearts out trying to turn something from fugly to fab.

Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House 
Micha @ Little House on the Corner  
Christine @ Little House on the Corner 
Ann @ Our Handmade Home 
Nicki @ Perfect Prospect
Kit @ DIY Diva 


 Check it out: Creating with the stars link up.

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19 Responses to Increasing Home Values, One Penny at Time..

  1. Debbie says:

    It looks great! I’ve seen others use pennies for surfaces, such a neat idea. Awesome…
    Saw you sharing at EC2 link party.
    Debbie :)

  2. Thanks for linking up! If this isn’t one daring diy I don’t know what is! :D It looks great, I can’t wait to see the final product!

  3. DIY Playbook says:

    I can’t wait to see more… I’m feeling so inspired! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Doug says:

    You know you’re in trouble when you see an idea on someone’s blog and try to think of a way to use it, even if it means creating more work for yourself. At a yard sale a few years ago, I picked up a couple of dark, 1970′s style end tables that have round mirror inserts that sit on the wood top. I was thinking about how I was going to replace the mirrors, which are badly silvered. Now I know. It’ll be about a year and a half before my workshop gets built. That should give me enough time to collect whatever pennies I can find. Like MarieRoxanne, I too am in Canada, where the penny is no longer being minted– I figure it’s a cool way to preserve part of our history. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jeanie says:

    I’ve been planning to do the ‘penny thing’ too! I just love it. Can I ask just how many you have glued down on one landing???? HA! Just wondering what I’m in for!

    • Sandra says:

      The total amount ended up being appx $26 for one part of the landing. Prepare yourself with lots of wine and cheesy movies!

  6. Kelley says:

    Looks awesome!! Do you ever worry that you’re going to be blinded by the awesome shininess of the pennies & trip on the stairs?

    Also, for anyone else who might do this, you can buy meshes of pre-set penny tile (with actual pennies) if you want to install it in sheets rather than 1 penny at a time… although it’s probably much more expensive this way. (btw the place where I saw it was

    • Sandra says:

      Are you serious!?! I would have bought the penny mesh in a second! Every internt search only brought up penny tile (not the kind that an average person would find in their pocket). The space is soo dark, that the pennies are barely a glimmer of light. Hopefully that will all change (Ha!) by the end.

  7. kimberly says:

    Love it! Looks great!

  8. MarieRoxanne says:

    I came from “DIY Diva” ‘s blog
    Did you know that using pennies like that is “gasp” illegal?
    Oh, well, I’ve got tons of pennies and since they are no longer making them in Canada since yesterday, I no longer think of them as money.
    Illegal or not, they’re making their way into my house decor somehow. Just don’t know what yet…

    • Sandra says:

      Welcome! I figured it may be considered defacing money or something like that, but I figured if they wanted to come to my house to pry penniess off of hardi-board then more power to them! :) I look forward to seeing where those pennies end up!

  9. Really cool! And I think it’s smart leaving yourself a few holes to remove it later if the new owners ever disagree with your penny decision. I think it will be a little jewel of the house though!

    • Sandra says:

      I hope so! It’s just that all of the surrounding homes have that granite countertop, neutral wall color, Berber carpet, traditional heavy furniture look going on, so it makes me nervous.

      BTW – I am not sure I would have sucked it up and done the prject of you hadn’t started the duel. Thank you for getting em off my rear end and fixing stuff!

  10. Nicki says:

    Guess what? I am doing this to my bathroom floor LOL. It is so fab! And thanks for listing me in the dueling diy list…..I am soooo behind!

    • Nicki says:

      I have been saving pennies for some time for when I am ready to redo the bathroom. I feel in love with the idea last year sometime. Love that you detailed your experience, that will make my job easier :)

    • Sandra says:

      Don’t worry. I feel that same way also! Sarah seems to be making great progress while I remain covered in glue. What are you sealing it with in the bathroom? I used shellac on the floor, but I didn’t have to think about any issues with humidity.

      • Sandra says:

        Ha! My biggest tip is that if you are using a dark colored grout, wear gloves! I did not and I had to match my nail polish to the grout color to hide it while the stains faded. oops.:) Finding the pennies was the most challenging part. Good luck. I can’t wait to see the finished floor!

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