Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DIY Penny Cornice Board Window Treatment

I like to decorate with unique and different things.  Thankfully I have a husband who doesn't mind indulging my out of the ordinary requests.  When we started putting together ideas for our new house one of them was to make something using pennies.  We've all seen the Pinterest pin with the people gluing pennies onto a floor...
I looked at that and thought, "Well, gluing pennies to a floor seems crazy...  but I could probably glue pennies to something else!"  So I did a broader search and found loads of ideas for using our one cent friends.   Everything from bird houses, to vases, to countertops and tables.  Since we didn't need a bird house and we liked our countertops, Benjamin and I put the idea on the back burner.  Until one evening when I was thinking about our master bathroom.  Then it hit me, a cornice board covered in pennies could be cool!  The tile in our bathroom would match nicely to the copper tones of the penny and I wanted to redo the window treatment we had in there.  I pitched the idea to Benjamin and he agreed we could make it possible.

After several nap times of work, 8 tubes of E6000 glue, and $30 in pennies, our window treatment was complete!
Here's how we did it
After determining how big the cornice board needed to be we picked a design that would complement shape of the penny.  The scalloped edge was just the right amount of elegance {are pennies elegant?!} that I wanted to have.   Using a 1/2" MDF board, Benjamin cut out our design with a jig saw.  He freehanded the scallops but you could also use a bowl or a lid to create an outline of the size you want.  We used the MDF instead of plywood since this was going in our bathroom and MDF tends resist humidity better.  
Then we spray painted the MDF copper so that the gaps between the pennies wouldn't be that horrible beige color.  Once it was dry, we brought it inside for me to start gluing.
We decided to do two layers of pennies to add dimension and character to the window treatment.  It also allowed for me to cover up the gaps between the pennies when they laid side by side.  We used E6000 as our adhesive of choice.  
We started out with $20 in pennies and ended up using $30 worth when it was all said and done.  I put the pennies in a small bowl so that I could sort the nice ones from the super nasty ones.  I used both the fronts and backs of pennies, new and old.  I liked using the ones that were smashed and dented, the ones that had oxidized and had colorful markings on them.  A reminder that even though we may have a few dents ourselves, we still have value.  {Deep for a penny diy, huh? :)} 
As I said previously, it took 8 tubes of E6000 to complete this project.  And I glued every one of the 3,000 pennies myself.  Benjamin tried to help but then decided it was just a one person job!  He was my go to guy for woodwork and hanging the window treatment.   After all of the pennies were glued on, the board was hella-heavy!  
I love the way that the cornice board turned out!  The colors and tones match splendidly with our tile and I even found some soap dispensers from Home Goods that compliment every thing really well.  It's definitely something unique. 

Things I learned with this project
  • There is such a thing as black E6000... did you know know this?  We used the clear E6000, which is found in the jewelry making department.
  • The strange hand cramp you have a few hours later is indeed from squeezing the tube of glue...not from over texting!  
  • That there are wheat pennies from 1932 still in circulation!  I found 8 wheat pennies ranging from 1932 to 1957.  We saved those ones for Benjamin's coin collection.  Gluing them to a board just didn't seem right. 
  • Did you know that some of the backsides of the penny have pictures of Abe Lincoln chopping wood or his home on them?  It was news to me! 

Items used in this DIY Project
1/2" MDF  (more resistant to humidity than standard ply wood)
Nail gun
Copper spray paint
Pennies.  Lots and lots of pennies!
Clear E6000
Brackets + screws to hang the completed cornice board
Total cost of the project was about $80 {including the rolls of pennies}

If you should feel so inspired to Penny Everything, here are 25 other cool ideas!


  1. This is entirely too cool! And I can't even begin to imagine how many pennies it would take to cover a floor. Sounds like quite the chore, even though it looks neat.

  2. I love the look of all the pennies together, so shiny but not cheap looking. I don't think that I have the patience to do all that gluing, maybe you could do it with spray adhesive? And did you seal the final product, or do you think the glue will protect it?

  3. I've always wanted to do a penny craft! This is a really cool idea. Much less daunting than a whole floor! =)

  4. This is so creative. You have a gracious husband :-)

  5. Great idea! I love using items to make unique things for my house!

  6. Wow!! Very cool. Looks so great! I love the differing hues of copper in pennies. This adds such a dynamic to your wall!

  7. What an awesomely unique touch to a room...Love it! Pinned and Shared...

  8. Well, that's new! Admittedly, window treatments have been so dull lately, and it's so refreshing how different that DIY feat is. It's also a big plus that it looks absolutely gorgeous. I'm sure everyone had a hard time bringing that design to life, but the hardwork is definitely worth it. Thanks for sharing that, Sara! Kudos and all the best to you! :)

    Bob Ward @ Allure Window Treatments

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