How to Make a Penny Coffee Table

The coffee table after pennies were added to the top.
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There is nothing I love more than a DIY project! More than half of the furniture and decor in my house is second-hand and refurbished by me and my husband. (You can see my favorite DIY projects here!)

So, I couldn’t pass up this solid wood coffee table when I saw it in a thrift store for $20.

It was in great shape! It showed a few signs of normal wear and tear, but nothing really noticeable. So, for a few years, it sat in our living room in its normal wooden state.

However, over time, between toddlers and Army movers, it was looking pretty rough.

Before picture of the wooden coffee table.
(It was obvious, that this coffee table had seen better days.)

Our first idea was to paint it. We had recently refurbished an antique medicine cabinet and decided to paint the coffee table to match.

So, we sanded it down and started with a coat of primer before painting everything dark red, except for the top. We painted the top of the coffee table white with a navy chevron pattern.

After we painted chevron on the coffee table.
(The chevron turned out cute, but it just wasn’t right in our living room.)

This turned out well, but after moving it inside, we decided that it looked a little too bright and whimsical for our taste.

Intrigued by pictures on Pinterest of floors covered with pennies, we thought that we could try it on this coffee table. It had a small lip that ran around the top and we would only be out $20 if it didn’t work out. Plus, we already had a big jug full of pennies, so why not?

Here’s how we did it:

How to Make a Penny Coffee Table

Supplies

For this project, you will need:

Step 1: Sand & Paint

Our first step in making the penny coffee table was lightly sanding the top of the table to cover the chevron with a solid coat of navy paint.

We wanted the top to be dark so that any gaps between the pennies wouldn’t be as noticeable.

Since we only had to paint the top, it only took us a few minutes of work. Then we let it dry overnight.

Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Plus Primer 1 QtZinsser Bulls Eye 123 Plus Primer 1 QtZinsser Bulls Eye 123 Plus Primer 1 QtBOSCH ROS10 120 Volt Random Orbit Sander , Blue , 5BOSCH ROS10 120 Volt Random Orbit Sander , Blue , 5BOSCH ROS10 120 Volt Random Orbit Sander , Blue , 5

 

Step 2: Sort the Pennies

Next, we sorted our pennies into 2 piles.

Since I wanted to make a monogram out of the pennies, we sorted them into light and dark.

Step 3: Make Your Design

The third step was the most time-consuming. We arranged all of the pennies on top of the table.

First, I used the light-colored pennies to make a big H in the middle and a border around the edge of the table. Then I used the dark-colored pennies to fill in the rest.

(Heff went back and mixed some light-colored pennies in the dark spaces.)

Step 4: Trim Pennies for the Edge

There were several gaps around the edge of the table where a whole penny wouldn’t fit. So, Heff used tin snips to cut pennies down to the right size fill in these holes.

We cut pennies with tin snips to fit in the edges of the penny coffee table.
(You can see the pennies he cut along the edge of the coffee table.)

STANLEY FATMAX Tin Snips , Straight Cut, Aviation Snip, 9-7/8-Inch (14-563)STANLEY FATMAX Tin Snips , Straight Cut, Aviation Snip, 9-7/8-Inch (14-563)STANLEY FATMAX Tin Snips , Straight Cut, Aviation Snip, 9-7/8-Inch (14-563)

 

Step 5: Glue The Pennies Down

After arranging the pennies exactly how we wanted them, we glued them in place with super glue.

One by one, we picked up each penny, put glue on it, and put it back in its place. It was a tedious and time-consuming process, but we watched TV and took turns gluing them down.

Step 6: Apply Epoxy Resin

The final step of creating a penny coffee table was applying the epoxy resin.

We used a 32 oz. Epoxy Resin Kit for Super Gloss Coating and Table Tops. After mixing it according to the directions, we poured it directly on top of the pennies and used a plastic spreader to push it over to each edge.

Epoxy Resin 32 oz Kit General PurposeEpoxy Resin 32 oz Kit General PurposeEpoxy Resin 32 oz Kit General Purpose

 

We locked the table in our spare room for the next 72 hours so it could harden without little fingers poking it.

And we were done!

Our penny coffee table turned out beautifully!

It is one of our absolute favorite pieces of furniture. Guests always comment on it when they come over. And years later, the penny coffee table is still in great shape!

The coffee table after pennies were added to the top.
(The finished product!)
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This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may make a commission at no extra cost to you. For more info, please see my full ad & affiliate disclosure.

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