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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time for a smashing penny update!

First, I think most of you agreed that my Dumbo penny looked out of place on that silver beaded necklace, so I put it on a simple chain:


Then I replaced it with more loops and beads on the silver necklace:

No pennies now, but it's still pretty cute.


For my Alice penny, I did another long chain design similar to the pirate ship Tinkerbell:

The old key came from a lot off ebay eons ago. I scrubbed off the worst of the rust and then clear-coated it with a matte lacquer, to keep the rust off my clothes.

To keep the pink crystal in place, I put the ring through the chain link, so it can't slide. This is also a *great* way to keep your necklace from twisting around on you. In fact, I may go do this to all my necklaces now.

Here's a closer look at the penny and crystal charm, which came off a broken bracelet:

By the way, I have a whole new respect now for Etsy jewelry sellers: photographing jewelry is HARD! I tried the photo cube, but the light just didn't seem right. My best luck was with these shots, which I took outside in the shade. And since I'm still pretty much helpless in PhotoShop, they're all straight-from-the-camera, for better or worse. :)

Here's a new necklace, where I played around with drilling more holes through the penny:

The two chains are part of a single necklace. All I did was break one in the middle and attach the penny on either end. I scavenged the beads from a third chain which used to be part of the same necklace.

This penny was the most brass-looking of them all, so it goes really well with the gold.


And finally, my most favorite of them all: my seahorse penny.

You ready for this? :D

TA-DA!!


Now, as you may remember, I started with this:

So to get the shape right, I had to remove the connecting beads, overlap the leaf sections, and then use bronze brads to hold the sections together.

The nice thing about the brads is that once I bent them open, they also held the penny in place on the back, like so:

The other ends I bent around the edge of the pendant, so everything is super snug without a drop of glue.

Once the frame was complete, I started brainstorming ways to cover up the text. Call me crazy, but I just didn't want to have "Virginia Aquarium" showing. Well, believe it or not, I had another necklace with matching crystals on it. A few snips with the pliers and dabs of Gorilla glue, and...voila!

No more "Virginia Aquarium"!

I don't have a backer on this yet, but I plan to turn it into a pin. I'll use a back that I can also string on a necklace, though, so I can wear it either way.


John and I went out to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday and snagged some more smashed pennies, plus a smashed quarter or two. I'm very happy to report that the quarters *just* fit the larger oval scrapbooking frames, so I may have one or two quarter designs to share later on. (The downside is that the quarters are much thicker, and therefore harder to bend.) I also snagged some great leather belts at a thrift store, so I think I'll make a few more penny cuff bracelets - perhaps for a give-away? [eyebrow waggle] Stay tuned!


Note: See my original smashed penny tutorial here.

Posted by Jen at 7:05 PM Labels: ,

50 comments:

  1. zOMG, giveaway?! This jewelry is amazing. I could never do it myself, but I'd definitely wear something you made! :)

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  2. Wow they look fantastic. My fav is deffinately the Sea horse :D

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  3. Jen you should start your own designer brand,all of it looks so awesome! I have to agree with you though and say the seaorse is the best [I was actually saying to myself "I don't like the words" just before you covered them], I can so easily picture it in a nice little shop in the geeky district of city centre shopping.

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  4. Those are just LOVELY! I especially like the creativity of the seahorse pendant, the process is almost as fun as the end result :)Love your stuff, keep it coming!!

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  5. oooo....a giveaway? I love the cuff bracelet...would totally wear it, but could never make it myself!
    I am however going to do the zipper earbuds that you had a link to in a previous post! =)

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  6. Unfortunately, I'm not very crafty, so doing something like this myself is not very likely. However, if you were to do a giveaway, *faint*. I would just die (in a good way, of course) if I won an item of yours! I don't really ever win anything *pout*. Now I'm off to find out if I know anyone locally who is crafty enough to make something like these...

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  7. I am TOTALLY digging this. Especially since my daughter just got her first smashed penny (an octopus!!) at the TN Aquarium.
    Also, your pictures are just fine. :) If you want some photoshop effects without actually uh, learning photoshop (like me) you should try picnik dot com. Super easy to use.

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  8. Just to make sure, since you like steampunk and Disney, have you seen picture of DisneySea's Mysterious Island? Incredible.

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  9. Two easy things to do in photoshop... Ctrl+L and Ctrl+U
    Those two commands will let you change the coloring, light/darkness, and contrast very easily, and you can see it happen before you are committed to it.
    Love you blogs and the jewelry!

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  10. They are all fabulous but, yep, the seahorse is the winner here ;)

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  11. These are really neat. I'm going to have to start smashing pennies again. I haven't done it in years.

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  12. Okay, DOOOOOD. I put my fitty cents in one of those machines last weekend because I wanted a smashed penny to make jewelry with (but the machine ate my penny, and that was all the change I had). So creepy that we're on the same wavelength... creepy, or awesome. :) So much fun.

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  13. I make baby bracelets and photographing them is horrible! The best way is to use a tripod and, like you discovered, not in direct sunlight. Love the jewlery!

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  14. Very nice designs. You sure are inspiring! I love your idea of incorporating something you collect and love with some "recycled" jewelery. Silly me, I just stick my pressed pennies from WDW in a boring book.

    I will pass on a pressed penny tip I read a while back on some Disney board somewhere. They suggest you press pre-1982 pennies if you want mostly copper since the newer pennies are mostly zinc. I always go through my pennies at home first, clean the old ones and take along a small zip lock bag with the ones to press along with some quarters. What a fun, cheap collectible.

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  15. Love the jewelry! I also dislike photographing jewelry, but I do it for a friend's jewelry business on Etsy also. The photo box works for me if I put a piece of white poster paper (cut to the width of the box) on the inside back of the box, from the top curving around to the bottom. Put lights on the outside of the box aiming at the sides, then put the jewelry in the middle of the box. Tripod is a must as well, and I usually use the timer so I'm not touching the camera when the picture is taken. Can't wait to see more!

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  16. These are amazing - I am inspired! :)

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  17. Thanks, zuzu53! I knew older pennies were more copper, but I didn't know what year the cut-off was. Now I'll know better to separate them from the change jar. :)

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  18. Quick question regarding the scrapbooking ovals from the tutorial... Were they 40% off because they were on sale, or on clearance? I'm a little worried, because I haven't been able to find them in any of the crafty store in my area.

    Also, I love what you did with the Seahorse penny. The extra beads over the text make it look even more like a coin that was found in a wreckage, or some such.

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  19. Your crafts really rock my face off. ;)

    I want to get some pressed pennies and try it myself. Your creativity is inspiring and contagious!

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  20. If there is a vote for a giveaway, I vote YES PLEASE! Seriously, I love those cuff bracelets. I love that the leather looks all tough and then you look closely at the penny and its Disney! I don't think I could make them myself (partially because I own none of those tools and can't justify buying them just to make a few bracelets.) I would LOVE to own one!

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  21. Since the tutorial thread I am nearly foaming at the mouth in anticipation of our trip to WDW in December! Until then, I'm going to be at JoAnn's, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby scouring the jewelry and scrapbooking aisles!
    Of course, I was already super excited, but this adds a new level. :)

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  22. These are adorable!! So is there an Etsy store opening in your future? I think you could really make a go of it!

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  23. The Alice one is just lovely. And I just smashed an Alice penny and everything!

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  24. I just picked up a couple of belts at the thrift store today and am waiting to win some smashed pennies off of ebay (who knew?) to start the process, so I can't wait to try this.

    Though I need to jump back to the craftstore to find the ovals...and maybe some more brads.

    A giveaway?! That would be awesome :)

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  25. I used to make jewelry as a hobby. Seeing your posts on jewelry making has inspired me SO MUCH that I can't wait to start again. On the day of your first smashed penny post I had just found my Kermit smashed penny from California Adventure. It was fate! I can't wait to turn it into something awesome. Thanks for your blogs.. Epbot and Cake Wrecks.

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  26. Giveaway?! YEAH! :D I promise though, I don't want the seahorse... Jellyfish are more my style. From Disney though... Donald is the best, hands down.

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  27. I read your original post and wished I had a smashed penny. The following weekend I moved and found one from my one trip to Disney a few years ago, that I completely forgot I had! Now I feel the need to make a necklace out of it. :-) Thanks for the ideas!

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  28. I still would have liked to see the Dumbo pendant with a teeny, tiny "magic" feather. It's cute, though!

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  29. Where in WDW can you get pennies and other change smashed?? I can never find the machines, thanks!

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  30. That Dumbo penny wants a little black feather to hang from it.

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  31. You are so craftastic! You might just start an internet riot if you only have ONE giveaway!
    Your public desires small pieces of Jen to keep with them always!
    Everything looks awesome!

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  32. Another confirmation for pre-1982 pennies. It makes a difference and is worth setting aside beforehand. You won't get streaks that can happen with some zinc ones now.

    This and more learned from joining The Elongated Collectors ($12/yr with a lovely printed newsletter--that takes story submissions!).

    And if you are hunting for smashing machine locations, check out the database at PennyCollector.com.

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  33. LOVE the pin idea for the seahorse charm. I think you are wicked creative and awesome!

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  34. I also went to my local Joann's looking for the oval frames and couldn't find any. So I checked online and also couldn't find Joann's brand, but I found what appears to be the same exact product in Making Memories brand, which is a brand Michael's carries. I went to my local Michael's, who didn't have them in the store, but I found places online that sell them. If you just do a google search of "making memories oval metal holders" you'll get results, especially in the "shopping results" list. I think this is where I'm going to end up getting them from, since I'm dying to make a bracelet or two as soon as I get some pennies. Hope this helps.

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  35. You should totally start selling necklaces on Etsy or something! I love it & just don't have the time/equipment to make these! Please inform us if you start selling! :)

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  36. It's not free but Adobe lightroom is great for processing photos. It's specifically for photos so it only has relevant options, unlike Photoshop which is an impossibly huge range of options if you're not used to it (like me).

    I don't know if Lightroom would be worth it for you but if you process a lot of photos and especially if you have a DSLR then I reckon it'd be fun :-) It is for me!

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  37. This smashed penny jewelry is so nifty. I always liked getting these as souvenirs but never knew what to do with them. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  38. Add me to the "You are a Very Talented Lady" List.
    These are all such cleaver ideas. Not to mention very Lovely!
    Now I need to go get some Disney smashed pennies. How do you smash the quarters, just send them through the Penny Smashers?

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  39. Did I miss the how-to for smashing quarters?

    Your jewelry (and curtains, and...) designs are brilliant. You really have a wonderful talent. I am both inspired and intimidated by your jewelry.

    Awesome, just like you.

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  40. Your stuff is amazing. Mental Floss has Gifts for the Geek home and it made me think of you. :) http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/62830

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  41. Jen, these are adorable! Please keep this up and telling us about your projects! So creative!

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  42. Laura P.-- THANK YOU!!!!
    i have been trying for days to find those metal ovals online, using all sorts of descriptions with no luck. i type in your phrase and voila!
    :::happy shopping dance:::

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  43. As an Etsy seller, I couldn't agree more that photography is HARD!! I appreciate why we have to have good photos, but I wish we didn't have to be pros at this. I look at some of the sellers' photos and my jaw just drops. No wonder some items are so expensive! They're hiring a professional photographer!

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  44. Jen, for the leather belt bracelet, what kind of snaps are you using? I'm trying a practice session with a belt and am having a hard time with the snaps....

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  45. I absolutely LOVE what you've done with the smashed pennies and jewelry. I have quite a few smashed pennies. I'd love to do something like this with them.

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  46. I work in EPCOT, and I see the penny press machine at work everyday! I love your ideas, maybe once I get more settled in my apt and have all my craft things back with me I'll try this :)

    Maybe something with pennies from all the 11 countries would be nice.

    PS. I get so happy every time you reference Cast Members or working in Disney here or in CW!

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  47. I'm just starting to dabble in jewelry-making, and I'm probably going to come back to this post several times for ideas. I found a long necklace made of metal rings at a farmers' market this weekend, and I immediately wanted to use it to make something like yours. Now I just need to find a batch of iron keys...

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  48. How do you make smashed dimes and quarters? I tried putting a dime in a penny press and it didn't take it! haha

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  49. Well thanks to you I now know what to do with all the smooshed pennies that my husband insists we get for each one of our three children on our multi destination journeys. Yeah, I am tired of them being in my purse. Now off to find the jewelry and the bead stuff and something to put holes in the pennies and something to drink to get the creative juices flowing. Well maybe a nap first....

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