DIY Lucky Penny Necklace

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace

Tomorrow is Lucky Penny Day, and there is nothing more exciting to Avery than finding a lucky penny on the ground. So obviously this is a day we want to celebrate.

We made a few lucky penny necklaces, using extra special pennies from each of our birth years. We of course had to make one for Alessia as well, even though it will be quite a few years until she is able to wear hers.

These were really easy, practically free, and would be so fun to make as gifts. Or as my mom (the former school teacher) pointed out, a great activity to do in the classroom. Just ask each child to bring in a penny from their birth year, then ask a parent volunteer to drill the holes and precut the cotton cord. The rest would be easy for a child of any age to do. (My 4 year old did it with very little assistance)

If you don’t like the idea of a necklace, you could always turn your penny into a lucky penny keychain instead.

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace

You Will Need:

  • pennies – if you would like your pennies to be super shiny like these – read on for some cleaning tips
  • a small drill bit and drill
  • a small piece of scrap wood
  • a 30 – 36 inch piece of organic cotton cord (found in the beading section of a craft store)
  • washi tape or painters tape

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace


  1. Secure your penny to the piece of wood with a piece of washi tape or painter’s tape.
  2. Using a very small drill bit, drill a hole through the top of the penny. This was so much easier than I had imagined. I don’t know anything about drill bits, I just grabbed the smallest one I could find from the toolbox. Then I started drilling into the penny applying a bit of pressure. I stopped as soon as I could feel the pressure let up. The 2009 and 2013 pennies were really easy to drill through, because they are copper plated zinc. The hole was smooth and there were no jagged edges on the back of the penny. The 1979 penny, which is actual copper, was a bit harder, and there were a few jagged edges on the back. I used a small piece of sandpaper to smooth out the jagged parts.
  3. Fold the cotton cord in half, and insert the folded end through the hole from front to back.
  4. Take the ends of the cotton cord and tuck them through the loop.
  5. Pull it tight to secure the penny.
  6. To make the necklace adjustable, start to tie a knot at the end of the right side of the cord.
  7. Insert the end of the left side through the partially tied knot on the right side.
  8. Pull the knot on the right side closed with the left side in the middle of the knot.
  9. Start to tie a knot at the end of the left side, around the right side of the cord.
  10. Pull the knot closed. Then adjust your necklace to the desired length.

If the instructions for the adjustable closure seem a little confusing, check out this tutorial on youtube. It says to use leather cord, but the cotton cord works just fine.

Lucky Penny Necklace

To get your pennies sparkly clean:

  1. In a small bowl or dish, mix together 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Drop the pennies in (don’t let them overlap) and let them soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the vinegar from the jar.
  4. Take one penny into your hand and sprinkle it with Bon Ami.
  5. Rub the Bon Ami onto the penny in circular motions with your fingers for a few minutes, until it is clean. Repeat with your other pennies.
  6. Dry the pennies thoroughly with a dry cloth.

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace

Our other Lucky Penny Day plans are to empty out this fresh roll of 50 pennies, one at a time, on our walk to preschool tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will give 50 people some good luck!

Lucky Penny Day

Happy Lucky Penny Day!

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