Camper Project: Penny Table

Hi there everyone!!

While perusing the Pinterest boards for inspiration I was struck by a floor done all in pennies. Search “penny floor” there and you’ll surely find it. I was looking for “copper tabletop ideas” and stumbled upon that gem. Once the idea clicked in my head…you know, to smash the two ideas together…floor and table top…I couldn’t shake the idea out. No amount of “That’s a literal waste of money” or “You’re defacing the coins!” would loosen my brains determined grip on the idea. So, I justified the idea these ways:

  1. Refinishing a table was going to cost money one way or another. At least this way I get to keep it (the money) in my possession and can go look at it any time I want to. Encased safely in its epoxy cocoon.
  2. You aren’t defacing the coins, as they aren’t going to be used as currency again. Ever. Really, they’re not coming back from this.
  3. This is an opportunity to do a project with my children that we can all have a part in.
  4. And lastly, a defiant, “You’re not the boss of me!!” just for good measure.

So, with intent and a plan, we pulled out the table and began to prep it. We started by cleaning and sanding it. We peeled off the edge bits. No idea what those are called, so, henceforth I shall refer to them as edge bits. Here’s what the table looked like to start, for reference purposes:

penny table before

I mean, it’s not that awful. It’s just rather…plain. Very plain.

We got started in a hurry. We cleaned it with every cleaner we could find, sanded it, and as mentioned, we removed the edge bits. Then, we went off to Home Depot and purchased … um…new edge bits. Honestly, I am stinking at this blogging thing, I have no idea what these are called. They were very thin pieces of wood, maybe an eighth of an inch thick, two inches wide and three feet long. I picked up three super cheap. I also grabbed some black Krylon Spray paint, some refills for my staple gun, two containers of bar top epoxy (this is it in case you wonder: ), and some silicone adhesive. On the way home I stopped at the bank and changed a $20.00 bill into the pennies I used.

And here’s where I lost some photos. you’ll have to imagine that they were very detailed in showing exactly how we got this thing going.  And that suddenly I was an amazing photographer.

We painted the whole top of the table black and let it dry. Meanwhile we set the new wood edge bits into the bathtub in warm water to make it more pliable. Once the paint was dry we took the bendy pieces of wood out of the bathtub and bent them around the edge of the table, leaving a higher lip up top to hold the coins and epoxy once we got to that step. We used silicone adhesive to hold the edge to the table and tacked as we went with the staple gun. Then I remembered that once the wood dried, it would shrink back some. Ugh. Instead of ripping it off and stating over when it dried, I filled in any gaps I saw with some silicone and moved on with my day. We spray painted the whole thing again. I let that sit overnight.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The next day we got busy spreading out our penny fortune. We tried to follow a pattern. Then we didn’t like how it laid out. So we followed another pattern. And we didn’t like that either. We settled on the “ok-we’re-over-it-already” pattern and liked that good enough to move on. We did, though, make sure that we had some interesting ones to kind of play “Where’s Waldo” with spread all throughout the field. One from each year of the last 30 years. There’s wheat pennies, Canadian pennies, different ones all over the place for the kids or guests to look at.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

We then poured the epoxy per the instructions on the packaging. We ended up using both containers and frankly, could use a third. But, because of the timeframe, we stopped at two. We can add another at a later date.

At this point, the thing had to dry. and did so in the kitchen of our house for two days. Have I  ever mentioned that I have cats? Cats who’d love nothing more than to be where we don’t desire them to be? Yeah, we do. So after spending a lot of time chasing them out of the kitchen, we took the table outside and let it finish drying in place in the camper.


Remember that we are pretending that i am a fabulous photographer


Hrrrmmm, now I HAVE to do something about those seats…

And, in case anyone wants to know…. $12.87. It took $12.87 in pennies to cover the top of the table.

Until later,


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