30 surprising uses for your unwanted pennies

Admit it: Whenever a cashier hands you a penny, you tend to look down at it with a snarl and wonder what the heck you're supposed to do with it. Maybe toss it in a coin jar, drop it in your pocket and hope to lose it, or straight up trash it. It is just a penny, after all. Right?

But, there are plenty of ways to make good use of pennies. So, pull them out from under the couch cushion, because here's how to put your pennies to work:

30 ways to use pennies
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30 ways to use pennies

1. Fix a wobbly kitchen table 

You don't need to be a handyman to save money on a DIY project. Just resourceful. If you have a wobbly kitchen table, stack a few pennies under the bad leg and call it a day. Bonus point if you use glue to keep those pennies in place. 

Photo credit: Getty

2. Donate a jar of pennies to charity 

If you're looking to make a tax-deductible donation, it's time to whip out the penny jar. Or, if you haven't been saving your pennies, start a donation jar. You might not donate much in the end, but any amount can help a cause you believe in. 

Photo credit: Getty 

3. Check your tire treads 

Here's one trick you might have heard before. To check your tire tread, simply hold a penny in the groove of your tire, Lincoln's head facing down. If you can see all of Lincoln's face, the tread depth is too low and it's time to replace your tires. 

Photo credit: Getty

4. Create a makeshift screwdriver 

If you don't have your toolbox handy, grab a spare penny to use as a makeshift screwdriver. You can also use the coin to open the battery compartment of electronic toys and other items. MacGyver would be proud. 

Photo credit: Getty 

5. Frame a mirror 

Get creative and frame a boring mirror with pennies. Simply glue clean pennies to the frame of a mirror -- or onto a frameless mirror -- and a touch of elegance to your space. 

Photo credit: Getty

6. Decorate a vase 

Like how your mirror turned out? Now take a verse to stylize it in a unique way. If you're feeling extra creative, prime and paint the coins to add a splash of color. 

Photo credit: Getty

7. Fill a sock for self-defense 

When you don't have a pocket knife or pepper spray handy, a sock filled with pennies is a good backup. Carry it in your purse or backpack and whack someone with it when in danger. 

Photo credit: Getty

8. Preserve your flowers 

There's an easy and affordable way to extend the life of that supermarket bouquet. Simply drop a clean penny and sugar cube in a vase filled with water. The copper in the penny will inhibit the growth of bacteria and keep your roses beautiful longer. 

Photo credit: Getty

9. Keep curtains straight 

To stop your curtains from swinging wildly when the windows are open, make a homemade curtain weight by gluing a stack of pennies to a paperclip. Place the pennies in the open hem of your curtain and use the paperclip to secure them in place. 

Photo credit: Getty

10. Make a washer for home projects 

Sometimes, you can save money at Home Depot by making some of your own supplies for an at-home project. Use a metal drill bit to punch holes in pennies and create all the washers you need for a fraction of the cost of buying them at hardware stores. 

Photo credit: Getty

11. Open a soda can 

Don't break a nail while opening that soda can. Instead, use a penny to pry open the top. Sliding the coin underneath the pull tab will provide enough leverage to open the can with ease. 

Photo credit: Getty

12. Make your own ice pack 

Drop some pennies in a sock and tie the end closed with fabric. Freeze it and you have an ice pack handy when you need it. 

Photo credit: Getty

13. Use as tile spacers 

Home improvement projects can be more expensive than you'd expect -- and sometimes, they don't pay off. So, if you're laying tile, use pennies in place of tile spacers. It'll save you a bit of cash. 

Photo credit: Getty

14. Save a bottle of wine 

If your wine develops an unpleasant smell, don't pour the bottle down the drain. Instead, drop a penny in the bottle and stir for a few minutes. The copper helps produce an odorless compound called copper sulfide, which saves your wine by eliminating that burnt, rubbery or rotten egg smell. 

Photo credit: Getty

15. Make a penny ring 

If you're crafty and like DIY jewelry, you can turn a single penny into a cocktail ring. You only need wires, small pliers, superglue, rhinestone trim and, of course, a clean, shiny penny. 

Photo credit: Getty

16. Make a penny necklace 

If you love your penny ring, make a necklace to match your creation. You can rest assured knowing the pieces you make will be one of a kind. 

Photo credit: Getty

17. Decorate a tabletop 

Instead of trashing your old dining room or coffee table, refurbish it with pennies. Glue down clean pennies to the top. Once the glue dries, apply a coat of epoxy. 

Photo credit: Getty

18. Design a kitchen backsplash 

You can use pennies to make a unique and attractive backsplash in your kitchen. A custom design will command attention while protecting your wall from cooking splatter. 

Photo credit: Getty 

19. Make a doorstop 

Make a decorative doorstop using pennies and a pretty sock. Fill the sock with pennies and then tie the end with eye-catching fabric or rope. You can even dye or paint the sock for a unique design. Then, place the sock in front of a door to keep it open. 

Photo credit: Getty 

20. Get rid of carpet indentations 

After rearranging your furniture, spray the carpet with a little water and rub it gently with a clean penny. The running motion will loosen the carpet and remove any indentations caused by the furniture. 

Photo credit: Getty

21. Make a coaster 

Protect your table from spills and beautify your living space with penny coasters. All you have to do to make these knickknacks is glue down a layer of pennies to a cork frame. If you find yourself with a sudden love for this kind of DIY decor, it's time to start your own business

Photo credit: Getty

22. Create a garden ball 

Pennies can also liven up your garden. Just glue pennies to an old bowling ball and put your shiny creation on display in your yard. You can also prime and paint the ball for a more colorful design. 

Photo credit: Getty

23. Design wall art 

Take a blank canvas and glue a whole bunch of pennies to it. Then, frame your artwork and put it on display for a call and inexpensive piece of decor. 

Photo credit: Getty

24. Make fun party favors 

If you don't want too much sugar in your party favors, wrap small stacks of pennies and tie the ends with a boy. Give the pennies to your kid's friends as gifts. Just make sure they're old enough not to try and eat the pennies. 

Photo credit: Getty

25. Play a penny stacking game 

If your kids are bored, consider teaching them to play a penny stacking game. Grab a jar of pennies and have them take turns stacking pennies on top of one another. Whoever can make the tallest tower without toppling it over wins. 

Photo credit: Getty

26. Search for buried treasure 

Take a bunch of pennies and bury them in a sandbox. Then, have your kids go digging for the treasure. This also makes for a fun game to play at a birthday party. 

Photo credit: Getty

27. Take your pennies to an amusement park 

If your family is planning a trip to an amusement park, don't forget to bring along pennies. Once there, you can use a penny press to turn your coins into souvenirs. 

Photo credit: Getty

28. Gift them as a funny gift

If you want to give a gag gift for a friend's birthday, look no further than your pennies. A bag or box of pennies is a funny way to gift money. 

Photo credit: Getty

29. Invest in the stock market 

Invest your pennies in the stock market using an investing app such as Acorns. After linking up a debit or credit card, you can authorize the app to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar. Acorns will automatically invest your spare change. 

Photo credit: Getty

30. Make tap shoes for your kids 

Surprise your kids with their own tap shoes. Grab an old pair of shoes and glue pennies to the bottom of the soles. Then, start dancing. 

Photo credit: Getty


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