Sunday, 6 July 2014

Tips, Tools & Techniques - Patina Pennies

Hello! Here's our regular feature where we share tips, tools & techniques that have caught our eye, things we have Pinned, and things we have tried. These are probably not going to change your life(!) but might make it a bit easier...
Patina is "a thin layer that forms on the surface of stone; copper, bronze and similar metals (tarnish produced by oxidation or other chemical processes)". It is also a great technique to give pennies a pretty colour!!

Looking on Pinterest, it seems like there are various ways of achieving a patina finish. I used the vinegar and salt method, taken from this great tutorial by Rena Klingenberg.

To start, I raided the coin jar for about 40 pennies.
I mixed equal measures of vinegar and salt (approx. 3 tablespoons), then stirred to help some of the salt dissolve. (If you wanted shiny pennies, this would be a good mixture to use and then rinse off straight away.)
I left the pennies soaking for about an hour. (You could probably leave for less time, but I got distracted by watching the tennis and forgot about them!). I spread them out on paper towel and left in the sun to dry, being careful not to wipe any of the vinegar/salt mixture off.
Gradually, the pennies started to become tarnished.
Once they were dry, I gently brushed any obvious bits of salt and admired all the pretty colours! Each penny gave a different result and there were a wide range of blues and golds.
I really like the final results and now just need to think of a project to use them for! Any ideas?!

I was thinking of decorating a plant pot with them, but I guess they may need to be 'sealed' first. Or perhaps mount them and display in a frame? What do you reckon?!

 
Update: 10th July 14 - this post has been featured here by Craftgawker

16 comments:

  1. They look great, who would have thought? (well you, I suppose!) I think they would look great in a box frame, maybe in a grid or making a shape like a heart or tree or perhaps a letter - like a monogram. Or could you stick them all over a box or one of those brown papermache shapes you can get, make a piece of art. Can't wait to see what you end up doing.

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    1. We were actually surprised at how they turned out too!! Ooh great ideas on how to use them - a monogram could be interesting.... Might have to make some more to use ;) x

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  2. oooh great results : )
    yes they'd need sealing with a matt sealant or maybe Paverpol?
    They'd be interesting stitched shisha mirror style too?

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    1. Thanks! Great tips - will defo try using a sealant x

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  3. Lovely idea i must try it out

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  4. I like the idea of them in a box frame too arranging them in a geometrical pattern maybe all facing the same way with just one odd one out ;)

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    1. Love that idea Mecki! Could mix it up with just one really shiny penny.... x

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  5. What a great idea....pity I couldn't say I only have notes!!!!

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    1. Haha! Certainly wouldn't be soaking notes in vinegar & salt ;) x

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  6. Thanks for sharing this its a great idea. They would look great in a deep edge frame displayed with old shhetmusic, hymn book pages and other old collectibles.

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    1. Using some old/distressed paper would make a really nice background - thanks for the ideas! x

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  7. whenever I take my grandson to the zoo (we live across the street) we always get those stretched out souvenir pennies. he eventually forgets about them.. I will patina them, seal it and turn it into some sort of jewelry!

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    1. What a fab idea Leida, we'd love to hear how you get on! I'm sure I've got some squashed pennies somewhere too :) x

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  8. What great colors! I think I would also display them in some sort of mandala/geometric patters.

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    1. Thanks Clarissa! I think some sort of pattern layout is a winner! x

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