When I first started this project I had no idea what I was doing, how long it would take, or what the finished product would look like. Now, I can add professional penny floor layer to my CV!
While decorating our downstairs WC I decided that our freshly painted walls (grey) no longer matched our vinyl flooring (also grey), so I spent a hard three minutes thinking about what I could do to improve the look. I'm not one to do things by the book, and if I want something I'll do my best to get it. In this case, what I wanted was unique, bespoke flooring that would wow our guests, create a talking point for our neighbours, and be cheap to create - not much to ask, eh!
I remember seeing a photo of a floor covered in beer bottle tops a few years ago and it's stuck with me ever since. I loved how creative and unique it was, and I always wanted something similar installed when I had a house of my own. However, since I don't drink at all it would take me forever to save up all the bottle caps I'd need, and would be pretty irrelevant in my home! But I knew I wanted to do something similar, so I wracked my brain for all of sixty seconds and came up with pennies! English pennies have a lovely copper colour which would go perfectly with our new grey walls. Sorted - now to go penny hunting!
After raiding our loose change jars, asking family and friends, and a trip to the bank, I finally had enough pennies to get started. I scrubbed the floor to remove any dirt, and began individually glueing each penny to the floor. I used 3 tubes of Super Tough, Waterproof Gorilla Glue for this, but I'd think any waterproof superglue would do. (Note: you can make penny 'tiles' and lay them all in one go, but after some research I decided I didn't like this look as you can see the joins between the tiles. It is less stress on your back as you can do all of the penny glueing at a table before laying, but it just wasn't the particular look I wanted).
Tip: If you're using Gorilla glue, you need to wet the pennies before glueing as that's how the glue bonds best. I just kept the pennies I was going to use for each section in a tub of water to save wetting each individual coin. This also helped to clean any leftover dirt off them.
I wanted the pennies to be as neat and uniformed as possible, so I glued them row by row, making sure they were all perfectly aligned before pressing them down with a heavy object (in this case, a tin of paint). Each penny slotted into the gap between two pennies on the previous row to help leave as small a gap as possible.