Sunday, February 12, 2012

Presidential Penny Portrait

... Just HAD to share this masterpiece my brother created ... a portrait of Lincoln made of pennies! He had the idea back when he was in high school. He completed it a couple of years ago and I loved it then, and I love it now. With President's Day weekend coming up ... and today actually being Lincoln's birthday, I thought I'd post it here in my blog.

Here are some random facts about the picture from Shane:
  • Made from 1,638 pennies (1,612 whole pennies and 52 half pennies).
  • Each row has 31 and 1 half pennies.
  • There are 52 rows.
  • The pennies are staggered (so the second row is offset from the first row so each row “fits” into the neighboring row), resulting in the need to have a half penny on each row.
  • There is at least one penny from each year from 1909 to 2009.
  • There is one 1943 steel penny (lower right-hand corner).
  • The US mint is making 2009 pennies with new designs on the reverse – there are 4 different designs: Birth and Early Childhood in Kentucky (aka “Log Cabin”), Formative Years in Indiana (aka “Rail Splitter”), Professional Life in Illinois, and Presidency in Washington, DC. I wanted to use at least one penny with each reverse design (although all the pennies in the picture only show the front); but only the first two were available when assembling the picture, so I’ll swap out two pennies for the other 2009 designs later.
  • I tried to find enough dark pennies, but ended up coloring some pennies (using different methods) to have enough dark and mid tones.
  • The pennies are fastened to a piece of pressed wood (masonite).
  • The pennies were fastened primarily using contact cement; although I did experiment with gorilla glue and liquid nails as well.
  • The picture is fairly heavy, and so I will craft a special mechanism to hang it (once I get it framed).

... as I was browsing Pinterest, I came across an image of people using pennies to tile a floor or table too, cool!  Here's the link if you want to see more penny projects!


  1. I think I will borrow this post for President's Day. I always meant to do a post about it but never did, so now I can!

  2. I'm assuming that the boys in the photo are your sons. How old is your brother? He did a great job!


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