Thread: Penny flag...
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Mr. Farmiga
Join Date: May 2004
2016-08-27, 22:40

Been meaning to post this for a while, just keep forgetting to get around to it and get it all down on paper/screen. Below is the "recipe" for recreating the above, for anyone interested (or bored out of your skulls).

It's actually very easy...more tedious than anything. Finding the pennies of the three proper shades will be your trickiest part, most likely.

  • 1x12 shelving or board, cut to a length of 20-1/4" (resulting in a board 20-1/4" wide x 11-1/4" tall, viewed in landscape orientation). Home Depot sells a 4-foot pine 1x12 for about $10, giving you enough to make two
  • Glue/epoxy to attach the pennies to the board
  • Paint (2oz. bottles of craft acrylics for .50 each from Walmart is what I use...Apple Barrel is the brand and they come in about 19 gazillion colors; one bottle is more than enough). I think black makes the pennies pop, but the color is up to you. A nice creamy, weathered white might look nice too...and if you did that, you wouldn't have to measure/lay out for the white field behind the "star" section...if I make another one of these, I'll probably do a nice antique white/parchment color instead of black
  • 325 pennies: 70 dark/old (blue), 135 medium-toned (red) and 120 shiny/new (white)

Step 1
Paint your board and then draw (or tape) a line inset 3/4" from the edge of your board on all four sides (see dotted line in illustrations below). This is the border of your "live" area, and you'll be left with a 3/4" "frame" on all sides. Measure in from the left and top of the boards 1-1/8" and have that be your starting point for the white field you'll lay out/tape/paint in the upper left corner (to show through behind the dark pennies, to read as "stars"). This white field is 6-3/4" wide x 4-1/2" high

Step 2
With your live area and white field established, lay your 70 dark pennies on top of the white field (starting in the upper left corner and working out and down. On these first rows/columns it's important to follow your guideline/tape because everything following will be based on that...getting this first row and column straight will make the following 300+ penny placement a breeze! There will be seven rows of 10 pennies across, representing the blue canton field. Start in the upper left corder and make the top row 10 across. Then do the first penny of the six rows next. This gives you something to "lock into", as you place the remaining pennies. Butt them to the ones above and to the left of the one you're gluing down and they'll all self-align.

Step 3
Start on the very top row to the right of the canton field and place 15 of your medium (red) pennies for the top red stripe. Then place 15 shiny (white) ones. You'll do this for seven rows total, until you match the bottom of the canton. From there, you just lay in the remaining six rows, alternating between medium and shiny for the red and white stripes. Starting at the top, as with the canton, gives you something above (and to the left) to lock your following pennies to. Just apply the glue/epoxy and nudge them up and to the left so they touch the penny above and to its left and they'll all line up (this is the tedious part I mentioned earlier...filling in the remaining field of red/white stripes).

This flag is ultimately comprised of 13 rows of 25 pennies each

When you're done, it should look like this:

70 (10x7) dark pennies in the upper left corner, seven rows of 15 pennies alternating red and white, and then a final six rows of 25 pennies alternating red and white.

Sit somewhere flat and let the glue do it's thing for a while.

As discussed upthread, you can bury it in two-part epoxy or spray some sort of sealer/clearcoat to prevent tarnishing or darkening.

NOTE: An alternative to the white box would be a nice metallic copper paint? You're basically wanting that white area in between the dark pennies to read as the stars, but since the "white" of the flag is represented by new, shiny pennies, it might look better if the "white stars" are a similar shade of shiny, gleaming copper as well? If I do another one of these, I'll probably paint that backing field in the upper left corner a metallic copper. Here's a quick mockup of how that would look:

Anyway, that's how you go about it...the dimensions, materials, penny count, etc. If anyone here ever made one, I'd love to see how it turned out. Please post it here!

If anything above is vague or weird, let me know here (or via PM) and I'll tighten it up or clarify things.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2016-08-28 at 11:59.