Why This Mama Glues Pennies to Her Kids’ Shoes

Pennies on the bottom of shoes.

Sadly, the value of pennies has dropped really dramatically in the past decade or so. Nowadays the little copper coins are essentially useless (except for those rare moments when you can actually make exact change) and are even being thrown away in parts of the U.S. But we say don’t you DARE throw those little guys away. Pennies might not be used as often as they used to be, but all we need to do is rethink the way we use them! Here are some seriously clever ways to use pennies around the house, with your kids, or in your general life.

1. Homemade Battery


If you or your kids love science experiments, then you’ll love what this stack of pennies can do. Using just a few materials and the energy conducted through the little copper coins, you can create a battery strong enough to power an LED light or remote control. Pennies might be small, but they’re powerful!

2. Keep Flies at Bay

It’s summertime, which means that flies are back in full swing to bother your barbecues and haunt your house. Luckily, you only need three simple household items to scare flies off, and one of those happens to be pennies! Sounds surprising that change can keep away these pesky buggers, but this Hometalk DIY really works.

3. Penny Table Top

Have an old coffee table that you picked up at a yard sale? You probably loved it for the price, but you might not be a fan of how boring or ratty it is. There’s any easy way to makeover an inexpensive table using just a collection of pennies! It will leave you with a seriously unique piece that everyone will ask, “Where did you get that?!”

4. Revamped Penny Floor

Similarly, a dumpy looking floor can easily be made over. You don’t have to drop tons of money on beautiful tiles or hardwood; you can easily use pennies to create gorgeous, unique floor panels! All you need is some time to collect the right amount of pennies and some serious patience.

5. Checking Floor Tiles

If you’ve decided to go for a more traditional floor, like tiles, you can still use pennies to help during the revamping process. To make sure that all your tiles are evenly laid out, stick pennies in between each one (around each side) to make sure they’re all spaced correctly. Pennies are the perfect cheap item to use for this task, and you’ll know for sure that they’ll provide the exact same space across your new floor.

6. Tire Treads

Need to check the wear and tear on your tire tread? The simplest way is called the penny method. Stick a penny into the tread with Lincoln showing head-first. If the head is not completely covered and mostly visible, you may want to consider new tires for safety and grip.

7. Snail Repellent

Like flies, snails apparently do not like the copper in pennies, which makes them the perfect thing to use for a quick, effective snail repellent in your garden. According to science, snail secretions react to the metal, providing a slight static electricity response that most snails want to avoid. With this in mind, try outlining your garden with pennies, but make sure they were minted no later than 1981; by 1982, the copper in pennies was replaced with nickel, which may not produce the same result.

8. Copper Curtain Weights

Stubborn curtains that aren’t hanging properly? You don’t have to buy curtain weights (little weights that help curtains stay still and hang perfectly) if you have some pennies and paper clips. In moments, you can create DIY curtain weights with these little copper coins and make your curtains look exactly the way you imagined.

9. Homemade Tap Shoes

Most parents will tell you: kids hobbies can get expensive. Kids want to try everything — basketball, art, drama, archery, you name it! For the little dancer who wants to try tap, this is a genius DIY. Tap shoes are EXPENSIVE, so to create some makeshift shoes on the fly, try gluing a few pennies to the bottom of your kids’ sneakers. This cheap trick will help you kids figure out if they like the feel of tap dance and are guaranteed to entertain them for hours.

What do you think of these creative uses for pennies? Share your thoughts and uses you’ve tried in the comments section below.