There are some unique advantages to being penny pincher. For starters, you can save yourself gobs of money. Secondly, you can save those pennies to put towards huge projects – like an accent wall.

Cement City, Michigan resident Kayla Dominique and her husband needed a way to install fireproof paneling behind their wood stove, and stone was too expensive. The two came up with a way to make their own barrier by creating a wall of pennies.

What started out as a project meant to protect the wall from heat turned into a well-crafted design for their home. Using 7,700 pennies, the two made an American flag for their much-needed wall shield. And yes, there are 13 stripes!

As you watch this video, you’ll see that each section has its own standout – and accurate – set of shading. Dominique used oxidized pennies to create the blue block of squares that represent the space where the stars sit. Varying hues of copper make up the alternating rows of stripes in the flag’s design.

The best part? It works! In addition to brick or tile, metals like copper are used to make wall shields for wood-burning stoves. When people DIY their heat shields, materials are often attached to a backer during the process depending on what is used.

As Dominique mentions, they attached these pennies to a board. It was no quick task either. She spent time sorting through pennies to find and organize them by color and then had to keep gluing them neatly onto the board.

The homemade design has become the center of her living room and a topic of conversation for visitors. Dominique loves the finished product that took a lot of care and patience to create.

The weight of the flag got to be so heavy that they moved it from their basement to the living room before finishing it. Besides loving the look of the flag, Dominique finds there is some sentimentalism in using pennies. She warmly says:

“I think that the most interesting part about the pennies to me is that they all have their own story. They’ve all traveled around with people.”

You may have seen other artistic creations made with pennies such as floors, tables, or backsplashes. Many people find that they add antique flair to a space while also bringing warmth with their copper coloring. Pinterest is home to a bevy of penny home décor ideas that make them more than pocket change.

As far as heat shields go, this one is original, meaningful, and will protect their home properly. And it only cost this couple about $77!

Take a look at the wall barrier project by clicking on this video from MLive, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to turn your coins into something decorative and useful too. Who needs to be thrifty about their nickels when you can flip a jar of pennies into practical art?

Are you loving this crafty homeowner’s functional yet artful penny piece? Do you have anything in your house made of pennies?