The Lucky Penny Table & DIY Table Runner
This fall I was inspired to decorate my home in the color story of Copper Verdigris Patina. Now you can see how I created my Lucky Penny & DIY Table Runner for this season.
By now I’m sure sure that many of you have seen my Fall 2018 Home Tour, Falling for Rose Gold, if not you can click to the link to see the rest of the home tour. One of the main features on my home tour was The Lucky Penny Table seen here.
This table was completely inspired by my, over all, fall color story of Verdigris Patina. You see, when I started to think of things that verdigris and patina; one of the main things that came to mind were pennies. I have always been inspired by all shades and varieties of pennies. If you really think about it, they all started out exactly the same. These patinas and verdigris have occurred throughout the lives and adventures of the pennies, very much like people. Each penny has it’s own story, it’s own unique journey that has given it this beautiful antique coloration which makes up my table mosaic. It is quite the conversation starter for a tablescape wouldn’t you agree?
I really loved the fresh green pairing of winter kale with all the shades of copper and the verdigris. The winter kale’s shades of purple and green really do pop against the verdigris and patina variations of copper in the runner nicely. Funny story, we recently discovered that after a summer of eating nothing but salads filled with kale, that I have a kale intolerance. Yeah let me tell ya, try going to your doctor and saying, “my stomach hurts every time I eat a salad”….that goes over well I assure you, LOL. Come to find out pretty much every bagged salad on the market has kale “the superfood” in it these days, which had become quite problematic for me. So now I just decorate with it.Since I saved all my pennies on other projects, I was able to afford these fantastic Copper Flower Pots available online from William Sonoma. They have two sizes available, these are the large size, but please do not get sticker shock if you look them up, all copper tends to be expensive these days. I ended up purchasing five of them because I always buy in odd numbers when it comes to garden items or plants. I used three on the table and two on the sideboard, but going forward I am sure I will use them for tons of other things.
At each place setting I used a single copper painted pumpkin which I plan to tie a place card to the top of each for my more formal gatherings by tying them on with twine. You could hand write a name directly on to the pumpkin or just use it as a prop for a formal printed card too. I feel like this simple touch just grounded each place setting and pulled out the copper accent pennies we added to the chargers, and has my table ready for any gathering I may be hosting though out the season. It is always better to be prepared than trying to pull something together at the last minute especially during the busy holiday season.
The Penny Runner DIY:
First you will need to figure up how many pennies you will need. We calculated the basic size of the runner based on how many pennies across and long we would need. This will vary depending on the size of your table and the runner you wish to construct. We also needed to allow for additional pennies for the chargers as well so we conservatively figured on $40 worth of pennies.
Word of advice, when collecting $40 worth of pennies from the bank you will need a container or bag to put them in. However, I do not recommend walking into the bank with a empty bag, it does raise a few eyebrows, LOL.
Once we obtained the pennies the sorting process started. We ended up with four distinct color batches which allowed for me to create the tile work style pattern seen in the runner. Then we created a fifth and sixth color through two types of oxidation processes to get the other two colors. These were the four basic color groupings below:
Medium Aged Copper
Patina Bronze Copper
Shiny New Copper
Aged Verdigris & Oxidized Copper
The next step in the process was to spray our masonite base board a copper color. This will serve as our base that the pennies will be glued to, in order to create the runner for the table.
Next, you just have to start working with the pennies to find a pattern that you like. This part of the process took me a while. I tried several patterns before I started to glue them down permanently. I would recommend looking at patterns on runners or fabrics to draw your inspiration. I will tell you that I tried to do a diamond shaped pattern but it was very difficult and the pennies kept sliding, so for me and the sanity of my OCD I stuck to straight lines and created more of and striped pattern. This worked well and was easy to replicate in 12″ sections, and I was able to vary the pattern slightly by changing the color of pennies. Once I had my pattern set I could glue and start working my way from one end to the other, which kept the pennies tight and in-line. I also found that working on the actual dining room table was especially handy too, since I could work the entire length.
The over all effect is beautiful up close and especially from a distance. Depending on how detailed you want to get, you can alternate sides of coins from head to tails, and the orientation of the coins as well, so they all line up like perfect little soldiers.
The next project was to add pennies to basic changers to create a boarder. I had originally planned to do a thick band covering the entire edge, but I ended up deciding a simple ring looked better.
Again this was just a simple glue gun project, so at the end of the season you can pop the pennies off your chargers and use them again for another season. Just another way to save your pennies this season!
For these pennies I used a special container that had unique pennies we found upon sorting. By unique I mean they were not you run of the mill basic pennies. Out of $40 worth of pennies we probably had 30 or so random or odd pennies that we used for the six chargers to add interest.
This charger had a cute kitty penny, that some one clearly crafted by decoupage while the charger below has a Canadian penny. I thought this would add another layer of visual interest and conversation to the tablescape as my guest looked at the pennies located on there plates. So I have been asked, Dirty Money on a table? My answer to this is you can actually spray the pennies with a light coat of clear spray paint, shellac or varnish to seal them prior to putting them on your table with dishes and food. Yes I will tell you after sorting the pennies, they are dirty, and yes I understand the thought of eating off them is gross, especially if you have small kids that might be prone to eating off the table. So that is my best advice if you still want to be able to disassemble the runner and reclaim your pennies back. If you don’t care about that a nice thick epoxy would probably be your best bet.
Just remember the spirit of the table is to have fun and create a visual tablescape for your guests to enjoy. I have been in the business of creating interesting tablescapes for parties and events for years. So my entire thought process is, it is for one night, or one season, it is temporary, and then it’s gone so make it something fun and unusual. In this case when I am done with this holiday I will scrape off all my pennies and go spend them on something else.
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