Craft Ideas for What to Do With Old Foreign Coins

By Jessica Westover

Put your collection of old foreign coins that you have gathered over the years from vacations and family trips on display by turning them into works of art. Foreign coins can be included in craft projects to fashion hand-made souvenirs such as magnets, bracelets, decorative photo frames or keepsake boxes.

Coin Magnets

Use your old foreign coins to make magnets for your refrigerator or chalkboard. Clean the coins with warm soapy water and dry them with a soft towel. Use a rotary tool with brush accessories for dirty coins. Measure the diameter of your coin. Cut out a circle from a peel-and-stick magnet that is 1/4 inch smaller than the diameter of the coin. Decide which side of the coin you want to remain exposed. Peel off the paper backing and stick the magnet to the backside of the coin. Hang the coin magnets on your refrigerator or chalkboard and see if your family members or students can guess what countries they are from.


String your foreign coins together to make a metal bracelet that can be worn on any occasion. Use a rotary tool and a 1/32- or 3/64-inch drill bit to drill a small hole on either side of each coin. Use pliers to thread small round metal rings through the holes of adjoining coins. Press the ends of the metal rings together with the pliers to crimp them together. Continue to join the coins until the bracelet is large enough to fit around your wrist or ankle. Create dangling coins by threading two or three metal rings together to make a chain. Attach one end of the chain to the side of a loose coin and the other end to a metal ring joining two coins in the bracelet. Attach metal jewelry clasps to the coins on either end of the bracelet.

Photo Frames

Make a handmade souvenir to display memories from a trip to a foreign country. Purchase a plain wooden frame and sand down the surface. Stain or paint the surface the desired color and then apply a coat of spray shellac over the frame to seal it. Glue foreign coins along the sides of the frame with craft glue. Insert a picture from your trip inside the frame before placing it on a mantel or side table or hanging it on a wall.

Keepsake Boxes

Attach your foreign coins to the outside of a wooden box for decoration. Purchase a plain wooden box from a craft store and sand its surface until it is completely smooth, such as with a rotary tool using sanding accessories or an oscillating tool with a sanding accessory. Paint the box with a stain or a coat of primer and then paint. Glue the foreign coins onto the lid and sides of the box with wood or craft glue. Use the box to hold jewelry, pictures, postcards or knickknacks.

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