What to do with souvenirs? Turn coins into a key chain

Get your foreign coins

Colones, pesos and cordobas are some of the foreign coins I’ve collected during my travels in Latin America. I’ve been saving them in a wallet, and they haven’t really been of much use since I’m back home. I realized I wanted to create something or either get rid of them. Luckily, thanks to my Pinterest addiction I got some inspiration, and I decided to use my foreign coin collection to make key chains. Here’s how I did it.

Coins, key chain, and utilities

Of course it’s all about the money, so get your collection of coins. I also gathered other stuff I wanted to add to my key chains such as bracelets from my university in Mexico, a small piece of bracelet I made in Costa Rica, and the Brazilian Senor do Bonfim. Besides, you’re going to need a couple of key chains. Last year two friends gave me both a key chain, and it seemed a good idea to add some more nice memories, and pimp them. Have a look at a hobby shop if you don’t have any key chains at home.


Last but not least, you’ll be needing a chain. Have a look at your hardware store to see which chain size suits best. The ring shouldn’t be too big because it becomes too heavy, but they shouldn’t be too small either because you don’t want it to break easily and you’ll need to attach the coins to it. Tools you’re going to need: two pliers. I used one with a needle-nose, the fine pliers, and one slip joint pliers. Later I’ll explain why.

Add holes to the coins

Again, I couldn’t have done this DIY project without some help. This time my neighbour made some holes in the coins. If you don’t have a handy neighbour, you either need all the right tools to drill some holes or go to a smith. The size of the hole should be big enough to put the ring of the chain through it, and at the same time it should leave a bit of space, so the coin can move around the ring.

Use the pliers to open the chain

As you can see the chain I chose is pre-cut which made it easy to open up the rings. All you’ve to do is put pliers at each side of the ring, and twist in opposite directions. If you force it enough, the ring breaks on the line. The best method is to use the slip joint pliers to hold the ring, because you can squeeze it and put more force on it, and then with the needle-nose pliers you’ll twist the ring.

Coin attached to chain

Break the chain in small parts of 7 rings by removing the 8th ring. Then use this loose ring to attach your coin to the small chain at the end, in the middle or, like I did, both. Make sure you close the ring properly otherwise you’ll end up losing your coins.

Mix and match the coins

When you’ve finished your chains with coins you can attach them, and all the other things you want to add to your key chain. The coins and the chain can be quite heavy, that’s why I ended up using just two little chains with each two coins on each key chain.

The final result: key chain with coinsAnd tadaaa! The final result. All my memories of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, and even Ecuador attached to my keys. Sometimes my key chains make me feel like a gold digger, but at least now I use the coins daily.