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Chicago couple glues 60,000 pennies onto new bedroom floor

There are just a few weeks left to use up all those extra pennies before they become cash register currency non grata. And while they will eventually become a collector’s item, it may take a while to ratchet up any sort of real value while there are technically still millions of them floating around.

So if you’re looking for an interesting way to convert your one-cent coins into something useful (a way that doesn’t involve melting them down for steel and nickel, that is), you may consider taking a decorating page from Ryan Lange and Emily Belden.

[ Related: With one-cent coin to retire early next month, is nickel next to go? ]

As MSN reports, the Chicago couple painstakingly laid down 59,670 pennies to convert the shiny (and not-so-shiny) coins into a new bedroom floor.

"We'd been looking up options and were thinking about being green when I said we should just tile the floor in pennies," Lange told the news network, explaining that he received inspiration from similar projects he saw on design blogs.

Though Belden wasn’t sold on the idea at first, Lange eventually brought her around. He did this by starting the project anyway.

"I came home one day and found a small corner was done, so I thought 'I guess we're doing it,'" she said.

She soon got into the backbreaking swing of things, helping Lange stick the pennies – all heads up – onto the floor base with a special grout-like glue and a caulk gun.

Though the labour was tough, their hands eventually stained black from the dirty coins, the couple turned their four-month “pennying” project into a fun ritual that involved good music and red wine.

They also started a blog called The Penny Floor that offers interesting trivia about their unique floor, like the total cost per square foot ($2.55), the total number of hours it took to complete the project (128), the square footage covered (284) and the oldest penny in the lot (from 1873).

Now they have an insta-house party icebreaker ("It's turned into a fun party game where we challenge our guests to find the rare coins”) if not the most comfortable surface upon which to tread barefoot.

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As impressive as their home renovation project may be, the couple was out-pennied by Mel Angst, a tattoo artist who glued 250,000 pennies to the floor of her recently opened Pittsburgh tattoo gallery and coffee shop.

Granted, she had a little extra help. Angst solicited the free labour of ink aficionado volunteers to complete the project in around three weeks.

Volunteers who clocked in 30 hours or more were compensated with a free tattoo.

And the Penny Bar in McKittrick, California may not look like much from the outside, but its interior boasts a one-million penny interior design.