My Father’s 70th Birthday Gift (Penny Mobile Art)

There is this mobile hanging in the back stairway of my mother’s house. It is a mobile made from pennies. The picture is the best I could do given the space and my poor photography skills.

My dad was a coin collector as was his father. They got me into it as a boy and I still enjoy it. His 70th birthday was coming up and it was a big deal. He was a good man and father, the best man at my wedding, and had put up with years of me being other than good, so maybe a unique gift was in order. I had recently realized that I was an artist so some sculpture seemed like a god idea.

I had been fooling around with mobiles made of circles and when the idea of doing one of pennies came to mind it seemed fitting. Seventy cents seemed like it fit my budget too! I started by gathering 1932-2002 pennies. The mobile is basically eight little mobiles balanced into one big one. Each decade of pennies is it’s own different shape. The bottom starts with a 1932 Lincoln cent and the top (last) is 2002.

On a visit to our house he came out to the studio while it was under construction. Fortunately it was flat on the bench and in pieces so he never had a clue. It was completed on time and I hung it where it now is. Boxing it up and gift wrapping it was not happening!

He liked it.

I planed to add more as he grew older. Dad lived to be 80 so maybe I should finish that piece of artwork, or just leave it like it is.

Penny Mobile Kinetic Art Sculpture
Penny Mobile Kinetic Art Sculpture

About the author

Past: Tolerated the U.S. educational system as far as a Bachelors degree. Favorite sports were skateboarding, windsurfing and pole vaulting. Worked on many jobs and projects, giving me a wide variety of skills and experiences.

Present: People call me a renaissance man. I still enjoy variety and being productive. Probably why artwork is one of my lasting activities. Snowboarding and hiking are my favorite ways to recreate with my amazing wife and sons.



  1. What a creative gift to give your father. Our family enjoys old coins, we inherited some versus collecting them. The best thing about your gift to your father is that it connects you to both your father and grandfather. Every time you gaze at the mobile, you have memories of your father, perhaps your grandfather. We pour over photos of our visits to our Aunt Ann’s home, it was a log cabin built in the 40’s. The memories are happy ones just as I’m sure your memories are as you gaze at the penny mobile.
    Great gift!

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I am reminded of my father and grandfather and more!

      Happy log cabin memories sound comforting!

      Some of my best years were building with logs in the woods. In fact that is what awakened the artist in me.
      Some of my posts show a little of that. Love log construction. More planed this fall! Will post.

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