During my recent travels through Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand I loved meeting (and spending!) each country’s currency. The notes, coins and amounts were all new and exciting to me. As I travelled on to the next country I somehow ended up collecting and keeping hold of a collection of change which threatened to push me over the edge of many airlines’ restricted luggage weight. However, I couldn’t help but keep hold of a few of the coins that were so foreign to me; they were instant reminders of all the places I’d been and the things I’d seen.

When I came home and unpacked I set to work being creative with my collection of coins. I decided to decorate some otherwise bland and boring photo frames with my collection, I also thought this would prompt me to actually print off and admire some of my favourite holiday snaps. That’s the one disadvantage of the digital age, we forget what photos look like in our hands, on our walls, off the screen.

In addition to your coin collection and some unloved or boring frames, to glue the coins onto wood, plastic or glass you’ll need a good multi-surface glue.

Not wanting to commit the coins to a lifetime on this glass clip-on photo frame, I glued them onto a black piece of paper onto which I mounted my photo and then sandwiched in the middle of the glass and the frame’s back.

The other frame I glued the coins to the outside of the frame. My one tip is make sure the coins are fairly equally distributed otherwise the frame will lean to one side when hanging up on the wall.

Wait for the glue to dry, or place the frame between two heavy books to ensure the coins dry in place, then hang up or position in pride of place.

What I like most about coins from other countries is the characteristics they carry from their country; the kangaroos on  the Australian $1 dollar coin, the instantly recognisable King of Thailand’s face on their currency.

If you have any left over coins you can donate these to one of the many charities who collect foreign currency, or start saving for your next trip!


This post was written by Frankie Thompson who was a Travelette from 2012 – 2015. Originally from London, UK, Frankie was nomadic for several years before settling in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she lives with her Australian partner and baby boy. She spends her time buying vintage dresses, riding a rusty old bike around the canals and writing books inspired by her travels. Frankie blogs about travel, writing and motherhood at As the Bird flies blog.

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