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5 minute DIY: How to turn shoulder pads into stylish coin purses

Posted by Melissa Massello  July 29, 2013 12:35 PM

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Photo: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

Now in its second year, The Davis Flea is a mecca for across-the-river urbanites who are in the market for reclaimed, repurposed, vintage, antique, salvaged, and otherwise secondhand goods.

Yesterday, we shared a booth space at the Flea for the very first time with Somerville stylist and vintage maven Amanda Dugay Forrester of Red Bird Vintage, who was selling her handmade hats and head pieces fashioned from vintage notions, flowers, and fabrics. We also had an array of handmade and upcycled projects for sale from these pages — Sriracha salt, T-shirt necklaces, jute-wrapped vases, envelopes from vintage maps, just to name a few — plus vintage crafting books and Goodwill finds ready for upcycling inspiration.

One of the projects we had for sale (which turned out to be the biggest hit with Flea market-goers) was our upcycled coin purses made from vintage shoulder pads, inspired by Marisa Lynch from New Dress a Day. I just love how genius this upcycle is! Anyone who's ever bought secondhand or vintage clothing before has probably cut out the shoulder pads at some point, and many times you're left with these gorgeous swatches of fabric that just seem wasteful to toss, like these two pair I cut out from tops I recently found at Goodwill in Roxbury:

Shoulder Pad Coin Purses

Learn how to make change purses from leftover shoulder pads like these at home with these two short little video tutorials from our former intern Joey Clarke and our complete project photo set on Flickr, or hop on over to for the original inspiration.

DIY Boston: Shoulder Pad Coin Purse Part 1 from Melissa Massello on Vimeo.

DIY Boston: Shoulder Pad Coin Purses Part 2 from Melissa Massello on Vimeo.

Here's what the finished products looked like:


Shoulder Pad Coin Purses

Shoulder Pad Coin Purses

The Davis Flea happens every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, rain or shine, through October 27th, 2013. For more information, directions, and a list of vendors, go to

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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