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Uses for Shoulder Pads

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Shoulder pads go in and out of style, but your garment is often still wearable. This page contains uses for shoulder pads.


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Debra Frick1 found this helpful
April 4, 2008

Imagine yourself at a yard sale and you just found the most beautiful blouse and they only want a $1.00 for it, but it is dated with those shoulder pads that they seemed to put into all expensive clothing. So you decide "what the heck, I will buy the blouse anyway and get rid of the shoulder pads."

Well if you are like me, you now have a stack of shoulder pads from clothing that you have bought. Ever wondered what you could make with the shoulder pads?

Well I have seen them made into the wings of angels at Christmas, but I came up with this idea to use them for spring. You can add a magnet to the smaller ones to hang on your refrigerator or hang them by fishing line in a window to brighten it up for spring. They also would make a neat decoration on a birthday gift or a shower gift.


Add a pin back and they could hang on your drapes or be pinned to your tie backs to hold back your drapes or curtains. This is a craft that could even be done by kids if you choose not to use a hot glue gun. With this craft you have a thing of beauty for just pennies.

Time to complete: A half hour



Scrunch up shoulder pads in the middle and secure with chenille stick or wired beads. Glue lace to each wing and decorate with glue on gems or beads.

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November 2, 20040 found this helpful

My friend made me two Christmas ornaments from shoulder pads, she had removed from her clothing. Really cute.

She covered the pads with white material, then again with white netting or lace. She glued a medium sized craft clothes pin, (not the spring kind) which she had painted white. She also gathered net or lace, attached with small dot of hot glue at back, around the middle of the pin for a skirt. Then painted a pink face on the top and added some embroidery thread for hair. Then she placed a small gold band attached to a short piece of pipe stem cleaner and glued to the back of pin to make a halo.


Next she added a pipe stem cleaners for arms, she added net sleeves on one, glued to the back of pin. Hot glued the pin body in the middle of pad which made shoulder pad the wings to an angel. Added a braided thread or folded thin ribbon to back of pad to hang the ornament on the tree.

These can be dressed and decorated, fancy or plain to suit your taste. I gave one to each of my two grandchildren. I used a mark-a-lot and attached their names on small cloth label and the date I gave them.

By Gladys H.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
September 21, 2009

Would anyone have any ideas for alternative uses for shoulder pads? I have quite a collection. I can't find anything on the Web. Thanks.

By Linda Thomas from Melbourne, FL


September 22, 20090 found this helpful

If you have lost weight or due to a mastectomy, the shoulder pads make excellent padding for filling up bras.

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September 24, 20090 found this helpful

Cut them into tiny and stuff them into pillows or teddy bears.

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September 24, 20090 found this helpful

You could use a smaller one as a pin cushion by folding it in half and sewing or gluing closed and then even sew a bit of elastic to it to use as a wrist pin cushion.


Fold in half, sew almost all the way closed, fill with cat nip and finish sewing closed as a cat toy ;-)

Use as cleaning sponges.

I know this sounds weird but depending on the shape and size you could cut and sew rubberized cloth, such as baby changing cloth, on one side or simply cut the rubberized cloth to fit and place on the crotch of your panties and then the pad on top of that to use when having a period or if you 'leak'. They would be easily washable and you can use over and over again while saving oodles of money on disposable pads!

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July 20, 20060 found this helpful

I sew and would like to know where I can obtain cloth to use as padding for my bras.

Delene from Modesto, CA


July 22, 20060 found this helpful

If you don't want to buy the premade/cut bra pads sold in the notions department, use quilt batting. You could buy high- or low-loft, acrylic or cotton.

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July 28, 20060 found this helpful

You could also use shoulder pads...I knew someone who use to pad their bra with them...

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July 24, 20090 found this helpful

It would be nice if the bra companies would make the molded bras in really large sizes. Not every large woman has a large breast to balance out her figure.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 21, 20090 found this helpful

I always remove the shoulder pads from new outfits. I would like to find out some uses to recycle these shoulder pads.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Ginger from Columbus, OH


Uses for Shoulder Pads

I did a couple of things with them.

  1. I sewed two capped shaped ones together, leaving the top open. I added a string strap and a snap and got a small handbag for my little niece.
  2. Stitch strips of Velcro to each side and wear them like kneepads for housework and gardening.
  3. Fold one in half and sew up the short side, leaving the long side open. I set the resulting "cap" over my hard boiled egg to keep it warm, like a cozy.
  4. Two larger shoulder pads sewn together with appropriate openings left for spout and handle, are perfect for those little one cup teapots that you can never find a cozy for or leave just one opening and set it over your coffee cup or mug to keep the brew warm when you have to answer the phone.

Most favorite use, make angels. Get small whisk or wooden spoon, place handle up. Wrap the pad around the handle, folding in the side edges like sleeves. Glue or stitch down, gluing back to handle as well. Add a bead or wooden ball head with face, add hair and angel wings. If desired, put candies in the whisk end and wrap with plastic wrap, fastening with a ribbon for a small treat or table favour. On the spoon bowl I write a short quote about angels in permanent marker.

  • Line a shoulder pad with heatproof fabric like is used in oven mitts and use it as a mini mitt for the microwave. (03/23/2007)

    By Mary Lou

    RE: Uses for Shoulder Pads

    Uses for Shoulder Pads

    When traveling, use them to cushion luggage straps. Place on your shoulder before hoisting that heavy bag with the shoulder strap, or wrap around the strap on hand-carried bags. (04/01/2007)

    By Tere

    Uses for Shoulder Pads

    I line helmets with them for extra protection. (08/20/2008)

    By Keeli

    Uses for Shoulder Pads

    Thought you might be able to make a quilt out of the shoulder pads. (10/12/2008)

    By Denise

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes
  • March 22, 20070 found this helpful

    Once again I want to hear it from all you talented individuals.

    Here's my dilemma: I have 24 pairs of shoulder pads in very good condition. I realize that they are out of style (but if I decide to keep them long enough I know they will come back into vogue). I absolutely detest "wasting" and other than using them to hold pierced earrings, I don't know what to do with them. I don't want to toss them out. Do you have any creative ideas? I thought with girl scouts, arts and crafts, etc. getting back into swing that maybe some leaders could offer me some guidelines.

    Thanks ahead of time for coming to the rescue (as I know you always do).

    Joesgirl from Beverly, MA


    Uses for Shoulder Pads

    You might want to check to see if you have a local Cadet corps near you that does rifle drill. My daughter is a Sea Cadet here in Ontario and she has come home with bruised collarbones more times than I can count. I started to put my old shoulder pads just under her brastrap where she slaps the rifle into her shoulder and this helped to alleviate the problem somewhat. Males can always baste the shoulder pad in place under their uniform to protect their shoulders. (05/02/2006)

    By Darlene in Mississauga

    Uses for Shoulder Pads

    Make great gifts to put on the outside of presents and on your Christmas tree by making angels out of them. They are easy and are vey cute. E-mail me for the directions, as I will have to dig for them. (Imagine someone with her hands in every craft there is, having to dig for something!) jamies_lifeainteasy AT (05/03/2006)

    By Jamie

    Uses for Shoulder Pads

    I use mine for needle cases when I am doing any embroidery that requires several needles with different coloured thread/ribbon. They are great when I carry only what items I need for stitching whenever I know I'm going to have a wait somewhere eg doctors. The time goes so fast that I'm disappointed when it's my turn, as I always have "just one more stitch" to do.
    I also keep one handy for pins when I'm using them for needlework where I'm pinning & unpinning several times. (10/11/2006)

    By Wendy Hervey Bay, Australia

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    April 4, 20060 found this helpful

    I have many pairs of used shoulder pads. What can I use them for?

    Sharon from Illinois

    What to do with Shoulder Pads 04/04/2006
    90 things to do with shoulder pads: This is in response to article from 2002 on this website. Yes, shoulder pads are from the 80's and are passe. But I still have shoeboxes of them. What can be done with them? Well...over a period of a year, these are some ideas my family contributed to a list on. Here they are.
    • Stuffing them in your bra creates an instant Wonder Bra.
    • Use as a catcher's mit or baseball mit.
    • Knee pads.
    • Packaging
    • Put in hat to fit better
    • Bird nest stuffing
    • Pillow stuffing
    • Beanie Babies
    • Ears for stuffed animals
    • Mickey Mouse hat ears
    • Use a part of mobile for baby's crib as half moons.
    • Crash barriers for hot wheels
    • Jewelry packing
    • Odor eaters
    • Help shoes retain shape
    • Heel guards for shoes
    • Tape to bottom of shoes to walk silently. (Sell to robbers and new parents.)
    • Pillow for pet hampster.
    • Bed for pet mouse.
    • Cold compresses.
    • Cusion for doll furniture
    • Eye pads
    • Gag for overtalkative person
    • Blindfold
    • Earmuffs
    • Elbow pads
    • Wrist rest
    • Duck tape them to your garden tools to prevent blisters
    • Seath cusion stuffing
    • Stuffing for worlds largest shoulder pad
    • Rest your eyeglasses on them.
    • Coasters
    • Sew them in your clothing to make shoulders.
    • Carry to open public bathroom doors with.
    • Throw away
    • Paper towel substitute
    • Hot pads
    • Pot holders
    • Trivet
    • Wrap pipes with
    • Use as filler for trash to get your money's worth
    • Put them in bottom of sackes for Goodwill to make them look fuller
    • Exhaust pipe stuffing for practical joke
    • Soft sculpture
    • Duck bill
    • Puppet mouth
    • Earrings
    • Eye patch
    • Mittens
    • Slippers for your children
    • When your children want to set up a band, give them to them as cymbals or put on drumsticks and tell them how much better they sound.
    • Miniature train set mountains.
    • False beard
    • Corn pads
    • Hair curlers
    • Plug leaks in your roof
    • Baby wipes
    • Wipe sweat from your brow
    • Face mask
    • Tea cozy
    • Insulation for building
    • Cup Insulator
    • Add adhesive tape and you have a good bandage
    • Cap bill
    • Wallet stuffer to impress robbers when you hand over your fake wallet
    • Under arm pads to keep sweat from showing under your clothes
    • Incontinence pads
    • Joan Crawford Halloween Costume
    • Surgical masks
    • Angel wings
    • Sew on shirts and use for pockets
    • Quilt or comforter pieces
    • Washcloth
    • Drain plug
    • Doll pillows
    • Epaulets
    • Outside scales for fish, mermaid, or dragon costume.
    • Butterfly wings on a plant decorator stick
    • Telephone pads
    • Desk mat
    • Cushioning for sun visor
    • Door bumpers
    • Chair bumpers
    • Diskette holder
    • CD holder
    • Pin cushion
    • Roll your own cigarette casings
    • Shoe bottoms
    • Dust rags
    • Mop floor
    - - 04/04/2006
    Oh, I have always wanted to have a pile of them! I have wanted to make a quilt with them by fitting them together and hand or machine sewing them. Imagine a quilt or a baby changing pad, etc. So, I do not have them so you can do it for me ;)
    By Sheila
    - - 04/04/2006
    use them for elbow and knee pads, just but elastic on them can pin in place or stitch with needle or machine. dgd, age 2 1/2, recently broke her are on a trampoline, these might have saved her arm, if i had thought of it sooner! also for knee and elbow pad for riding bicycles and even for letting children play outside, less "bobos". use as knee pads in the garden, by attaching elastic. may have to sew two together for garden.
    By martha pitts
    - - 04/05/2006
    My dad uses them to wax his vehicles. They are similiar to the pads you get in the tubs of car wax, but free!!
    By Kathy (Guest Post)
    - - 04/05/2006
    The best use for the silky covered shoulder pads is to put them under the legs of something heavy you want to move. They will slide right across the floor.
    By Jackie Martin
    - - 04/06/2006
    Funny! I have a pair of pads sitting right here waiting for me to do something with them. I just removed them yesterday from a dress I bought at a yard sale, which incidentally ended up too big so I'll have to put it in my yard sale.

    90 things to do with shoulder pads - really started my day with some chuckles. But seriously, I did get at least one useful idea. I belong to an organization that helps the local animal shelter. We have annual fund raisers (car washes, coin drops, etc.) and have a couple of animal costumes, but they're usually a little too warm for most of the year. Maybe I can use a hair band and a couple of pads for some cat ears and do some face painting.

    By Karen Muermann
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    October 17, 20040 found this helpful
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