Check out this chain mail dress made from over 2500 pennies

Originally published at: Check out this chain mail dress made from over 2500 pennies | Boing Boing


This is scale armour, not maille/chain mail.

This wouldn’t even keep a Scottish concrete mansion from dissolving.


The dress looks seriously cool. The natural variations in color of the pennies is really lovely, and gives it a lived-in look that I feel like artists always try to capture in adventure settings.

So, resistance training…sounds like a win-win. (been looking for excuses to bring Jamie Mantzel back into the mutant conversation…)


That is really cool! I’ve made chain-mail before so I can appreciate the effort they went through. By way of comparison, the shirt I made weighs 21lb and it also has no sleeves.


Thank you!

Also reminded me of this old classic:


So the old solid-copper pennies weren’t used for historical accuracy then? Those weigh in at 3.11 grams.


Lamilar rather than scale, I think, since the pennies are attached to each other rather than a substrate.


How easy are they to find these days? They haven’t been made for 40 years, and I’d think any still circulating probably get decirculated for scrap since their copper value is 3X their face value.

The maker does clarify in the video that this is scale mail, made of overlapping discs rather than chain. Also it’s so heavy that the straps broke once, & still leave red marks on her skin. And the wearer can’t sit because pennies don’t bend. Still, seriously beautiful & took some ingenuity & a lot of hours.


Accounting for the three holes drilled probably gives you the wiggle room on the pre-'82 pennies. :smiley:

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What can I say? If you want to do authentic pre-1982 penny-armor cosplay you’ve got to spend some coin.

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Not to mention the smell. I would always seriously scrub my hands after counting my father’s found coin collection. I’m not a fan of that copper / metal smell on skin.

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Definitely worth more than the sum of its parts. I like it!

Edit: Who remembers those souvenir machines that would squish your pennies into ovals with tourism images and slogans? It would be handy if you’re making a dress and literally need to stretch your copper supply.


14 pounds

The weight given for a full suit of steel plate armor is in the 33–60 pounds range… (that shit is thiiiiiin)

I was just thinking of how much decent cloth costs and I realized that using pennies was probably cheaper, which feels weird. (Even if the actual value of pennies is more than their legal worth…)

I’m honestly surprised the stitching towards the top of the dress didn’t come apart due to the weight of the dress below it…


Shay mentions the smell too. Copper, what are you going to do?

This could probably go for a lot of coin! At least to anyone with common cents.


Remember? I used one last year! I love those


i was expecting it to be heavier. i have an old russian military winter coat that weight 15lbs. i can’t wear it unless the temps are in the teens – otherwise it’s too warm. it’s heavy, but i don’t really notice the weight when i’m wearing it.


No doubt it’s worth a pretty penny!


Canada no longer has pennies so I haven’t seen one in years.

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