17 Crafty Uses for Wire Hangers

wire hanger


Arts and crafts are underpinned by appreciation of the basic things in life – and what could be more basic or splendid than a wire hanger? Here are 17 clever, crafty things you can do with them. None of them involve Batman.

Wire hangers – we find them in the rubbish around our apartments, get them back with ‘dry clean only’ clothes and receive them as free gifts for our first apartments and dorm rooms. Eventually we toss them out in exchange for plastic ones that don’t leave lines in our clothing.

What happens to all those discarded wire hangers? It’s not good news, I’m sorry to say. They gather underground and plot to overthrow our cruel society (much like Oswald Cobblepot). Don’t bring about your destruction by adding to their numbers – grab some needle-nosed pliers and wire cutters and use them for arts and crafts instead!

Wire Hanger Jewelry Displays

If you make and sell jewelry, you know how expensive those generic jewelry displays can be. The cardboard ones are easy to ruin, and the pretty wire ones cost too much. I make jewelry displays out of found or discarded wire hangers.

Grab a pair of pliers and take a few hangers apart. Twist the bottom of your hanger into a circle for the base, then shape the rest into a straight (or squiggly) line up from the center of your circle. This is the basis for a tree. Clip and use lengths of hanger wire to wrap branches around your tree. These are so perfect for hanging earrings and brooches from.

Need something a little bigger? Use the hangers to make a lattice-like grid shape. Shape two pieces like the back of a picture frame and attach them to the back of the grid to stand it up. Wrap ribbon around the exposed wire if you want it to be pretty. Then take your little leftover pieces and shape them into S shapes. Hang them off your grid to display necklaces, bracelets, and more.

Moroccan Candle Holder

I love Moroccan and Middle Eastern looking decor. The use of color and whimsy is amazing. If you want to create the look on a budget grab some empty jars. Pint mason jars, jam jars, and baby food jars all work.

Unwrap a few coat hangers. Wrap a circle of wire just under the lip of the jar and twist it tight. Then take three pieces of wire, bend a hook and wrap around your circle. Bring the wires together about a foot above your jar for big jars (6 inches for baby food jars) and bend each of the ends in a loop facing outward. Wrap ribbon around the ends to hold them together and hang your new candle holder.

Add beads and chain around the edges in blue, purple, red, orange, and pink along with draped chains from discarded jewelry for an extra authentic feel. If you’re crafty, bend extra bits of wire into spirals and attach them to the holder in different places.

Roast Marshmallows

If you don’t want tree bark in your marshmallows and hot dogs, put the sticks in the fire and use straightened coat hangers for your camp fire fare. If you are feeling really crafty, you can shape a flat cage from the wire. Make a long sturdy handle for it and use the cage to cook burgers, sandwiches, and veggie burgers over the fire!

Giant Bubble Wand

Make a big circle with your clothes hanger. Then get a bucket and add dish soap, water, and glycerin. Put on your best fairy costume and make giant bubbles by dipping your hanger in the mix and waving it through the air. Get your technique right for HUGE bubbles.

Candy wreath

This one is great for kids or to hang at work and let your co-workers munch on. Just make little circles out of the clothes hanger wire. Then tie candy onto the wire. Repeat until the whole circle looks like a wreath of candy.

Glue Gun holder

We’ve all managed to get hot glue, super glue, or other goop on our table. Fix the problem by clipping a piece of wire of a coat hanger. Bend the wire into the shape of an M. Turn the two bottom wires of the M out to make little feet to prop it up on. Now when you’re working with a hot gun or tube of glue, just put your M on a paper towel, and prop the end of your glue gun or tube in the center to keep it from dripping.

Fairy Wings

Let’s face it, fanciful things are expensive. For a cheap and fun version of those big fairy wings, shape your coat hangers in the shape of wings. Make a small grid to put between the wings, and twist the ends of the wire to bring it all together. Cover the wings with lime green or pink pantyhose and reshape. Then glue on jewels or use spray glue and glitter to decorate. Wrap the center grid in pretty satin ribbon, then use big lengths of extra ribbon to attach your wings to you.

Unclog a drain

A girl has to learn how to do a few household repairs. I keep a coat hanger under my bathroom sink to take care of tub and sink clogs. Just straighten one coat hanger and turn a tiny hook at one end. When the drain clogs beyond a plunger’s repair, just slide your tiny hook down the drain, and fish all that nastiness out. No plumber or commercial drain cleaner needed.

Baby mobile

If you have to make a last minute or handcrafted baby shower gift, nothing is easier than a mobile. All you have to do is take a wire coat hanger and wrap it in pastel ribbon. Then take thin ribbons and hang small stuffed animals, fabric trimmed plastic mirrors, and other baby friendly things from the bottom. This is one of those projects where you can go simple or really over the top.

If the baby in question has gothic parents, you can use this opportunity to help them avoid all those crazy pastel colors. Just use black ribbon instead, and hang little stuffed bats and other gothic toys off your mobile.

Light Diffuser

I refuse to buy stock imagery. As an artist, I refuse to steal images. This leaves me with making my own. Unfortunately, I’m not wealthy enough to afford a whole slew of lights and a good camera.

When I’m taking pictures of my crafts or of flowers outside, nothing ruins the shot like glaring light. If you have the same problem, make a light diffuser for almost nothing!

Grab an opaque (not clear) shower curtain, some tape, and a wire coat hanger. Shape the open piece of the coat hanger in a circle. Cut a piece of shower curtain large enough to fit the whole with room for wrapping. Wrap the edges of your plastic circle around the wire and tape into place.

Next time you take photos, hold or prop the diffuser between your light source (the sun, a lamp, fluorescent light) and snap your picture.

Green House for Year-round Herbs

If you live in a cloudy or cold place, you probably can’t grow that many things in your window box. Expand your options by turning your window boxes into greenhouses! Make three large U shapes out of wire hangers and put the ends into the soil. Then drape clear plastic over the roof structure you just made. Tape down the plastic on one short side and one long side of your window box. Leave the other two open so you can plant, water, etc. Poke holes into the plastic for air. Now you can grow things in your window box year round.

Hang Anything Flat on the wall

I love hanging things I make on the wall, but unfortunately, not everything is made to hang. Easy enough, just take an appropriate length of clothes hanger wire, bend it slightly, and fasten the ends to the back of what you want to hang.

Frame for a homemade purse

I love making homemade purses. I get a secret joy when someone squeals, “Where did you get that?!” when they look at my handbag. Frames for handbags can be bought, or you can just use some wire cutters and pliers to shape your own!

Message Clips

Make messages fun with message clips. I hate paying for something that simple at the store, so I made mine. Grab some sculpey and make a cool shape, use a wooden block with a whole drilled in it, or any other small, bulky item you can put a wire into. Then take a small piece (3 or 4 inches should do) of wire from a clothes hanger. Grab an alligator clip and some jewelry wire. Put the squeezy end of the alligator clip against the hanger wire, then use the jewelry wire to wrap around both, securing your clip. Then put the other end of your wire into your wood block or sculpey treasure. Next time you need to leave a message, just write it down and clip it to your new message holder.

Potpourri Sachet for closet

I love herb and oil sachets in my dresser. I hate them in my closet, because I always lose them! So I take a wire hanger, some fabric, and a ribbon to fix the problem. Wrap the fabric around the hanger and stitch it around the coat hanger, leaving a bit open. Stitch a zipper into the opening (you’ll thank me later). Unzip the zipper and add herbs, potpourri, and essential oils. Make a neat little bow at the top with ribbon. Hang it in your closet.

When the scent runs out, don’t throw it out. Just unzip your sachet, empty it out, pull the fabric off and wash it. Slide it back on the hanger, refill, zip it up, and put it back into your closet!

Kitchen Organizer (holder for rubbish bags, zip lock bags, plastic wrap)

I had boxes of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, sandwich bags, and rubbish bags on my counter. The solution? I grabbed some coat hangers and got rid of that clutter. Take your first hanger and shape the open part into a long rectangle. Bend the end up to make a little shelf, then bend the tip into a lip so things don’t slide off. Cut the bottoms off several more coat hangers and shape them into very squared off U shapes. Twist the two top wires onto the bottom of your top hanger. Repeat this process so you have several shelves. Now just square off the hook on top and twist it back so it’ll go over the door. Use the little wire shelves to store boxes and anything else they’ll hold.

Instructables.com shows you how to make wire hanger fairy wings.

Main photo: Tom Maglieri, some rights reserved