Reuse old wire hangers by remaking them into more useful items, such as padded clothes hangers, shoe hangers, or coat racks. Wire hangers can also be useful with household tasks like snaking clogged drains, running cable wires behind drywall, and skimming debris off a backyard pool. You can also use old hangers to do crafts and kids’ activities like making decorative wreaths, blowing bubbles, and roasting marshmallows or hot dogs.
EditUsing Wire Hangers
- Make a drain snake. Carefully untwist the top of a wire hanger with pliers. Press and fold the wire hook to make it tight enough to fit down the drain. Use this handmade snake to remove gunk and hair from clogged drains.
- Use a wire hanger to run cable behind a wall. Unwind a wire hanger using pliers until it is straight, then loop one end around the end of your cable wire to hold it. Drill a series of small holes into the wall to reach behind the drywall. Snake the wire hanger and cable through until it reaches its destination.
- Make a pool skimmer. Use pliers to untwist the wire, then reform it into a circle. To make a small skimmer, leave one third of the length of the wire as a handle, or attach a separate, stretch out hanger as a handle to make a larger one. Stretch one leg of an old pair of pantyhose over the circle and tie it firmly to make the net of the pool slimmer.
EditMaking New Household Items
- Sew padded clothes hangers. Upgrade old wire hangers by making padded clothes hangers. Measure the outline of the body of a wire hanger and cut two pieces of silky material slightly larger than that. Sew the two pieces together, leaving an opening at the top, and slide the hanger inside. Stuff the inside of the material with loose cotton or pieces of foam, and sew the opening shut.
- Make shoe hangers. Use wire clippers to cut the bottom part of the hanger in half. Bend the two bottom halves of wire down to narrow the shape (approximately 3-4 inches, or 7-10 cm, apart). Twist each wire end upwards to meet the bottom of the hanger hook, and twist the ends into a circular shape to cover the sharp points.
- Place shoes, toe-side up, over each circular part of the hanger to hang them easily in your closet.
- Build a coat rack. Start with a finished piece of wood and attach 3 to 6 screws to the board, depending on its size and your preferences, halfway in and evenly spaced. Cut the same number of wire hooks from old coat hangers using wire cutters. Using pliers, twist the end of each hook around a screw until it is firmly attached.
- If you wish to paint or decorate the coat rack, do so before attaching the hooks to make things easier.
- Be sure to attach the coat rack firmly to the wall before hanging anything on it.
- Re-purpose hangers around the house. You can reuse wire hangers without making any modifications to them by rethinking their purpose. By hanging a hanger off a bathroom door cabinet, for instance, you can make a simple magazine or newspaper holder. You can also hang up hangers on the wall to hold a collection of eyeglasses, scarves, ties, bras, or other accessories.
EditUsing Them for Crafts and Children’s Activities
- Make a decorative wreath. Re-purpose an old wire hanger by using colorful tissue paper. Use pliers to untwist the hanger and shape it into a circle. Thread 6″ x 1 1/4″ (approximately 3-15 cm) pieces of tissue paper onto the wire (alternating colors, if desired) until it is full, then twist together the ends of the wire to make a circular wreath.
- For more volume, thread the pieces of tissue paper in alternating directions and crumpled them beforehand.
- Make a large bubble wand. Using pliers, stretch out a hanger to make a large loop with a handle. Fill a basin with a mixture of two parts water and one part dish washing liquid. Dip the wire bubble wand in the soapy water and wave it gently in the air to create large bubbles.
- Make a stick to roast marshmallows or hot dogs. Make an old wire hanger into a camping accessory by reshaping it with pliers. Untwist and straighten the hanger completely. Bend the wire approximately 5 inches (or 25-26 cm) from one end and double it over to create a handle. If you wish to make the handle more comfortable to grip, wrap it with something like handlebar tape (available at bike shops, or online).