Wire coat or clothes hangers seem to accumulate around the house, yet you don't have to throw them away if you want to find another use for them. Use them in craft projects and around the house to keep coat hangers out of the landfill and in use as other helpful things.
A wire coat hanger makes an excellent frame for a decorative wreath, made as a home decor accent or as a gift. Leave the hook on the hanger and bend the rest of the hanger into a circle or heart shape. You can now make a wreath in several different ways. You can make a tied fabric wreath by cutting many small rectangles of fabric, folding them into strips, and tying them around the hanger frame. Finish it off with a matching painted wooden decoration, some artificial flowers or a charm hanging from the middle. Another approach is to use floral wire to fasten artificial or real flowers, twigs, evergreen stems or berry bunches to the hanger frame, overlapping stems so the end result is a nature-inspired covered wreath. Use the hook as a hanger for the wreath by leaving it as it is or bending it backwards to hide it under the wreath.
Two wire coat hangers can be the bones of costume wings or decorative butterflies. To make fairy wings a child can wear, bend the two hangers into B shapes and encase the frames in sheer fabric like tulle. Glue or sew on ribbons, beads and glitter to decorate, and use the two hanger hooks to hook together at the back or cut them off and twist the end wires together if desired. You can add elastic strips to the back as well to secure it as part of a costume. You can also make tissue paper butterflies to decorate a party, room or classroom with two hangers. Bend the hook part of the hanger toward its main triangular shape. Coat everything but the hooks with a thin layer of white glue. Carefully sandwich the hanger between two pieces of white or coloured tissue paper and press the paper onto the frame like a wing. You can decorate the tissue paper ahead of time for different looks. Then, use coordinating pipe cleaners to wire the two necks of the hooks together, and unbend the hooks slightly so they are more like antennae. Wrap more pipe cleaners in the middle if you want a thicker butterfly body and extend it past the necks of the hangers if you like.
Clothes hangers can also become several handy items around the house instead of being tossed out. For instance, you can make a flowerpot hanger from a wire clothes hanger. Straighten out the triangular part of the hanger into a circle, and place it around the lip of a flowerpot that is smaller than the circle. Just hold one side of the hanger against the pot and pinch the other side at the right size to hold the pot firmly. Twist the remaining hanger on itself to secure the holder and hang from the hook. The same technique can create a paint can holder or a tool holder. Or, if you have children around, make giant bubble wands by stretching wire hangers into shapes like a heart, star, triangle and circle, then let them blow huge bubbles outdoors by swooping the hangers through the air. These work well twisted around wooden dowels to help kids hold the bubble wands better.
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