You can use old wire coat hangers to make a variety of craft projects. Turn wire coat hangers into holiday wreaths and ornaments. Use wire coat hangers to make mobiles, articulated signs or decorative models and sculptures. Create costumes using wire coat hangers: angel halos, fairy wings and crazy hats. To bend and shape your hangers, you'll need a pair of pliers and some sturdy wire cutters.
Cover a wire hanger with ribbon or other fabrics. Sew or glue a length of ribbon (twice as long as your hanger) into a tube and slip it over your hanger. Twist the hanger back together. Make a second, smaller tube to cover the hook. You can use stuffing and larger pieces of fabric to make a padded hanger; add dried lavender or potpourri to the stuffing for fragrance. Finish with a bow.
Wire Hanger Wings
Shape wings from the looped parts of wire coat hangers. Straighten the hooks and twist or duct-tape them securely together in between the two wings. Cover the wings by stretching pantyhose over them and stitching it firmly in the middle. Choose pastel pantyhose for fairies, white for angels and red or black for a devil outfit. Decorate with glitter, feathers or tinsel. Make a harness, so you can wear the wings on your back.
Recycled Hanger Yarn Pets
Bend a wire animal "skeleton" from one or more coat hangers. Cover this with bundles or pom-poms of yarn to make the body give the impression of fur. Add button eyes, a felt tongue or ears, and a ribbon with a bow for a collar. Remember that yarn pets are ornaments, not toys--the hangers are dangerous for small children.
Twist six coat hangers into a cone shape to make a cone shape, then cover with green tinsel garlands and tiny ornaments to make a mini Christmas tree for your table. Alternatively, use black or dark-colored garlands and moons or stars cut from shiny paper to make a wizard's hat table decoration for Halloween.
Holiday Wreaths and Ornaments
Make a wreath by bending a wire hanger into a circle and covering with green tinsel or crepe paper, seasonal foliage, LED fairy lights and festive ribbons. Make an advent decoration by forming a cross shape out of two wire hangers with the hooks in the center. Wrap the hangers in tinsel and attach a flameless electric candle ornament at each corner. Light one candle each week of Advent so that you light all four on Christmas Day.
Mobiles and Signs
Make mobiles by cutting sections of wire coat hanger, bending loops in the ends, and hanging small toys or paper models from the loops. Make an articulated sign by painting your message on sections of wood, hardboard or thick cardboard. Drill or punch holes in each section and connect them together with loops of coat hanger wire.
Twist one or more coat hangers into the outline of a hat. Cover with pantyhose stretched over the wire outline. Fix the pantyhose and wire shape to a cardboard brim, or attach a brim made from another wire hanger and more pantyhose fabric. For an even crazier look, make hats in abstract shapes or cover with tinfoil.
Clare Edwards has been providing Internet content since 1998. She has written and translated for a variety of markets: everything from technical articles to short fiction and essays on alternative spirituality. She holds a certificate of higher education in electronics and audio arts from Middlesex University.