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15 Ways to Repurpose Wire Coat Hangers: Strange Ways to Save Money

By , November 3rd, 2011 | 4 Comments »

a crow nest made out of wire coat hangers
Unless you get your clothes dry cleaned, wire coat hangers are getting harder to find. Everyone seems to appreciate the plastic and wood models more these days and those are the hangers you’ll find in stores. I’ll bet, though, that you have a stash of old wire hangers in your closet. Wire hangers have a lot of uses besides just hanging clothes. Many of these uses can replace other commercially available products, saving you money. Rather than just tossing your old hangers, here are some other uses for them.

Snake a drain or toilet: If you don’t own a “real” snake for unclogging pipes, a straightened coat hanger can work just as well. Just work it around in the drain or toilet and you’ll probably dislodge whatever is causing the blockage.

Marshmallow/hot dog toasting stick: If you’re into camping, you can buy commercial toasting forks or just skewer your goodies on a straightened hanger. (Use unpainted hangers as you don’t want paint residue in your food.)

Crafts and school projects: Coat hangers are great for all kinds of crafts and school projects. You can use them for mobiles, wreaths, solar system models, dream catchers, Christmas ornaments, and many other creative uses.

Make a strainer: Bend the hanger into a circular shape and then stretch some old pantyhose across it. If you relax the pantyhose or use some netting, you can also create a minnow net or a butterfly catcher.

Open a car lock: Newer cars with electric locks are immune to coat hangers, but the button locks on older cars can be grabbed and lifted with a coat hanger slipped in through the window.

To fish wire through the walls: If you’re running wire in your house, you can use the coat hanger to fish it up through the walls without you having to gouge a huge hole in the wall to grab it.

Clean the hard to reach insides of a bird feeder: Most bird feeders get pretty funky after a few rains. The food clumps up in the openings. A coat hanger is great for removing the clumped up food from areas that you can’t reach any other way.

Use them in places other than the closet to hang supplies: Coat hangers don’t have to be used only in the closet. Use them in garages, basements, and utility rooms to hang and organize things like extension cords, tools, rags, or rope. You can also use them to hang things like bird feeders and plants outside.

Fish objects out from under furniture: A straightened coat hanger is a great way to fish out items that are dropped behind or under appliances or heavy furniture.

Repair or tie up any number of things: A coat hanger is nothing but a long piece of wire. Think of it as a great big twist tie. It can be used in almost any situation where you need to tie things together or hold something together. You can hold up a dragging muffler or make a temporary repair to a chain link fence. You can use it to hold a gate shut, or make a temporary latch for a cage door.

Make hooks: Take the wire, cut it to the length you need and then bend it into a hook. You can make “S” hooks easily and these can be used in many applications.

Make a bubble blower. Bend the hanger into a circular shape and then dip it in bubble solution. You can get some really big bubbles this way.

Costumes: Coat hangers make great frames for fairy wings, horns, tails, halos, or any other costume part that needs a frame.

In the garden: Use hangers as plant stakes or row markers. Bend pieces into the ground to “staple” a soaker hose in place. Use it to poke small holes in the ground for seed planting. Use it to draw out your garden plan in the dirt before you start planting. Wiggle it around dense plants to scare out any wildlife before you stick your hand in there. Use it to dislodge fruits and vegetables that are hard to reach.

Art and functional projects: If you’re artistic, there’s no limit to what you can do with old hangers. You’re only limited by your creativity. Crooked Brains has some pictures of what some super-creative people were able to do with their old hangers.

Unused coat hangers don’t have to just take up space in your closet. You can turn them into many different things and use them for all kinds of applications. You just have to be a little creative and think of the hanger as a big wire that can be used for almost anything.

Photo courtesy of pokoroto

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  • Tammy says:

    I am still trying to figure out what is in the picture. Is that a wire hanger bird nest? This is a great article. I have accumulated so many wire hangers from the dry cleaners I usually just through them away.

  • Jeffrey says:

    “I am still trying to figure out what is in the picture. Is that a wire hanger bird nest?”

    Yes, it is a crow’s nest. The crow found a unique way to repurpose the wire hangers.

  • david says:

    That wire hanger nest is great! I bet there are a lot of people with clotheslines wondering where all their hangers disappeared to.

  • Burn Face says:

    i got a burn across my face from roasting marsh mellows with coat hangers when i was young. my sisters marsh mellow caught fire and she was waving it around to blow it out and swung it right into the side of my face. metal holds heat.


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