1. Create a Cat Toy:
Coat hanger gauge wire is semi-thick, which means it is flexible yet strong. If your cat is bored, consider straightening out a wire coat hanger, tying some string to one end and fastening a bit of cloth or bunch of feathers to the other end of the strong. This will make a toy your cat will love. Don’t spend money on a new pet toy that your animal will likely get bored with anyways. Total savings: $2 – $12.
2. Stop Caulk Ooze:
To prevent caulk from oozing out of the tube once your job is done, simple cut a small bit off a coat hanger (3 or 4) inches. Fold one end into a hook and put the straight end into a tube. The coat hanger wire will block the air from reaching the caulk and prevent the remaining caulk in the tube from hardening. Don’t buy another tube of caulk – just preserve the old one when you are a done. Total savings: $4 – $9.
3. Secure a Soldering Iron:
If you are the artistic or do it yourself type, you’ve probably used a hot soldering iron. A loose hot soldering iron is fire hazards and burn risk, so if you are using one you’ll want to secure it. Just twist a wire coat hanger into a holder for the iron to rest on. The make the holder just bend an ordinary coat hanger in half to form a V, then bend each piece in half, so that it is shaped like a W. Then put the coat hanger in the middle. Don’t buy a soldering iron holder. Savings: $4 – $5.
4. Unclog Toilets and Vacuum Cleaners:
If your toilet is clogged by a foreign object, consider bending a wire hanger, adding a hook at one end and a handle at the other. Fish the object out. Use a straightened hanger to unclog a jammed vacuum cleaner hose. You can also use a coat hanger to retrieve earrings or other jewelry that may have fallen down the sink. Don’t buy an expensive toilet snake. Total savings: $26 – $28.
5. Extend your Reach:
Children and pets are forever throwing things into hard to reach spots. One way around this is to fashion a wire coat hanger into a hook. You can use the hangar to reach back into hard to find places such as behind radiators, under heavy couches or behind vertical opening windows. Don’t buy any funky plastic reach extenders or pick up tools. Total savings: $18 – $20.
6. Make A Giant Bubble Wand and Bubble Solution:
This a favorite. What you do is bend your wire hanger in a big hoop with a handle. Then dip it into a pan filled with a soap and water solution. You make the solution by mixing 6 cups of water and 1 cup of dish soap into the water. Slowly stir it until the soap is mixed in – try not let the bubbles form. Add in 1/4 cup of corn syrup and a few drops of food coloring. Continue stirring. Your kids will love blowing and chasing the bubbles. Warning – this is an outdoor activity – the bubble solution will make a mess if used indoors. Don’t buy a kids bubble mower or fancy bubble wand, do it yourself at home. Total savings: $7 – $20.
7. Create Arts and Crafts Projects:
Among the uses for wire coat hangers is arts and crafts. You can use the hangers to make mobiles for children’s rooms, or use the wires to create wings, swords or other accessories for children’s costumes. Don’t buy expensive costume parts or children’s mobiles – make them yourself. Total savings: $15 – $20.
8. Support A Feeble Plant:
Feeble or damaged plants with limp stems can lean on a trellis made by an unwound hanger inserted into the dirt. No need to buy an expensive trellis for your houseplants. Savings $16 – $26.
9. Make A Patio Green House:
You may have a porch flowerbed or other small plant that requires shelter during rough weather. What you can do is twist some wire coat hangers and use them and some wood as frame for the greenhouse. Then wrap the frame with some heavy clear plastic. Try to use a single sheet if possible. No need to buy a cheap set of green house shelves. Total savings $28 – $40.
10. Hang a Plant:
No need to go the store to get expensive plant hangers. Just wrap a straightened wire coat hanger around the lip of a 6 to 8 inch flowerpot and fold it over itself. Twist the top and attach it t your hook. No need to buy an ugly macrame pot hanger. Total savings: $8 – $12.
11. Make Plant Markers:
To make some weatherproof plant markers, cut a few squares out of a plastic milk jug, write the name of the plant on the jug and use a length of coat hanger to mount the sign. Be sure to use permanent ink on the marker. Don’t buy plant markers, make your own. Savings $2 – $17.
12. Make a Paint Can Hanger:
If you are up on a ladder painting your place, you often need a secure way to hold your paint can. The thing to do is cut off the hook part and about an inch or so from a wire hanger. Use some pliers to twist the 1 inch section firmly around the handle of the paint. Now you can hang the paint can on the ladder, leaving both hands free for safety and work. Don’t buy paint hooks, make your own. Savings: $3 – $14.
13. Light a Pilot Light:
Pilot lights on large boilers can be a pain to access. Don’t risk a burn. Just tape a match to one end of a coat hanger and use that to ignite the pilot lights.
14. Break Into a Car:
Older cars with non-electronic systems can sometimes be accessed using a coat hanger. What you do is bend the coat hanger into a bow shape with a hook at one end suitable for grabbing the door lock and opening it. Force the hanger through the opening between the glass and the rubber weather sealing at the end of the glass. Grab the lock with the end of the hanger. This will likely take several tries and you’ll probably need to adjust the angle of the bow to reach the lock. Do be sure that you have your identification in case someone mistakes you for a criminal. Don’t call a locksmith. Total savings: $150 – $200.
15. Make Barbecue / Camp Skewers:
Untwist the top of a few wire coat hangars, stretch the hangar out so that it forms a long rod. Then remove enough of the paint or veneer from the coat hangar so that the underlying metal is exposed – you don’t want to contaminate your food with plastic or chemicals. Using sandpaper is a good method for this. Then simply use the hangar to grill your food. No need to buy grilling skewers. Total savings: $4 – $16.
16. Repurpose to Hold Sandals:
Its pretty easy to grab a pair of pliers and re-purpose your hangars into holders for flip flops. Just use your pliers to cut away the bottom portion of the hanger and twist the two remaining arms in a nice curly Q shape. Then just hang your flip flops on the hangar and you’re done.
17. Organize Your Cables:
Modern homes are full of electronics. Over time you’ll likely accumulate dozens of extraneous cables. Other than using toilet paper tubes or throwing them in desk drawer, you can easily organize your cables by wrapping one end of the cable around a wire coat hanger with a half hitch and letting the other end dangle, coiling cables that are extra long. The cords won’t tangle and it’s easy to spot what you need. No need to buy a mountable cord organizer. Savings: $8 – $17.
18. Make a Flyswatter:
One of the many money saving uses for wire coat hangers is making a do it yourself (DIY) fly swatter. Simply bend the wire coat hanger in the shape of a long handle with a wide end suitable for the plastic mesh end of the swatter. Next step, wrap a layer or two of duct tape around the end and cut a number of small holes in it to form the mesh. Then wrap a layer of duct tape around the handle to improve the grip. Viola, you’ve got yourself a flyswatter. No need to buy one commercially. Total savings: $3 – $5.
19. Firearms Cleaning Rod:
If you are a firearms enthusiast, and are stuck without a cleaning rod next time you are cleaning up your rifle, consider grabbing a coat hanger and using it a push rod. You can easily use it to ram a cleaning wad through the barrel if your rifle or pistol. No need to drop everything and run to the store to get a cleaning rod. Savings: $15 – $20.
20. Tent/Inflatables Anchor Peg:
If you have inflatable holiday decoration in your yard, you’ll want to anchor them into the ground firmly. Just cut several 18 inch lengths of wire coat hanger, and fold the top part into a hook or an L shape – similar to a tent stake. Anchor your inflatable to the ground using this stake and tie it off as if it were a tent. Don’t buy special stakes. Total savings: $3 – $14.
For more on this check out 15 Ways to Repurpose Wire Coat Hangers.
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Photo courtesy of Andrew Gustar