28 July 2008

Tutorial: Crocheted Wire Hangers

Redux Designs is all about reusing things rather than throwing them out. Also, if you reuse something to keep from buying something new, you save resources AND money - a win-win situation! With this in mind, here is a tutorial for crocheting yarn around wire hangers to make them non-slip. I've had great luck with these for wide-neck tops as well as spaghetti straps and tank tops. It also greatly reduces the wire hanger pushing through knits that are hung. However, if you really need a padded hanger, these probably won't work. (If you are hanging heavy sweaters, no hanger is a good one - these should be folded and stored flat.)

Keep in mind that these are the basic instructions - feel free to play around with the yarn, the size crochet hook, and the stitch you use. Change things around and see which results you like the best.

For this project you will need:

Wire hangers like you get from the dry cleaner. We could have an entire discussion on the hazards of dry cleaning, but we'll save that for another time. If you don't dry clean, or have no wire hangers, ask around. Most people simply throw them away. I'll also add that if you have them, and regularly dry clean some clothes, most cleaners will let you bring them back and reuse them - and you could probably just take them back even if you aren't getting any clothes dry cleaned. I would, however, check first to make sure the hangers will be reused and not thrown away.

Leftover yarn - I use about 15 yards per hanger, but what you need will vary depending on the yarn, the size hook, and the stitch you use. Don't worry if you don't have enough - simply switch to a different yarn part way through. Don't have leftover yarn - ask anyone who knits or crochets for some leftover bits (and offer to make a hanger or two for them in return). Any type of yarn will work; thicker yarn will give you more padding. I'd pick something that you have excess of that is easy to work with. It can take a few minutes to get the hang of crocheting around the wire, so make sure the yarn isn't giving you problems as well. For this project I used leftover acrylic yarn.

Crochet hook - again, pick one you are comfortable with and see how it goes. Switch around to get the look you like best. I used a size G/6 (4,5 mm) crochet hook because of the type of yarn, and I also wanted a fairly tight stitch.

To begin:

Attach yarn to hook with a slipknot.

See - you now have the yarn attached to the crochet hook - and are ready to begin!!

Place hook, with yarn attached, in center of hanger with yarn going over the TOP of the wire. Reach UNDER the wire with the crochet hook and pull up. Two loops on crochet hook.

Next, reach hook over TOP of hanger wire and pick up yarn with hook and pull through FIRST loop on the hook ; two loops will then be on the crochet hook:

Again, reach hook behind top wire of hanger and pull up yarn and pull it through both loops on the crochet hook:

One stitch made

Basically, you reach to the FRONT of the wire to pull up first loop; then reach to the BACK to pull up yarn and go through first loop; reach to BACK again, pull up yarn and go through both oops on hanger. If you crochet, this is a single crochet stitch, but instead of pulling the yarn through the stitch on the previous row, you are doing it around the wire hanger.

Repeat around hanger to where two ends of wire are twisted together to begin the hanging hook.

You can end here by cutting the yarn and tying off. If you wish, you can continue in the same stitch around the hook (carefully work over area where wires are twisted). Work around hook almost to end. Cut yarn, leaving long tail, and pull through loop on hook. Take remaining yarn tail, wrap around end of wire hook and glue in place. I prefer to work around the hanging hook because I believe it gives a more finished look - although when I'm short on yarn and this is just for me, I won't!

There you have it – a crocheted wire hanger!

I hope the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and encourage you to re-use what you have on hand rather than throwing it away and buying new. If the instructions aren't clear, or you need further help, please leave me a comment - I'll work to make it better!!

Interested in these, but don't want to make them? Check out my Etsy listing for a set of these.

Edit: Thanks to Whip Up for including this tutorial in the Fourth Carnival of Green Crafts! And a special welcome to visitors who came here from Whip Up. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this tutorial.


brnh said...

Yay! My husband won't let me throw away his yucky wire hangers. This project will make a suitable compromise. Thanks!

Kate said...

Ok I just love this idea. I think that it is a great project for my girl scout troup after they learn to crochet. Thanks

Drew of Fairy Tale Fibers said...

Well written instructions Redux Designs! What a great way to give something of little value a greater use!
Yeah for Green Crafting!

BarkerBell Herbs and Heirlooms said...

Redux Designs,

What a great idea! Well written tutorial too. The instructions are easy to follow.

Ultratrixie is Sweetwolf.etsy.com said...

Oh I love these. My granny made tons of these for us over the years and they are still my favorite hangers. So bright and cheerful! She would tape 2 hangers together with masking tape before covering them to make them sturdier.
She even still made them after she went blind--it was one of the only things she could still do that made her happy.
Great tutorial!!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is such a great idea! I'll be linking to this!

Sunny Tuesday said...

No problem! I love your blog and look forward to keeping up with it in the future! :)

Anonymous said...

Has this ever been done with plastic hangers? I'm wondering if they would come out too bulky, but thought that it would need the bulkiness (is that a word?) for hanging pants and such without a crease....just wondering if this has ever been done...

Gladys said...

Anon - thanks for stopping by, and sorry for the delay in responding. I have not tried this on plastic hangers. I have a feeling it would be hard to crochet around them - that the yarn would slide around it very well. But....you never know! I'll have to give it a try and see what happens.

Another option if you are wanting a thicker padding might be to use some of the chunky yarn with a larger crochet hook and see what results you get with that.

sweetb said...

Thanks for this tutorial. Iwas very easy to follow. I am a new crochet/knitter and I have been whipping these up very easily. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

To have a thicker hanger how about wrapping plastic bags around the hanger then crocheting over it?
Thanks for the instructions! I have tons of hangers I need to do this with!

Bobbie said...

I just posted a link to this on my blog...thanks for a great tutorial

Anonymous said...

how do you clean them?

Suzette said...

Thank you very much for this helpful sight with crocheting the hangers. I have a lot of wire hangers and now I can make them pretty and reusable.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm trying to follow these directions right now and am completely lost after making the slip knot! A video would be more helpful for someone who knows nothing about crochet.
It's a great idea though. I might get it eventually.

Anonymous said...

I had looked at 3 ir 4 other tutorials for covering wire hangers but they didn't have any pictures and I'm one of those who has to see what is being done.
Your tutorial worked for me!!! Yeah!
Thanks for such a great tutorial.

Maru said...

I do not know this technique of tissue, but seeing that many of the Hanger factory in house holds have design in their products, should learn to do it

Wire Clothes Hangers said...

I liked your idea of reusing things rather than throwing them out. I love as you redesign the hanger by using yarn. Thaks for such a great idea!