An Easy DIY Upgrade for Dry Cleaner Wire Hangers


I remember a friend in high school making fun of her mother for reusing tinfoil and thinking to myself, “What a good idea.” I grew up in New England and Yankee thriftiness is part of my DNA—which perhaps explains my love of doctored everyday objects. I collect white cotton pillowcases that Depression-era brides embroidered modestly on the edges. I love suitcases that someone long ago improved with travel decals. And one of my favorite Remodelista posts is Justine’s DIY closet makeover in which she wrapped her wire clothes hangers in a layer of muslin to keep the clothes from slipping; see $10 and a Day.

On a recent brief stay in Madrid,  I was excited to see the same hanger technique in use at two of the city’s chicest shops. So before you toss those skinny metal dry cleaner hangers, take a look at what you can turn them into with a bit of scrap fabric. Here, three ways to wrap and elevate them.

1. All-White Hangers à la Justine

Made from cotton muslin hand-cut in half-inch-wide, yard-long strips, Justine&#8
Above: Made from cotton muslin hand-cut in half-inch-wide, yard-long strips, Justine’s hangers have a ballet ribbon-like elegance.
Starting at the neck, the wrapped muslin is simply double knotted in place. Justine points out, &#8
Above: Starting at the neck, the wrapped muslin is simply double knotted in place. Justine points out, “This project is all about recycling: an old sheet, pillowcase, or even a worn T-shirt will do.” Good fabric shears also come in handy. For detailed instructions, go to Justine’s DIY Closet Makeover.

2. Pez Madrid’s Patterned Approach

Pez (which means &#8
Above: Pez (which means “Fish”) has two locations in lively Malasana: one devoted to fashion and a newer outpost showcasing household design. At the former, owners Beatriz Mezquriz and Patricia de Salas create cloth-covered hangers several times a year to go with their seasonal palettes. Shown here: “The ice cream colors of spring-summer.”
Beatriz and Patricia buy remnants at the fabric and sewing stores near Madrid&#8
Above: Beatriz and Patricia buy remnants at the fabric and sewing stores near Madrid’s Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. “Many of these shops have leftovers that they sell at a good price. It’s hard to tell when they date from; some look like they’re from the eighties, some older than that. For wrapping hangers, what’s important is that the fabrics have small patterns, so that you can appreciate them in such a thin stripe.”
The fabric is hand-cut in long, two-centimeter-wide strips and secured to the neck of the hanger with a few stitches: &#8
Above: The fabric is hand-cut in long, two-centimeter-wide strips and secured to the neck of the hanger with a few stitches: “We sew the fabric at the top, wrap it around the hanger, and sew it again at the neck making a triangle. If we run out of fabric, we stitch another length to the end of the first, and try to hide it.”
A tip from our book, Remodelista: The Organized Home: &#8
Above: A tip from our book, Remodelista: The Organized Home: “Use matching hangers. You’ll fit more in and your closet will look much tidier.” (For more secrets to an organized closet, see pages 98-121.)

3. String-Wrapped Hangers at Do Design

Artist Lucia Ruiz-Rivas neatly winds twine around the hangers at Do Design, her concept shop and cafe in downtown Madrid&#8
Above: Artist Lucia Ruiz-Rivas neatly winds twine around the hangers at Do Design, her concept shop and cafe in downtown Madrid’s Chueca neighborhood. Note that while the other DIYers leave the wire hook exposed, Lucia wraps the whole hanger. She uses a variety of string—”the stiffer, the better”—including hemp twine (shown here) and Do’s Red and White Cotton Packing String.
Lucia uses a little piece of masking tape to secure the twine at the tip of the hanger, then tightly rolls her way around.
Above: Lucia uses a little piece of masking tape to secure the twine at the tip of the hanger, then tightly rolls her way around.
Lucia ties off the cord at the neck of the hanger with a simple knot. &#8
Above: Lucia ties off the cord at the neck of the hanger with a simple knot. “You can’t know how much twine you’ll need,” she notes, “so instead of cutting a length, it’s best to use the whole roll and go with it until the end.”

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published on The Organized Home on June 6, 2018.

Take a look at 10 more Display-Worthy Clothes Hangers.

We’ve got plenty of closet organization ideas too, including:



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How 9 Closet Organization Ideas Make a Calm Home


From organizing shoes to arranging the kids’ toys, here are ways to stay tidy

Closet organization for clothes is an accomplishment that gets any day off to a great start. Smaller closets can be combined to make one large one or another look at a floor plan may reveal extra square footage that becomes built-in storage. In entryways, kids’ rooms, or master bedrooms, clutter can be tamed and customized to the way you live.

Check out these homeowners who came to Sweeten, a renovation platform which connected them to vetted general contractors, and plotted out their visions for organization. (One couple even took advantage of a structural column.) Get ready, you might get bit by the “tidy” bug too.

bedroom closetWith a handful of design courses under his belt, Toby put his passion for design to good use during his home renovation. He had given away the square footage of his bedroom closet to his bathroom located in the next room. To make up for this, he designed and built a new full-length closet for clothes and shoes with sliding doors. The built-in also hid a dresser and tv.

Kensington, renovation, closetStorage was a big factor in Barbra and Sean’s apartment renovation. Closets went into one of the kids’ rooms, the entryway, and the master bedroom (pictured above), where their contractor suggested combining two smaller units into a single large one with a custom organization system. “There’s a lot more functional space now,” Barbra said. “I even have some half-way empty dresser drawers. I wish I had done all the closets. Someday!”

Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, renovation, nursery closetThis Brooklyn homeowner chose a neutral palette for her son’s room; the better choice as a backdrop for all of his colorful toys. Even toy closets can offer a visual respite and functional organization. “Building out the closets was essential to allowing us to settle in properly, and I’m glad we didn’t wait to do this (which was the original plan),” said the homeowner.

closet renovation ideas, custom closets, storage solutions, organization

The standard closet build doesn’t give a lot of thought to shoe storage, so if you’re really into footwear, you’ll be faced with the problem of where to store them all. With 87 pairs of shoes in need of storage, Matthew had a custom closet designed with pull-out drawers sporting a pop of orange. The drawers were each sized to his size 9 shoes and hidden behind a sleek panel door.

shoe closetAfter Zoe and Arvid broke through the wall between the two apartments they were combining, an immovable column was discovered. Making the best of the situation, the couple built a hidden shoe closet that blended in with the structural element. Their contractor added baseboards, painted it a design-forward hue, and fitted it out with push-open door hinges.

closet organizationWith two active little boys in an 800-square-foot junior one-bedroom co-op, Courtney and Jim’s main goal was to create more storage in their sons’ room. To keep their toys, sports items, and musical instruments from spilling into the common living areas, a thoughtful organizational system was designed in the existing closet. Their contractor, however, was able to find space for a second closet in their room without sacrificing floor space.

closet renovation ideas, custom closets, storage solutions, organization

A layout change that resulted in opening the kitchen to the living room gave Marissa and Cody the opportunity to demolish the three narrow closets in the main living area and build two larger ones. By taking down the walls between the closets, the couple was able to increase their storage by making use of what was previously dead space between the walls.

closet renovation ideas, custom closets, storage solutions, organization

Michael and Chenta decided to overhaul the existing closet in their bedroom. They had a large closet built with simple, oak doors and added a floating wall in front of it. The wall separated their closet from the rest of the bedroom, giving it the feeling of a walk-in closet while still allowing the space between the wall and the closet to be used as a walkway.

home renovation, closet renovation, built-in closets, organization

It’s hard to believe Maggie and Adam’s bedroom closets aren’t custom. For a made-to-order look, they had their contractor frame IKEA modules and installed LED lighting with motion sensors so the lights would turn on when the doors opened. The brass hardware gave a final refined touch, plus ties in with the hardware elsewhere in the home.

Looking to add more storage to your home? In the kitchen, a pantry will keep things under control, while a vanity in the bath is great for corraling toiletries and other necessities.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.



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