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As part of my recent bedroom makeover, I thoroughly organized the small walk-in closet that Dave and I share. Once I had donated a couple bags of unwanted clothes and rearranged a bit, it looked pretty respectable. The one detail that it lacked to be truly beautiful was a new set of matching wooden hangers.
Before, mine were all the plastic and metal rotating hangers that you see at clothing stores. Dave’s were mostly dry-cleaning hangers, with a couple nice wooden ones for his work suits. All of the hangers were functional. I had several with those foam non-slip covers for my tank, wide-neck, or silk tops. Dave had a line-up of cardboard-wrapped wire hangers that were sturdy enough to hold his trousers and suits without bending. But, despite being useful, all the hangers were just ugly. No amount of clothing color-coordination would change that!
I decided to follow the advice Stephanie offered years ago and replace all of our hangers with the simple, inexpensive wooden variety. The simple change would make the closet look and feel new and fresh, but I didn’t want to loose the specific functionality of our non-slip and suit hangers. So, I came up with a couple really simple DIY projects to create non-slip and suit hangers with basic wooden hangers and just a couple other supplies.
To turn basic wooden hangers (or any other type, really) into non-slip hangers, all you need is some rubber cement! The adhesive dries just slightly tacky, like rubber, so the clothing will not slip off the edges of the hanger. And my favorite part is that it doesn’t change the look of the hanger at all! The non-slip hangers look as clean an gorgeous as those without the coating.
I brushed a thin layer of the rubber cement onto several hangers, covering up about 3-4″ from the shoulder edge, then hung them up to dry. After 24 hours they are ready to go to work keeping clothing in place! And, if you ever want to reverse the treatment, simply peel gently and the rubber cement will come right off.
It is so wonderful to have some of my favorite tops stay on the hangers as they should, even when they are wedged onto the small hanging bar in my closet. Especially for lightweight tanks (like this handmade one), and other wide-necked tops and dresses, these simple non-slip yet still stylish hangers are a great solution to keeping the closet a beautiful and functional space.
The other type of hanger that I created is called a suit hanger, but really it’s just modification to add a strip of elastic that allows folded clothing to stay put in the center of the hanging bar, rather than slip-sliding down to one of the corners. Dave needs these for all of his trousers and suit pants, and I use them for my more delicate skirts that shouldn’t be clamped with a skirt hanger (like this vintage velvet pencil, and my corduroy kelly skirt). It would also be perfect for sweaters and linens that you might dry clean.
For this project you’ll need a wooden hanger, two upholstery tacks, a hammer, and about 12″ of button hole elastic.
First, fold the end of the elastic under about 1/2″, then hold the hanger flat on a hard surface and use the upholstery tack to hammer it into one corner of the hanger. Turn the hanger over, and hammer the other upholstery tack about 3/4 of the way down into the opposite corner. Make sure to leave about 1/8″ of space so that you can loop a buttonhole onto the tack. Pull the elastic pretty tight to figure out which buttonhole you’ll be using. You’ll want to be able to put one finger under the elastic, to leave room for the clothes. Cut the elastic off, leaving one additional button hole, just in case.
The elastic should be looping from one corner, over the bar, and threading onto the tack on the back side of the hanger. This diagonal stretch will hold the folded clothing in place without sacrificing style.
Now, even with matching hangers, we are able to keep all of the functionality of a whole variety of hangers. It’s also really nice to have all of our investments (of money and time shopping, making, or washing) for our clothing pay off because we are able to take good care of them.
It’s also pretty cool to use really simple projects to improve our life by creating a more beautiful and functional space in our home. Our clean, updated bedroom needed a clean and updated closet. And I may have a couple extra hangers that are just waiting for the perfect new items to come along for Spring!