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How to Recycle Wooden Hangers

Well-made wooden hangers will last a lifetime. They are one of those special things that people even take with them when they move from house to house. When you purchase wood hangers, you’re investing in quality accessories that are hard to throw away or leave behind when you no longer need them.

Because they rarely break, you can reuse and recycle them many ways. We’ve put together some practical and some crafty ways to reuse your wooden hangers if you need to downsize your collection.

You can either repurpose your hangers into something else that’s useful for a completely different use or simply turn the hangers into a work of art and keep using them as hangers.

6 Great Ways to Repurpose Wooden Hangers

  1. Magazine holder: Leave the hanger as-is or decorate it to match the surroundings. This is one of the simplest ways to creatively repurpose a lovely wooden hanger. A magazine holder is a throwback to the days when restaurants, bars and coffee shops hung a newspaper on a wooden dowel, secured it to the dowel down the middle with a metal clamp and hung it like a sheet on a clothesline. The newspaper would hang on a bigger rack with the other papers from around the world for customers to read. Hang your magazines the same way for a vintage, clubhouse feel in your home office or living room.
  2. Ribbon Storage: You can use hangers with pant-bars to store reels of ribbons that you use for craft projects or for gift wrapping. Hang the ribbons on the pant-bar that’s attached to the bottom ends of the wooden hanger. First, split the pant-bar in the middle by cutting out a small, ½ inch opening with a small hacksaw. Then simply slip the spools of ribbon onto the dowel. Use a thumbtack to attach a 2 inch-diameter cardboard circle to each open end to keep the ribbon-reels from slipping off. Easily unroll what you need from any spool and leave the rest on the hanger, neatly stored away in your craft closet.
  3. Hat rack: Find a wall that is wide enough to place three-to-five hangers end-to-end. The width of your hat rack depends upon how many hats you’d like to hang. You’ll need one hanger per hat that you can decorate or paint if you want. Use a level to mark a line on the wall where the center of the rack will be both horizontally and vertically. Attach the first hanger upside down (with metal hook facing out), to the wall using drywall screws. Then, place another hanger on each end, leaving about two inches and continuing as long as you’d like. On the row above, stagger the hangers so that the hook hangs in between the spaces of two hangers below it. then add a staggered row below and attach to the wall the same way.
  4. Jewelry storage: Keep necklaces, earrings and bracelets organized and tangle-free. Purchase a packet of small hooks at a craft or hardware store. Each one can hold one necklace or a pair of earrings. Purchase one for each piece of jewelry you’d like to hang. Then, simply drill a small pilot hole for the hook and screw it into the underside of the hanger at about two-inch intervals. Start first at the center where you can hang a second-tier hanger. Then, place hooks every two inches from either side of the center all the way down. Hang the hangers on the wall or keep them in your closet on one end. For this project, flat rather than curved wood hangers work best.
  5. Bird feeder: Hang string, picture wire or fish-line from each end of a wood hanger. Either drill a hole in the end or attach the string to the pant-rack. Attach plastic margarine tubs or small, metal cat food dishes to the wires at each end. Attach the hanger to a pole that is secured in the ground or to a garage wall near a window so you can stay inside and watch the birds from your window. If the hanger is too weathered in Spring, you can recycle the hook and any metal wire you used with metal recycling, the wood part can go with natural and organic recycling and you can put the margarine tins in with plastic recycling.
  6. Inspiration board: This idea works with both the curved hangers and the flat hangers. Purchase some display wire that has clips integrated into the picture wire, from a framing or craft shop. Attach eye-hooks to the underside of a wood hanger and attach the wire to the hooks. Cut the wire as long as you’d like. Clip recipes, photos, note cards or business cards to the wire after attaching the hanger to the wall like a bulletin board, so that everything you’re saving is handy and where you’d like it.

Redecorate or Cover Your Hangers to Continue Using Them

Paint or decorate the hangers for you for the kids’ closets. If you want to keep using the hangers as hangers, but simply want to spice them up a bit, you have a lot of options. You can make a kids’ project out of decorating them too.

Let the kids paint or decorate the hangers or decorate them as inspiration for them to hang up their clothes. Or you can make a game out of cleaning with the hangers. Ask a child to pick a hanger for each day of the week and hang up his uniform or winter coat. Teach the child colors, numbers or the days of the week with painted hangers. Make one “more special” as an incentive for a job well-done.

  • Paint each hanger a series of different pastel or primary colors that the child loves.
  • Choose a color for each child’s room or decorate them with a matching theme.
  • Cut up your favorite wrapping paper, leftover greeting cards or designer paper into small squares or random shapes and apply them to the hanger with a decoupage paste from a craft store.
  • For a 1950s look, crochet around the hanger to add extra padding and protection when hanging delicate clothes, then decorate with non-snag ribbons or yarn.
  • Another great vintage idea is to trace the hanger shape onto felt and cut out a pattern that you can hand stitch together. Get a felt color for each season, cut out appropriate shapes like pumpkins, pine trees or snowmen, and glue or hand stitch them onto the felt-covered hanger with sequins. You’ll have a festive and welcoming closet full of hangers when your guests arrive for seasonal events at your home.

Be Creative in Recycling Your Wooden Hangers

A quick Google search for how to reuse wood hangers, will yield a variety of other options with photos and detailed assembly instructions. These beautiful wood hangers are sturdy and will continue to remain useful for many years to come. You can make them even more special by adding your own creative touch.

Have any questions about this? Curious to know how you can get your hands on more wooden hangers to expand your creative projects? Get in touch with us today!