Braided Wire Coat Hangers

Do you remember the old craft of braiding long strips to make a cover for a wire coat hanger?  The original material was Nylotex or Phentex, a stretchy, nylon material. I’m not sure if it is still available in stores, but it does turn up in thrift stores from time to time.  You could use long strips of material or even extra wide ribbon.  Old crafts are becoming popular again.

These instructions were shared by SusieQ on a crafting bulletin board and not my original pattern. I have adapted the wording a bit to make it more clear.   I hope you can figure it out. If you don’t get it the first time, keep trying, as it does get easier. Thanks to a visitor to my site I now know this pattern was originally published by Qualicraft.

braided covered coat hangers from http://www.craftygardener.ca

Materials:

-2 strips of material (let’s say pink and beige) — approximately 3 yards long each -wire coat hanger -patience as sometimes getting started takes a few tries

Directions:

Find the middle of the two strips and put them together as if making a cross. This is the centre that goes on the tip of the coat hanger. Put the tip of the coat hanger in the centre of the “cross”. You now have four strips of material –2 pink, 2 beige. Hint: I put the coat hanger between my knees when I do these. Arrange the 2 strips of one colour (pink)– on one side of the hanger – let’s say right side of the hanger and the beige strips are on the left side. Now look at the strips and place them between two fingers on each hand. You start with the top strip on one side. — let’s say beige — right side — it is the first one to go down underneath the wire, through the two white strips on the left side, up and over the wire and becomes the bottom beige strip on the right side.

    braided covered coat hangers from http://www.craftygardener.ca braided covered coat hangers from http://www.craftygardener.ca     

In the second photo above you can see the top beige one just being poked up between the 2 pink ones.

Now take the top pink strip — left side — go under the wire, through the 2 beige strips on the right side, over the wire — that becomes the bottom pink strip on the left. Go back to the top beige strip and go under the wire, through the 2 pink strips, over the wire and this one becomes the new bottom beige strip. Go to the top pink strip and do the same thing — and then this one becomes the new bottom pink strip. Continue “braiding” until you come to the neck of the wire — where the two pieces separate — just continue to braid separately. When you get all the way around — go up the neck of the coat hanger for a few braids and then tie off.

There is a print friendly version of this pattern here.

Magic Hangers

by shirleyt@craftsayings.com

Smooth for wrinkles you just traded

by using these hangers that are braided.

No more creases, no more crumples,

as magic hangers chase away rumples!

I have discovered a site that sells kits for covering coat hangers.  Stop by and visit Schnazzy Hangers.  The finished item has a slightly different pattern than the one I’m sharing and the kits have everything you need to cover two hangers and an instructional dvd.  You can buy refill kits also, and this just might be the solution to that hard to find Nylotex or Phentex needed for the braided coathangers. 

Other ideas for coat hangers

 crochet covered 1cloth coveredstoragecrochet overed 2braided on wire, braided on plastic

knit & crochet …. sewing & plastic canvas … patterns

Be sure to see how I changed up the pattern a bit and covered some plastic coat hangers.

Please share the link so others may visit.


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27 Responses to Braided Wire Coat Hangers
  1. Lynn Wheeless

    I remember making these covered hangers with my grandmother 30 years ago. I have been trying to find the Qualicraft Nylotex, so that I can cover some clothes hangers. Ebay has very limited selections. I remember that my grandmother used to order it and it come on cones of 25-30 feet. Do you know of any other websites or stores that sell it?

    My grandmother would put a small piece of mole skin on the tip of the clothes hanger, so that it would not poke a hole into the nylon.

    Thanks for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Lynn Wheeless

    • It is getting so hard to find now. There was a lady on Kijiji that sold it here in Canada, but I don’t even know if she is still doing that.

  2. Janice

    love your coat hanger designs, now where is my wardrobe!!

  3. Hannah

    I just found your site. I remember making these as a teenager–what fun! I’m wondering about doing this with a large group of girls and was searching around for the nylotec. Everywhere I go it lists amounts in pounds rather than yards. Any guesses as to how many pounds I’d need per hanger? Thanks so much!

  4. Jill Lyon

    Want to know where you can buy the stuff in Canada to make the braided hangers. I live in Pembroke. Thanks Jill

    • I’ve seen it in Value Village, but of course not on a regular basis. There used to be a lady selling it on Kijiji so perhaps a search on there would turn up a seller. The link I have on the post sells just the material and she will mail to Canada. If you check her site there is a button to click to sell to Canada via her etsy store.

  5. Hello Linda,
    Thank you for the pitch on my Schnazzy Hangers® business. I’m going to look into other ways to ship to Canada (other than the U.S.Postal Service.) It’s just so expensive.
    Karen

  6. Toni

    My grandmother and I made these more than 50 years ago. We used Aunt Lydia rug yarn, but did not cover the hook. I still have some of the hangars and still use them.

  7. Patricia Valiquette

    Hi
    I am so happy to have found these instructions again, I use to make these as a “spend time together project with my children” 30 yrs ago or so , Gee how time flies, now the are all grown up and have their own families. I had forgotten exactly how to twist the cords ( not having made these for many years you do forget) as we made tons of them we all had our own favourite colours for our closets I still have mine and also gave many back to my children for there uses, I had some of them come un sewed , and could not for the life of me,remember how it went, ( I had been taught by a neighbour so there where no written instructions then) but now I have saved these instructions in 2 places so they will never be lost again. I thank you very much for bringing back some plesent memories, and my grand girls might just be interested in doing some for there own closets
    Thank you and God bless
    Patricia ( St-Hubert Quebec == that is near to Montreal Quebec

    • Hi Patricia, thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. The trick now is to find the Phentex that was used to cover the hangers. It is getting harder and harder to find. Hope you stop by again.

  8. Patricia Valiquette

    Hi agin,
    As far as the Phentex , here we can get it from Walmarts, Hobby section, most of our Dollorama Stores, now $1.25, plus a few small Find odds and ends little marts in Montreal, the nylon ribbon strip material looks like old fashion slip and under garment material which can be bought at material shops, on there bargain tables or barrels in the back of there stores the only thing with this, is a little time to cut them into strips , but heh, there are those rainy days that we all have , Thank you for your response
    P.S. when II am out and have the time , I will get the address and phone #s the I will post them on your site
    Good luck to you and yours
    Patricia Valiquette

    • That would be great if you posted where the Phentex can be purchased, I will even add it to the actual post so others can read it. I live in Ontario and will be checking out our Walmart and Dollaramas. I’ve seen it at Value Village but it is usually expensive.

  9. Doris

    Hi,
    The pattern booklet for these braided hangers that my Mum has was put out under the name Qualicraft by the maker of Nylotex, ATL Products more than 30 years ago. The pattern booklet also contains the instructions for a woven rug and how to cover a lawn chair. The pattern suggests using a clothes pin to secure the material to the tip of the hanger when beginning to prevent the material from slipping off as well as labeling the material strips A & C (1st color) and B & D (2nd color) with masking tape. Your instructions are much clearer and less complicated than the Qualicraft pattern. I have some leftover Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn that I am going to use to cover some hangers and thought I would search to see if anyone was still making braided hangers and what they were using in place of the Nylotex. I discovered Crafty Gardener and saw you were wondering about the original pattern. Hope this is helpful.

    • Hi Doris, thanks so very much for letting me know about the original source for this pattern. I was able to do a Google search and find an etsy store that was selling it. I do remember the lawn chairs. I love the tip about using a clothes pin to hold the fabric onto the tip. Someone gave me a written copy of the pattern (not a copy of the original) and I tweaked it a bit more to make it easier to understand. I’m so glad you stopped by. Hope you visit again.

  10. Barbara

    I asked at our local craft store for Nylotec; they had a sales rep coming in that week. When I went back they had a product very similar put out by LION BRAND YARNS called FETTUCCINI. It is a bit stretchy. Hope this helps.

    • That is great news Barbara. Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m out shopping tomorrow so will check to see if it is available and what it actually looks like.

  11. Thanks for the instructions. I made these a number of years ago while camping. I still have Nylotex that I need to use up but had forgotten how to do the braiding. Thanks again.

  12. Deb Bertrand

    Thank you so much for your instructions! It must be 50 years ago that my mother taught me to do this. The other day I was at her house and found a bag of old Phentex in her basement. I washed it and have just finished braiding my first hanger in years! Thanks for the memories!

  13. Trisha

    Is it possible to use other fabric strips rather than Nylotex? Possibly strips of fleece since it wouldn’t unravel? I’d have to buy a 3 yard piece and cut it in strips, but the advantage would be it would be a padded hanger as well.

    • I did some with thicker types of yarn and they turned out great. I’m sure strips of fleece would work really well. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Mrs P

    I never saw hangers like this as a child, but do remember my Grandma knitting with Nylotex.
    I was looking for instructions to make these, after a very dear friend brought some with her camping. Her MIL had made them some 30 years ago!
    Unable to find nylotex in colours that I liked, I decided to try jersey yarn. This is a waste product from clothing manufacture, and can be bought online from Amazon, comes in loads of colours. It works really well.

  15. Thanks for these instructions. I had a 3/4 finished coat hanger from a friend’s mother. With these instructions, I was able to finish it. Now I can hang up some clothes. I saw on another site that they were using old nylons to do this.

  16. Bernie Trieber

    Do you sell the Nylotex To make the hangers or can you tell me where i could buy

    • Sorry, as I mentioned in my posts, the Nylotex is hard to find now and I have no idea where you would purchase it. It would also depend on where you live. You can try a search on the internet, thrift stores, charity shops, or Freecycle groups. Good luck in your search.

  17. Janet

    My great aunt taught us to make these more than 50 years ago. She used plastic lanyard type strips and they are very durable. I think you can probably still buy lanyard yarn but need to go check and get started!

    • Thanks for another alternative. I’ll check out various places to see if it is available. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

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