One of the most popular posts on my site is the one for braided coat hangers … an old craft that is becoming popular again. I have a pattern available to print that is my version of a pattern shared with me many years ago on a crafting bulletin board. I never knew where the original pattern came from until a little while ago when a visitor to my site let me know it was originally by Qualicraft.
I did a search and found someone selling that pattern booklet on etsy … and better still this seller was in Canada. Of course I had to have the pattern and cliceked to purchase it right away. The leaflet also includes patterns for slippers, a placemat and a covering for a lawn chair.
I think the re-written version of the pattern that I adapted from someone else is much easier to follow than the original (below).
You use Phentex or Nylotex material strips. Now these are almost impossible to find, though you can pay a small fortune for some on Ebay. I’ve still got a stash of some in limited colours and amounts. Good places to find this are in thrift stores and by asking of Freecycle groups or on Kijiji.
Originally you covered wire coat hangers, which were plentiful quite a few years ago. But these are getting harder and harder to find. So I thought I would tweak the pattern again and cover a plastic hanger. This time I wasn’t going to cover the main hook of the hanger and I also had to work around some little hooks for looping clothing on. But I was up for the challenge and you will be too if you decide to try this.
I cut the long strips of material, found the middle and put them around the base of the hook on the hanger, the same colours on each side. Then I decided to knot them in place as nylon on plastic sure can be slippery. You will notice in the photo above I used different colours and that is because I realized the beige one was too short (it was already cut) but I’d already taken the photo. But it is just to give you an idea how to start off. It was hard to hold the strips, focus the camera and get a good shot, so I decided to just leave it that way.
The collage has a close up of the small hook, the start of the braiding, how the strips look while braiding, and the finish of the braiding. At the end I wrapped the material around a couple of times and then stitched it into place. I have wire hangers I did years ago and the knots used to finish it off have started to come undone.
Here is a hint that might work for you if you have to stop the braiding part way through. The nylon strips slip so easily and you can quickly lose track of what you were doing. Put one of the big clips (used for holding paper) right over the spot where you are stopping and it keeps the strips or yarn in place till you are ready to return.
… a new look to an old craft …
It looks great when finished off and I think it is better than the wire hangers as you have the added hooks that they don’t have and it is more sturdy than wire ones.
And then I got to thinking … it is hard to find these nylon strips now so why not use up some chunky yarn I had left over from other projects.
And I came up with this yarn covered braided hanger.
It is lovely and soft and will be perfect for those delicate clothing items. This yarn was Patons Bohemian. You need to make the strips a bit longer as it braids tighter than the material strips.
There is a print friendly version of the pattern here.
If you have been trying to find the Phentex or Nylotex material you know it is nearly impossible to find. But here are some solutions that I found while browsing the yarn department.
A visitor to my site also recommended a Lion Brand yarn called Fettuccini. This is a yarn made from remnants of material. But these specialty yarns can be expensive. You could also try ribbon. If you really want to make these covered coat hangers you will surely come up with a substitute.
Other ideas for coat hangers
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