Poor wire hangers. They were just minding their business, trying to keep everybody's dry cleaning organized, when "Mommie Dearest" came along and made them the enemy. It's time for redemption. Pull those wire hangers out of the shadows of your closets and start using them to solve some of the minor but irritating problems that pop up around your home.
1. Snake a Drain
Why buy a specially designed drain snaking tool when you have access to perfectly good wire hangers? Use pliers to unwrap the wire hook or to snip the hanger, then straighten the hanger into a long piece of wire. Bend the end of the wire to make a small hook and carefully feed it, hook first, into the clogged drain. Pull out any debris you can hook onto and repeat as necessary.
2. Replace a Drawstring
Doesn't it seem like the more you love a pair of pajama pants or an old hoodie, the more likely it is that the drawstring will refuse to stay put? Once one end of the string disappears inside the hole, it seems like no amount of digging will help you get it back. Keep those cozy pants from sagging by using a wire hanger to return a drawstring to where it belongs. Snip and stretch the hanger into one long wire, bending one end into a small hook. Remove the drawstring entirely, tie one end around the hook and thread the hanger through the hole.
3. Bend Bubble Wands
It doesn't matter how old you get: Making giant soap bubbles is always thrilling. Instead of buying flimsy plastic bubble wands, make your own by bending and twisting wire hangers. Let kids experiment with creating difference shapes from the hangers to see which method creates the best and biggest bubbles. As a bonus, there can be no fighting about who gets the blue wand and who gets the green wand when they're all made of the same wire.
4. Skewer Campfire Food
How could anyone dislike wire hangers when they can be used as a delivery system for roasted marshmallows? Keep your fingers cool and your food hot by using wire hangers as skewers for hot dogs, veggies and other campfire foods. Just be sure to wash the hangers first and add a heat-safe material to create a handle (or wear heat-safe gloves/mitts!). You won't want to eat gooey marshmallows off them if they've been collecting dust in the depths of your coat closet.
5. Keep a Trash Bag Open
Road trips = great fun. Cleaning out the car at the end of the trip = gross and sticky. Before you hit the road next time, make an on-the-go trash receptacle by stretching a hanger into a circle and using it as a frame to hold a plastic bag open. Toss fast food wrappers in your DIY trash can and keep them off the floor of your car.
6. Prop Up a Tablet
Wait, how much cumin were you supposed to add? And should the oven be preheated to 350° or 375° F? The next time you're cooking from a new recipe on your tablet, prop it up using a frame made from a bent wire hanger. You can check (and recheck) the instructions without getting your pricy device covered with flour or chicken stock.
7. Craft a Wreath
A seasonal wreath adds a festive pop of color to your front door... but have you seen how much wreaths cost? Make a free or cheap one at home, using a wire hanger as the frame. Stretch the hanger into a circle and add decorations such as ornaments and ribbon.
8. Cut Garden Staples and Stakes
"Mommie Dearest" was clearly wrong: Wire hangers belong everywhere, including in the backyard. Even green thumbs need some help to make their gardens grow. Old wire hangers can find new life as garden staples, keeping netting and landscape fabric in place. They can also be cut into simple garden stakes, lending necessary support to growing plants.
9. MacGyver a Toilet Paper Holder
When you've got to go, you've got to go — and you're going to need quick access to TP, too. If you don't have a functional toilet paper holder next to the throne, it's easy to make your own using a wire hanger. No cutting is necessary. Just stretch the hanger into a square shape with a protuberance for the roll and hang the hook from a towel bar or nail.
10. Make Oversized Snowflakes
Celebrate winter in oversized style by using wire hangers to make giant snowflake decorations for your walls. Pair hangers with their long ends together and arrange pairs in a tight circle, with a second layer of overlapping paired hangers on top. Use wire or zip ties to keep the structure together. Wrap it with twinkle lights, or spray paint the snowflakes with metallic paint.