How to Dress Up Coat Hangers

Three Methods:Painting a coat hangerMaking a padded coat hangerKnitting a coat hanger cover

Coat hangers are essential household items. That doesn't mean they have to be dull and indifferent items though––with a little extra effort, they can look nicer and even be kinder on your clothes. In some cases, the coat hanger might end up looking nice enough to put outside of the wardrobe, on display. In this article, you'll discover a number of fun ways to jazz up a coat hanger and turn it into something worthy of your wardrobe.

Method 1
Painting a coat hanger

This fix is quickly done; you just need to wait for the hanger to dry.

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    Select a wooden coat hanger. The coat hanger should be in good condition, with the hanging part is intact and not rusty, although it's fine if it's a little rough as that can be fixed.
    • If the coat hanger chosen needs any rough edges removed, sandpaper until smooth.
    • If the coat hanger is varnished, sand it to remove the varnish, to allow the paint to adhere without a problem.
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    Decide which part of the coat hanger will be painted. You have the choice of painting the entire wooden part of the coat hanger or just the front section (and not the rod). It's up to your preference, but it's easiest to only paint the front section.
    • Choose a color that you like. For example, pastel pink or bright orange. It really doesn't matter as long as the color pleases you.
    • Use artist's acrylics as they're long wearing, come in a good range of colors and will not become sticky on the hanger (you don't want paint transferring to your clothes).
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    Decide whether you'll add an additional decorative feature in paint. For example, you could paint a word, such as "Chanel" or "Yves Saint Laurent" or "My Clothes" or "Coat Hanger". It's entirely up to you.
    • Use a font style that matches your decor, such as cursive for a French flair or stark print for a modern look.
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    Set up a painting area. Lay down newspaper or other covering to protect the work surface. Set out the paint and paintbrush, water cleaning jar and the coat hanger.
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    Paint as planned. Allow to dry for the length recommended by the manufacturer. Paint another layer if needed, although bear in mind that for the "shabby chic" or kitsch look, some of the wood showing through might form part of the hanger's charm.
    • Consider whether or not to add a sealant layer. This is optional but it might be something you'd like to add to protect both paint and clothing. Use a standard craft varnish suitable for wood or perhaps Mod Podge for this.
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    Finish off. Tie a small satin ribbon bow around the wire hanger element of the coat hanger. Glue in place to prevent it from moving up and down during use. Allow to completely dry.
    • The ribbon can be any width, style or color as preferred. You may like to match it to the hanger or even to denote the color of clothing to be hung on that hanger.
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    Done. The coat hanger is now ready for your clothing.

Method 2
Making a padded coat hanger

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    Use a plastic coat hanger for this. Wooden coat hangers are too nice to cover up!
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    Cut the wadding into a strip. The strip should measure about 1 meter (1 yard) length by 10cm (4 inches) wide.
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    Wind the wadding strip around the clothes hanger. Stitch so that it remains wound in place around the hanger. Focus on keeping it smooth, so that there will be no evident bumps when the fabric covers it.
    • This forms the soft wadding against which your clothes will sit when hung.
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    Draw around the padded hanger onto a piece of paper. Get the exact shape, as this will form a template. Draw an additional seam allowance around the template of 2cm or 3/4 of an inch. Cut out the paper template.
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    Place the paper template against the fabric you've chosen to cover the hanger. Draw around the shape or pin it in place. Cut out the fabric piece. Repeat one more time, to get two pieces of fabric in the same shape.
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    Pin the fabric to the padded hanger, one piece on the front side and the other piece on the back side. Allow for the seam allowance all the way around, as you pin.
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    Turn the seam allowance under once the fabric has been attached with pins. Hand stitch the two pieces of fabric together. As you stitch, pull the fabric tightly around the padding over the hanger. Finish off with a neat and tight knot.
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    Add a ribbon to the hook for embellishment.
    • If the hook is ugly on its own, consider winding yarn around it––coat the hook in glue first, then carefully wind on the yarn. Allow to dry, then add the ribbon embellishment.
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    Done. The padded coat hanger is now ready for keeping your clothes in great shape.

Method 3
Knitting a coat hanger cover

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    See How to knit a coat hanger cover for details on at least two ways to create a knitted coat hanger cover. Choose colors for the wool that reflect your wardrobe, personal preference and décor.
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    Add a ribbon or other embellishment to the completed knitted cover. For example, tie a ribbon around the hook portion of the hanger, in a bow shape or as a rosette or simple lengths.
    • Other embellishments that you could use include: Buttons, a sachet filled with lavender, fragrance beads or wooden balls, a commercial wardrobe sachet, a key ring figurine, a small toy, etc.


  • Enhanced coat hangers make for a wonderful personalized gift. If writing on the hanger or adding an embellishment, aim for something that is meaningful to the person you're giving it to. And while you're at it, why not make a set of four or six hangers? Place them in a box lined with tissue paper and cover with clear cellophane for a professional-looking homemade gift. Finish with a label that states it was made with love by you.
  • Bows added to the hook part of the hanger can be made from ribbon, sisal, jute, burlap, string, wrapping ribbon, fabric scraps, etc.
  • Clothing isn't the only thing to hang from a coat hanger. You could also hang tea towels, a guest towel, sale items at a market stall, and so forth. For a large coat hanger, you can also add clothespins along the skirt/trouser bar for holding belts, ties, etc.


  • Take care that anything used to cover or embellish the coat hanger will not transfer paint, varnish, dye, perfume, or any other potentially staining product to the clothing.

Things You'll Need

  • Method 1
    • Large wooden coat hanger with skirt/trouser bar
    • Newspaper or other cover for work surface
    • Artist's acrylics (colors of choice)
    • Paintbrushes
    • Water jar
    • Varnish or Mod Podge (optional but a good idea)
    • Ribbon or similar for a bow
  • Method 2
    • Plastic coat hanger, standard size
    • Wadding
    • Scissors
    • Pencil and paper for template making
    • Fabric
    • Needle and thread
    • Sewing pins
    • Ribbon or similar for a bow
  • Method 3
    • Knitting yarn, needles, etc.––refer to article linked to
    • Ribbon or similar for embellishment
    • Scissors for cutting ribbon
    • Other adornments, as desired

Article Info

Categories: Clutter Busting | Housekeeping