My household took on a totally new schedule this month as a new job and the spring semester of college made considerable changes. In adjusting to the demands of the new schedule, I have not really had much time for crafting, which is why my blogging has tapered off. However, in the course of my position as household organizer and cleaner, I did find a need for a scarf holder for my daughter and having limited funding for such things, I decided to make one. Having seen several of the hanger-and-ring style scarf holders on the Internet, I wanted to see if I could make an upcycled version. I began with the kind of hanger that you would generally get when you purchase a dress (or other garment) in a department store. I would guess that most wardrobes here in the States have several of these. The other things that I gathered from my collection of “useful trash” were some milk rings (they also come from other containers like juice), and some plastic bread clips. To help me transform these items, I added kitchen string, glue, and tape. Though it is not in the photo, I ended up also using some double-sided tape in addition to the masking tape.
The first thing to do was to turn the milk rings into sturdier rings. I was a little picky about the kind of milk ring I used. I like the ones that are folded over, making a double layer of plastic. (See the photo at right for clarification.) I strengthened the rings by wrapping two together with masking tape and then wrapping them with the string. My hanger was large enough for ten of these rings to fit along its bottom edge, so I wrapped ten. Each ring took about seven feet of string. When I got all the way around the ring with the string, I ran the tail end back under the string in the center and clipped it close to the ring. Though I had ten to make, this is the kind of project that I use to fill in the odd “corners” of my time, so it really did not seem like a long time.
Once I had finished the rings, I began work on the hanger itself. My plan was to cover the entire plastic surface of the hanger by wrapping it in string. In order to do this, the first thing I needed to do was to cover the gaps along the top. I needed something fairly stiff to be able to hold the pressure of the string, so I used half of a bread clip to span the gap and then taped it into place. At this point, I set the hanger on a flat surface and alined the rings along the bottom. I used a permanent marker to mark where each ring touched the hanger so that I could add each one into the wrapping process as I came to the mark. To wrap the hanger with string from one end to the other would still leave a small portion of the plastic ends visible. To avoid this, I used small remnants of string (leftover from wrapping the rings) and glued them in place over each end of the hanger.This photo shows the covered end and the beginning of the wrapping process. To being wrapping, I tucked the end to the inside back cavity and secured it (glue or tape can be used for this). To prevent the end of the wrap from slipping off the hanger, I put a dab of glue on the the top and bottom edges of the hanger, going over the string that I used to cover the end. Then I simply began to wrap the hanger, being sure to keep the strings close together and adding in the rings as I came to each mark. As I came to the end of a length of string, I would tuck it under in the back and secure it with a dab of glue. Then I would tuck in and secure the end of a new piece and continue wrapping.
Once I arrived at the neck of the hanger, wrapping evenly became much more difficult because there was more surface area along the top edge than along the bottom edge and because the string wanted to slide down the slope of the neck. I took two measures to overcome these problems: One was to put a strip of double-sided tape along the slope and top of the hanger; the second was to use an ice pick heated over a candle flame (a wood burning tool would work as well) to bore holes along the inside bottom edge of the hanger. By alternating between wrapping through the holes and going completely under the bottom of the hanger, the length of the top and bottom edges is equalized to a large degree. I also made use of the hole at the top of the hanger where the metal hook is attached to the plastic. By wrapping through this hole several times, I was able to cover the center of the hanger which is blocked by the hook at the top .
After I had finished wrapping the hanger, I used a little more of the string to wrap each ring to its neighbors, running the ends of each string through the center back of each wrapped section and securing them with a dab of glue.
The final step was to attach some decoration to the top front of the hanger. I chose to make a bow from the leftover ribbon from a Crate and Barrel gift. My husband’s aunt saved quite a bit of this ribbon from her daughter’s wedding gifts and passed it on to me (thank you!). I liked how the ribbon was such a good color match for the string! If ribbon had been in short supply, I could have used a silk flower, some buttons, or even an old brooch.
I was pleased with the end result of my efforts. The scarf hanger does not reveal its humble components to the glancing eye, but instead, becomes a graceful (and useful!) addition to my daughter’s closet. (In fact, my husband liked it so much that he wanted me to come up with some way to organize his ties!) My only expense, outside of my time, was a bit of glue and tape, and some cotton string. Since I only used a portion of the roll of cotton string, I estimate that the whole project probably cost under two dollars in supplies!
“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” Proverbs 13:4