Crafty Maker types, lend and borrow ideas here: what to make out of plastic coathangers?

I want to pose a challenge, and an opportunity to crafty dopers in this thread - the question is:

What can be made from plastic coathangers? - the kind that clothing stores just give away with the garment - types like:
This sort of Trouser Hanger (the bars are concave at the back)
This one - which is hollow underneath the rounded arms
This one - which is flat moulded plastic with a raised edge

Given a few similar examples of any or several types, there are some nice rigid shapes to be had - and I can’t help feeling that these bits of moulded plastic are crying out to be somehow cut, connected and remade into something cool or useful - but it’s hovering just beyond the reach of my imagination right now.

The idea of this thread is sort of open-source creativity: - contribute half-formed ideas, or complete ones, build on, or expand each others’ suggestions, and if you want, take away any ideas you like and turn them into reality in your own projects or products - sell them on Etsy, eBay, whatever.
The Small Print
Because this way of working potentially treads close to some lines with respect to intellectual property and copyright ownership, I did seek and receive permission to do this - and I have been asked to make the following points clear:

OK, I’ll start the ball rolling: Some of them have hooks that could be repurposed for use in a pirate costume.

Well, I was going to post about my simple method of making a fusion device but now I see I would be giving away my intellectual property. Also, it requires metal coathangers so not really on topic.

My own thoughts tend in the direction of cutting them into a selection of rods, plates and other sort of standard components, and building some sort of machine, sculpture or desktop toy, but that’s as far as I can get right now.

Scatter some around Richard Dean Anderson and see what he does with them.

That’s what came to mind first. I used to make geodesic dome frameworks out of plastic soda straws. A needle heated in a candle would melt the thin plastic together. For your heavier material I’d suggest hot glue. Based on the shapes of those hangers I’m think of some kind of robot design.

I like that idea - I’ve made figures out of old cutlery before - I wonder if I could actually articulate the pieces with bolts or pop rivets, to make a posable figure…

Drill 5mm holes in each corner, thread 5mm aluminiumarmature wire through a whole bunch of hangers, then curve into a cylinder with the long side of the triangle as the side of the cylinder (so the hooks face outwards). Fix the hooks in place with epoxy, maybe. Then hang lights of the hooks (or every X hook). Place a larger light in the hollow centre. Ta-da - chandelier. I expect this looks best with clear plastic.

Apparently, I didn’t think of hanger chandeliers first (although I think I’m the only one who thought of lights on the hooksl)


I think you can actually start with Pencil leads and a battery :wink:

And this one is simply gorgeous…

Also, just given the shape of the “open” ones (the last two in OP), I’m thinking some sort of multi-crossbow-Nerf-launcher thingy.
Or a musical instrument made of lots of different sizes and thicknesses of the “open” type strung with guitar strings and tuned to scale, fitted in a acoustic-resonating frame. A hanger zither, if you would.

Maybe some sort of plastic kalimba.

Good stuff - this thread is developing exactly as I had hoped.

I do know the kind with the ridge all round the outside (your type 3) makes a satisfying thrum if an arm is plucked over the side of the desk - since I just tried it Not quite as nice as my metal ruler, but a nice boing quality to it…

Type 1 looks like it could be cut into sections and attached to a flat surface to make some type of rolling ball/maze timewaster.

Type 2 looks like you could cut the arms off near the top and form them into a lightweight spoon for eating freeze-dried meals when camping.

Type 3, I’m still working on it. I’m picturing them cut in half, with the cut edge adhered to a base so that the “arm” is vertical. Maybe multiple halves stacked together to increase thickness. The only use I can think of for that right now would be bookends, but those notches have to be good for something

Oh, I thought you meant commercial plastic coathangers rather than the free ones from garments. I recently repurposed a commercial plastic coathanger as a trunk opener: my hatchback’s top back is usually full enough that should I need to access the bottom back, its lid is too full of stuff on top of it for me to lift it by putting my finger in the loop and lifting. I looped the hook of a plastic coathanger through the fabric loop so now I can leverage two fingers and my whole hand. (ETA: I pull on the hook itself rather than the large loop of the coathanger as that might break it.)

The third kind seems like it can be used to make the shoulders and base of a mannequin. The base would be 2 or 3 hangers broken in half and then glued back together to form a multi-footed stand.

For type 2, I’m thinking that the ends look like shoulder armour - maybe can be used to make part of thiskind of figure.

If you need some inspiration, here’s what Heidi Klum did with wooden hangers.
Heidi Klum coat hanger dress