A common item that everyone probably has in their closet is clothes hangers. Whether plastic, metal, velvet, or wood, hangers all serve the same purpose. But what do you do with old clothes hangers that you have no use for anymore?

Things you can do with old clothes hangers include using them for other household purposes and making art with them. Even if you want to get rid of them, you can choose to recycle your old clothes hangers or give them away to friends or any thrift stores that might be willing to take them.

In this article, I will go over some ways to reuse old hangers and turn them into something useful or fun instead of just throwing them away. If you need a bunch of ideas for how to use old hangers, keep reading!

Some Old Hangers Can Be Recycled

While recycling might seem like an obvious solution to your dilemma, recycling old hangers isn’t as simple as you might think. First off, not all hangers can be recycled. Whether a particular set of clothes hangers is recyclable or not will depend on the material they’re made from

Let’s look at different types of hangers and consider which ones might make the best candidates for recycling.

Not All Plastic Is Recyclable

Plastic may seem like the ideal material to recycle. Unfortunately, clothes hangers are made from a wide variety of plastics. Many types of plastic are not recyclable, and without knowing the specific material used in your hangers, it will be hard to tell whether your hangers can be recycled or not.

Some Metal Hangers Can Be Recycled

As with plastic, not all metal hangers may be recyclable. However, according to Conserve Energy Future, several kinds of metal hangers – especially those made of wire – are widely accepted at metal yards around the country.

If you’re thinking that getting to a scrap yard sounds like too much work, consider that, in many cases, scrap yards will pay you for your metal waste.

Reuse If You Can’t Recycle

Of course, many other materials used in hangers will not be recyclable. Processed wood, for instance,  isn’t recyclable at all. But, if recycling isn’t an option, there are still many other ways to reuse old clothes hangers productively. So look around before you toss your old hangers away in a dumpster.

Family and friends who are considering moving in the near future may be willing to take them. Perhaps a niece or cousin is off to college or just got their first apartment and needs essential household items. Alternatively, someone you know might want to switch from plastic to wooden hangers.

Ask around on social media. You may know someone who is in the process of starting up their own boutique or having a yard sale and needs hangers to display their items.

Although harder, you can also try offering your old hangers to stores in your neighborhood. I’d be surprised if retail stores and boutiques accepted your hangers, but you can always try thrift stores and donation centers. Even if they won’t take your old hangers, there’s no harm in asking around.

You can also try different shelters in your area, such as homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, etc., to see if they have any use for your hangers. They might use them at the shelter or have people getting ready to move out into their own place who could use them.

Make Beautiful Art Out of the Commonest of Objects

Art is no longer the stuffy hidebound practice it used to be. Today, many unconventional materials are regularly used to make art by amateurs and big-name professionals alike.

If you’re not very creative or ambitious, you can still make beautiful home decor from old materials like hangers. You could make these items for yourself, gift them to friends, or even sell them if they’re good.

Wire Is Remarkably Easy to Work With

Wire hangers can be bent into different shapes and painted to make wall hangings, decorative bowls, metal balls, or odd-shaped objects to put on a shelf. With a little effort and imagination, the possibilities are truly endless.

For instance, wire hangers can easily be reshaped into a wreath for your door. You can add ribbons, flowers, and other items to such a wreath, making it even more beautiful. Here’s a video that will show you how to do this.

Similarly, you can also use the wire from your hangers to make items of jewelry like rings, earrings, and bracelets. Once you’ve added beads or stones to the wire, others won’t be able to tell that it was from a hanger.

Colorful Plastic Art

Similarly, you can break up plastic hangers and glue them onto canvas to make mosaic art. Brightly colored plastic can be glued together in different ways to make specific shapes, such as butterflies, snowflakes, and more. 

One YouTuber shows a few ways to glue and paint plastic hangers together in the most beautiful ways. Check it out below.

Ornamental Woodwork

Wooden hangers may not be recyclable, but it would be a shame to let good wood go to waste. The material is not exactly cheap, and it can be worked on and takes paint well. So, wooden hangers are ideal for rearranging into different shapes and coloring.

One YouTuber added metal and jewels and painted her wooden hangers to create vintage wall art. You can see how she did this below.

If you’re more adventurous, you can make wooden hangers into a cute, trendy side table for your home.

You’ll need to purchase a few extra things to make this happen, but the results are stunning, and you would never know it was made from hangers. To see how to do this, check out this youtube video from Yoduvh Essentials below.

The above ideas offer a glimpse of what you can do with old hangers. If you’re interested, there are many more tutorials on sites such as Youtube and Pinterest where you can find more ideas on beautiful objects you can make with your hangers. Head over and check them out.

Practical Uses For Old Clothes Hangers

Many old hangers can be reused for practical purposes around your home. It may even save you money to keep some hangers around when you’re in a pinch with specific situations. Let’s discuss some ways old hangers can be useful household items.

If you’re a crafter and have an abundance of washi tape, yarn, or macrame cord, you can use old wire hangers to hang these up. It’s a great way to store such items, making it easy to pull what you need from a spool without strings getting tangled or messed up.

Wire hangers can be reshaped and put on a wall to hang china plates, records, or towels. It’s easy to bend them into whatever shape you need for specific items. And they can save you money by not having to buy shelves, hooks, etc.

You can also use wire hangers in your garden to support vines or tomato plants that need to grow on trellises.

Another use for them is to unlock doors that accidentally get locked. You might have seen someone do this when they lock the keys in their car. A metal wire is skinny enough that it can be shoved through a car door or your door at home to hook onto the latch. This may not be everyday use, but it might be handy to have some hangers around if this happens to you.

What Not to Do With Old Clothes Hangers

Now that we’ve discussed plenty of ways to reuse your old hangers, let’s go over a few things you should not do with your old clothes hangers. Some of these may seem obvious, but I wanted to cover all the bases just to be sure.

  • Throwing them in the trash: It is best to avoid throwing away old hangers because they don’t decompose quickly. Of course, if you have no other way of disposing your hangers, you may be forced to throw them away.
  • Bonfire: I mentioned earlier that metal hangers could be used for roasting sticks. However, burning plastic or wooden hangers is unsafe. Some plastics, if burned, can release harmful chemicals into the air. And without knowing the type of wood your hangers are made of, it’s a bad idea to add them to the fire too.


There are many options for how to deal with your old clothes hangers. Unfortunately, recycling may not always be one of them. However, you can make a lot of beautiful art and home decor using different hangers, including wall hangings, wreaths, and much more.

Hangers can also be used around the house to hang records, china, and just about anything else if done correctly. Wire hangers can also be used in your garden for plants such as ivy or roses.

Finally, I recommend you do not burn your hangers in a bonfire.

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