Greetings folks. This is my first 'ible, but I've read many, so I think I have a handle on how to do it. Suggestions are welcome!
For quite a while now I've been looking for a solution to the problem of my keys bunching up and tangling at the bottom of my pocket. I've tried carabiners, but those tend to get caught on the edge of my pocket, and having them jangle outside the pocket on a belt loop would drive me crazy.
There's lots of great pocket clips available online, but shipping costs being what they are I needed a stopgap. So I went medieval on a coat hanger with some pliers, and after some trial and much error, I came across a simple yet effective solution that doesn't require specialized tools or skills.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
My toolbox is fairly simple, so this can be done by just about anybody.
-Pliers. You'll need two pair. I found that it was really handy to have both a regular and a needle-nose.
-Wire cutters. My pliers have integrated wire cutters.
-File/Sandpaper. If you don't have, you could use any rough, hard surface you don't mind scratching up.
-Hammer. Not absolutely necessary, but could come in handy if your wire is particularly thick or hard.
-Coat hanger. That's it. Any one will do, with any kind of finish. Mine was old and rusty, yours could be new and shiny, but know that it will probably get a bit scratched by the pliers unless you're really careful. Edit: My cousin gave me a good idea to wrap the ends of the pliers in electrical tape. Doing that will avoid scratching, and might make slipping less likely as well.
-Safety glasses. Very important. You don't want a sharp piece of metal flying into your eye.
-Gloves. Also very important. Pinching your skin in pliers could be nasty.
Step 2: Clip the hanger
Cut the hanger so that you have a nice long straight section of wire to work with. Be careful, and wear your protective gear, since the detached metal will be sharp and could fly off unpredictably.
Step 3: File the ends
Both ends of your wire will be crazy sharp, so you'll have to round it out so that you don't cut yourself on your pocketclip. Also, make sure the rest of the hanger gets disposed of safely. Don't want your garbage man to get stabbed.
A metal file works best, just a few strokes and it will take the point off the soft metal. You'll want to get it nice and round, but it shouldn't take long. Make sure to round out both ends. You will end up cutting the length down quite a bit, but leave it fairly long for now. You can always cut off metal, but adding it requires alchemy, which isn't covered in this instructable.
Step 4: Bend the first loop
Grab one end with both pliers. You'll want to have the pliers really close together so that the loop is as tight as possible. You need to squeeze the pliers at the end of the wire very tightly, otherwise they will slip off and scratch the end. Don't worry too much about scratches, they can be taken out later.
Once you have a loop, bend it back so that it extends as straight as you can make it. This will be the free end of the hook.
Step 5: Main bend
Bend the wire so that the loop is perpendicular to the length of the hook, as shown. Again, start the bend with the pliers close together. That way the bend will be nice and tight.
There's no set length here, make it as long as you need. I found that 3-5 cm was good.
Step 6: Start the bend of the other loop, cut
Start the bend of the second loop about 1cm lower than the first so that you will have enough room to make the loops roughly the same length. The loop itself is bent perpendicular to the first.
File down this end like you did the first to round it out.
Step 7: Complete final loop
Bend the end so that it is tight. Make sure that this loop is big enough to go on your split ring, but tight enough to not come off.
Once the loop is formed, bend it into the first loop to make a catch onto the pocket so it won't fall out.
Make sure the two sides are fairly well lined up and straight.
Step 8: Buffing
If you want, you can buff out some of the scratches with the file. If you were very careful (or used the trick with the pliers wrapped in tape) they should be fairly minimal, but some scratching may be unavoidable.
If the coat hanger had some sort of finish you may want to keep it as-is, but I ended up stonewashing. This took out most of the marks left by the pliers and gave it a nice, grey, corrosion-resistant finish. You could also spraypaint with some high-resistance paint or clear coat. Or if you have any other ideas for finishing, let me know in comments!
Step 9: Attach to split ring, put it in your pocket
Pretty much how it says. Or outside the pocket. Or a belt loop.