The original idea is not from me. One day I discovered via the Inhabitots' newsletter to which I'm subscribed to (http://www.inhabitots.com/), someone who was making custom made hangers for baby clothes. I found her profile back on Etsy (see http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28164910). I loved the idea and thought it was first of all very easy to make but also very unique.
Anyway, as I have a 11 months old baby boy and as we received tons of clothes for him (he even has more clothes than me or my wife), we're constantly lacking hangers, so I've decided to make some for him based on lilafrances' idea from Etsy. Also, a lot of our friends are in their thirties and babies are popping up everywhere, this of course represents quite a budget in baby presents. But now thanks to this marvellous idea I'll have super cool personalized custom handmade presents for all my firends' little ones... = instant karma for me ;-)
As you've guessed by now, my son is named Sean.
This hanger on the picture was my first one, in the meantime, I've improved my "n" and "s".
You can see other hangers on lilafrances' profile (see link above); it'll give you some ideas on how to make the letters.
EDIT 04/08 - I made another hanger tonight for a little girl named elvie. Here's the picture
EDIT 11/09 - I made two other hangers tonight
Step 1: What You Need
I used two different type of pliers. The bigger one to make the sharp angles and to pinch the wire so it'd stay in place. And the thinner one to make the little curls. Usually these type of pliers can cut the wire too. If it's not the case for you, you'll obviously need cutting pliers.
In the nearest DIY shop they didn't have the same type of wire like normally used for wire hangers. It was either too thin or too thick. I've finally found a white fence wire coated with PVC. It's actually meant to be used as a drying line in the garden. The wire has a section of 3.2mm which is very thick. I'd recommend to take a wire 2.5mm thick max. It'll still provide enough stability so your hanger will be solid while give your more flexibility to make nice letters and curl the wire the way you want. With my 3.2mm one it was not easy to bend the wire and make nice round letters.
You can see on the picture below the thickness difference between my white coated PVC wire and the standard wire hanger
A standard wire hanger
I used a standard wire hanger as a template to have an idea of the measurement or a normal hanger. While making my hanger, I often put it on top of the template to compare the size, angles and so on...
Notebook and pen
To write what you want to make in one go. I'll explain in the next step
Step 2: Draw a Model
In order to have a good result, I drew some examples on a sheet of paper in order to have a clear idea on how I was going to make each letter. I highly recommend you to do the same, it only takes a minute or two and will make your life easier when bending the wire.
Things to consider when you draw your model:
- do not lift your pen off the sheet of paper
- draw the hook too so you can centre the word (best is to have +/- the same amount of letters on each side of the hook). Not only it's more pleasing to the eye, but it'll also ensure your hanger doesn't tilt on one side
Once you have a clear idea on how to proceed, cut a piece of wire so you're not annoyed with the reel. For the length of wire to cut, I used the flat part of my template hanger as measurement unit. To give you an idea, I used 4x the length for the "sean" hanger and 5x for the "romane" one (btw "romane" is a French name for a little girl). So it's +/- 170cm for the sean one and +/- 200cm for the romane one.
Step 3: Make the Hanger
As you'll have guessed while drawing the word in your notebook; for some letters you'll have to make several pass that will have to overlap each other. One thing I've learned when making the hanger is to think in 3D. Your wire doesn't have to remain like on a sheet of paper anymore. If you look at the picture below; for the "M" of romane, I've bent the wire to the back (like if it would enter the sheet of paper) to go back up. The result is nicer.
Don't forget to measure your hanger on a regular basis so you 'll get something +/- standard that can fit most wardrobes. As I said, I was simply putting my hanger on top of the template one just to compare.
You can also make these little hooks on the side so it's possible to hang dungarees, dresses and so on...
Altogether it took me 30 minutes per hanger.
Hope this inspires someone
Have all a nice day