Introduction: Multipurpose Clothespin Hanger

This is an adaptation of an old-fashioned method of drying socks or other little things on the clothesline. It makes an excellent gift for anyone (even with a dryer) who has small things to dry, indoors or out. The photo is meant to show how it can be hung on a clothesline by stretching the elastic over the clothesline and feeding the coat hanger through the loop so it can twist and turn with the wind and not fall off (may need a clothespin on the line on one side of the elastic to keep it from slipping along the line). I have found a myriad of uses for it over the years.

While camping: hanging up dishcloths, cuptowels, hand/bath towels, bathing suits, wet clothing - it hooks over a tree limb, through a tent loop or grommet, on the suit hanger in the car, or from the adjustment bars that hold most head rests in place. For travel: remove it from the hanger for ease of packing, and use an on-site hanger over the shower head or shower curtain rod to dry hand-washed things. At home: great for drying all those socks, underwear and other unmentionables, or various little things on the clothesline, and for drying those soggy mittens, hats, etc. after playing in the snow.

(Thank you to friend Karen for taking the photos.)

[Clothespin Hanger with Socks]

Step 1: Supplies Needed:

1. Nine new, fairly sturdy clothespins that have a good grip and will survive a lot of repeated use. The opening in the spring should be large enough to allow relatively easy passage of the twill tape.
2. One package (about 60 inches or 1.5 meters) of 1/4 inch (7 mm) cotton or polyester-cotton twill tape (polyester can be used, but tends to fray more easily)
3. One piece of cord elastic, 12 inches (25 mm) long
4. Newspaper pattern
5. Two pieces matching scrap material, each approximately 7x18 inches (18x46 mm). Use a fairly sturdy material (cotton, cotton/polyester blends), print or plain, that will survive a lot of sunshine and the weight of the wet clothes.

Step 2: Newspaper Pattern:

Use a sturdy wire hangar as the template. Trace around the triangular bottom section. Add 1/2 inch seam allowance along the top, increasing to 3/4 inch at the side corners and 1 inch seam allowance along the bottom. Cut this out and use as the pattern.

Step 3: Cut Out Pattern:

Place right sides of scrap material together, and position pattern so the long (bottom side) is parallel with either the long or cross grain of the material. Pin in place and cut around the pattern.

Step 4: Construction: Steps 1, 2

1. Turn down (to the inside) a narrow hem along each side of the top edge (this will form the opening for the top of the hanger); use a zigzag stitch if the material might fray.
2. With right sides of material together, stitch a 1/4 inch (7 mm) seam along the two shoulder sides of the hanger pattern, leaving the smaller hemmed top and lower edges open (either use a serger or stitch a straight seam and zigzag the edges). Zigzag (or serge) all around the lower edge, then turn up a narrow hem (3/8-1/2 inch or 10-13 mm) and straight-stitch it in place.

Step 5: Construction: Step 3

3. Cut nine 6-inch (15 mm) lengths of the twill tape and thread each one through the spring of a clothespin. If you cannot push it through by twisting/folding the end a bit and do not have a loop puller, put a stitch in one end with a double-threaded needle, put the needle though the hole, and pull the end of the twill tape through after it.

Step 6: Construction: Steps 4, 5, 6

4. Secure the end clothespinsfirst (#1 and #2). One end of the twill tape should be sewn (on the inside of the hem) close to the end seam on one side, and the other end sewn close to the other side of the seam. Secure well with a double row of stitches, separated a bit. All other clothespins will be sewn with both ends of the twill tape on the same side.
5. Clothespin #3 should be sewn midway down one side, with both ends of the tape secured with two rows of stitches.
6. Clothespins #4 and #5 should be similarly sewn on the same side, mid-way between the middle and end clothespins.

Step 7: Construction: Step 7

7. Clothespins #6 through #9 should be sewn securely on the opposite side, so they fall equally between the spaces created by those on the other side.

Step 8: Construction: Step 8

8. Place completed fabric with clothespins over the hanger. Put cord elastic through the space at the neck of the hanger and tie ends together in a knot.

Step 9: Using Indoors and Out

Use indoors with the regular hanger top (no elastic needed). Use on the clothesline with the elastic (see instructions wit the next photo).

Step 10: Putting Hanger on Clothesline

While holding the hanger with the right hand and with the top of the hanger above the level of the clothesline itself, pass the elastic (knot at the top) over and behind the clothesline. Use the left hand to grab the knotted end that has been passed over the clothesline. Carefully lower the hanger so that the top is now below the clothesline (you will will now be stretching the elastic somewhat). Slip the tip of the hanger through the elastic loop just above the knot. When you release the tension, the top of the hanger will fall a bit below the clothesline itself, allowing a degree of "free swing" in the wind. To keep it from sliding too close to other things on the clothesline, place a clothespin on that side, close to the elastic (it will tend to slip in that direction).