Recycle coat hangers to make an enchanting Christmas tree.
No one will ever guess that this small Christmas tree, complete with tree lights and ornaments, is recycled coat hangers in disguise.
Coat Hanger Christmas Tree:
- 6 wire coat hangers
- Lots of twist ties or string
- 1 string of Christmas lights (35-50 bulbs)
- 2 to 4 garlands (the thicker they are, the fewer you’ll use)
- Small ornaments
This project requires some dexterity, but I am sure that you’ll soon get the “hang” of it.
Group the hangers into three pairs. Secure one corner of each pair with a twist tie, tape, or piece of string.
This will hold the hangers together as you begin assembly.
Working in your lap, take a hanger pair and place them on your left thigh with the hooks pointing toward your right leg and the tied corner toward your knee. Take a second pair of hangers and place them on your right thigh with the hooks pointing toward your left leg and the tied corner toward your knee, as shown in Figure 2, and accompanying photo.
Using existing twist ties/string, tie the corners toward your knees together. Arrange the hooks neck to neck and secure together above the hooks with twist ties, tape or string. Some wire coat hangers are straight from the hook to the curve, while other have a shaped neckline. If needed, add more fasteners at the bends in the wire.
Pick up the last hanger pair and, holding them with hooks pointing to the floor, place the tied corner with the tied corners of the hanger pairs A. and B (those in your lap).
Make sure the hooks on hanger pair C. pass below the other two sets of hooks and stick out on the floor side of the hangers. See Figure 3 and photos.
Using the existing twist ties/string, tie the three corners together. Again using the existing twist tie/string in the center down by the hooks, secure all three hangers together
Now you should have three “legs” – one on your left thigh, one on your right thigh and one up the middle of your torso. You can remove the temporary ties on the corners.
Spread the hanger pairs out until they look like a tripod and place them on the floor in front of your feet. (Or on a table in front of you.)
Check Figure 4 for an overhead view and each of the photos, at left, to see how the tripod should look at this point.
Pick up a twist tie/string and, starting with the pair of hooks facing you, spread them apart. Using the twist tie/string, secure the hook on your left to the wire of the hanger to the left of the hook. Pick up another twist tie/string and secure the hook on your right to the wire of the hanger to the right of the hook. Turn you tripod so another pair of hooks is facing you. Repeat the process for this pair and the next pair.
This arrangement should look like the photo at right. Securing all six hooks to all six wires ensures the stability of the tree, prevents any wobbly legs and allows for some pretty rough handling.
Pick up the string of lights. Place the first bulb up from the plug at the top of the wire frame (where the star would go on a real tree), letting the cord dangle down along the middle of the frame. Secure the bulb in place with a twist tie/string. Then secure the dangling string to the base of the middle (near the hooks) so the plug will always issue out from the center bottom of the tree.
String lights around each hanger and/or wrap in circles, whichever you prefer. Secure here and there with twist ties/string to keep the light string in place. See Figure 5 and the photos showing the arrangement of cords and lights.
Pick up a garland and dangle about 3-5 inches of it down the center of the tree frame. Secure at the very top with a twist tie/string. Secure the dangling end if you like things tidy. Wrap tree by going round and round until you reach the bottom. See Figure 6. Keep garland wrapped tightly so you get no gaps and it will stay nice and full. (Don’t worry about the lights not showing through – we’ll come back to that.) If you run out of garland before the bottom, secure end to the nearest wire and pick up the next one. Secure its end in the same location where you left off with the last one and then continue wrapping. Repeat until you have the entire frame wrapped down to the tips of the hangers. Secure here and there with twist ties/string.
If you have excess garland secure it to the frame where you judge it should end, and – for now – let the excess dangle free. Now tip the tree over on its side and poke any lightbulbs you see through the garlands to the outside. When you’ve done that, stuff the excess garland up the middle and secure it with twist ties/string so it doesn’t fall out.
Place your tree upright and decorate. Plug it in and enjoy!
NOTE: The lights get warm, but not hot enough to be a hazard. I’ve used these trees several years in a row and had them plugged in 8-10 hours at a time. Just follow normal safety and unplug the tree when nobody’s there!
About the Author:Sunni Bergeron has been crafting in various media for 30 years: leatherwork, wildcrafting, fiber arts, beading, sculpting, and paper making among others too numerous to list.