So the other day a friend asked if I still made “wire name hangers”.
Recap: I made one for my engaged classmate who was my Secret Santa. She loved it! Soon after a group of my classmates and professors were planning a Dental Hygiene Mission Trip to Belize. I wanted to go so badly I and came up with the idea to raise funds by selling my “bridal hangers”.
I only had about 2 weeks to raise over $1,500. Unfortunately, I only raise $500 but donated all of it to their mission trip. The money was used to pay for the extra amount of luggage filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, fluoride, and more for the Belizean children.
Khang and I made that trip with my classmates and professors a year later and it’s still one of the most rewarding and life-changing times of our lives.
Back to my friend. Long story short-I was more than happy to do them for her. I get randomly asked about them every now and then, so I figured other people would find it useful if I did a tutorial.
They’re best for bridal parties, but I’ve made one for someone to hang their white coat on after getting her Doctorate Degree. The possibilities are endless!
So this isn’t going to be a step-by-step DIY because they’re are so many names. But I’ll give y’all advice to make it easier for those trying it for the first time.
Warning: You will most likely not get it right on your first try, but it’s okay! The supplies are cheap or at least the kind I use.
- Hanger- I get mine from Marshall’s or TJMax. Be sure to get the kind for straps to hang. Also make sure it’s completely wood.
- Wire- I like to use aluminum wire like the brand On A Wire. The 16-gauge is the size I use. Do not get anything smaller in diameter (higher the number than smaller the thickness) because it’ll be too think to work with. I haven’t seen them sell a 14-gauge in this brand but that would do too. 12-gauge will be thick and too “hard” to bend especially if it’s not aluminum. DO NOT BUY THE BULK-SIZE WIRE BUNDLE AT LOWE’S. IT IS TOO TOUGH AND YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BEND IT WITHOUT HURTING YOURSELF AND YOUR PRIDE!
- Small flat head screwdriver
- Tough scissors or wire cutting pliers
- Super glue- I use Gorilla with the small narrow tip. Do not use hot glue because it’ll easily fall apart.
First step is to sketch out the name without picking-up your pencil or pen. This is simply because you’ll use one continuous wire for the entire name you want on the hanger. It’s okay if you “overlap”-there’s a trick for that, but try to overlap as little as possible.
Check the wire in the package before you buy it. I bought one with this “curvy knot” and had to cut it off before starting on my name. Keeping the wire straight is essential to making it look good and this knot would’ve been hard to straighten out.
[gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="1589,1590"]
Roll out about 4 inches and straighten. Constantly straighten the wire as you bend it to form your name. It’ll keep everything in alignment as you go and you won’t have too much for fix at the end.
[gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="1591,1592"]
I’m spelling out “mrs. pham”. I like using lowercase letters. An easy way to figure out how to bend your letters is to google “bridal hangers” and it’ll show you tons of examples on every letter. It definitely helped me.
Here’s the “overlap trick”. If you need to retrace a line then just “turn” the wire so that the “second wire line” is behind the “first wire line”. As shown below.
I like to pull more wire out little by little because sometimes you’ll need the wire to curve for a letter like this “s” below and leaving the wire bundled up will make it look more natural when you roll it out.
You really just need to play around with the wire in your hands.
I could see the entire name curved up and wasn’t straight. . .
So I held both ends with either hands and gently pulled downward to straighten it out. See the difference?
Next, I marked where I would’ve like the “holes” to be. You want the holes to be even with each other. I tend to like it on the outside of the slot for straps. It depends on you.
Notice how high the “m” is because you don’t want the letters to be placed on top or above the hanger AND you don’t want to cut the wire too short that it doesn’t reach into the “hole” you’re about to make.
Check both sides and make sure it’s centered in the middle.
Once you mark it then screw a hole into the hanger on only ONE SIDE.
Bend the wire where needed and. . .
. . .place into hole.
With one side placed in the hole, check the other side and mark where you’d like the second hole to be. . . make adjustments as needed.
Once you’ve placed both ends into their respective holes. Check again for adjustments. If you like it then you can finally “trim” the wire.
This is how my final product looked like. Honestly, I made the letters too big for my liking. I aim to have both ends of the wire as short as possible.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about above^. See how short the end is? That’s how I like it. Sorry, I can’t show you the full hanger because it’s a gift from the bride to one of her bridesmaid.
And the bridesmaid might be reading this!
Sneak peek of 5 hangers 🙂
This tutorial is pretty tricky but don’t let that discourage you. I messed up on so many hangers already like the “mrs.pham” I just did!
Be patient and try not to get too frustrated. It’s just bending wire 🙂
If you buy the On The Wire pack I mentioned above then it should be enough for 2 names depending on how long the name is.
Please feel free to ask questions!
Thanks for reading and following,