Friday, July 8, 2011

Make Your Closets Memorable to Buyers with These Custom Hangers

Closets are so important to home buyers that you can't ignore them if you're serious about selling your home. You've heard all the basics -- declutter them, clean them, organize them.

How about making them look so stinkin' pretty, that buyers want to just move in?

I know padded hangers conjure up images of pink crocheted covers for sale at the annual church bazaar. But I'm talking about some padded hangers you make from remnants and scraps of funky fabrics.

These fabrics could be designer samples you've purchased from the fabric store's discount bin. Or leftovers from sewing projects you finished. Or didn't finish. They could even be a skirt or shirt or pillowcase you want to recycle.

These hangers will surely jazz up that tidy closet of yours, making your home the one buyers feel good about.

Find a Fun Fabric

Here's a chance to inject something trendy, or something extra girly or masculine. Or just colorful. You need less than 1/4 yard for each hanger. A remnant as small as 24 inches by 7 inches will usually do.

As for the hangers, I often find these wooden hangers at second-hand stores. Or you may already have some. It seems like fancier hangers have replaced this simple style, but 10-inch long ones can be purchased as children's hangers.

The hanger I used for my tutorial was about 17 inches wide. But I have made smaller ones that look pretty in a closet or even hung in a bedroom, bathroom, guest room, coat closet, or laundry room.

You may leave these hangers empty, or actually use them. You can hang mundane things like tank tops, or lovely little things like lingerie.

They are ideal for staging an empty closet, where you might want to accompany them with other props like staged shopping bags from status stores on a high shelf, or pretty hat boxes.

You can also use these hangers as a discrete way to add fragrance to a closet. Add fragrant herbs like lavender or rose petals to the filling or tied to the hook as a sachet.

Quilters can use a "fat quarter" to make these padded coat hangers. I've made covers from dish towels, silk scarves, and even a silk necktie.

I use plastic grocery-store bags for stuffing, but most crafters like to use cotton batting or polyester filling, the kind used for stuffing pillows or for quilting. Your choice. I always take the frugal, up-cycle route.

Here Are the Directions

Lay your fabric out on a flat surface, and place your hanger on it to judge the lengths of fabric you need to cut. You'll be cutting one piece to cover the top of the hanger, and one for the bottom. The top piece gathers, so it needs to be longer.

I like to allow at least 4 inches on either side of the hanger's end, but 3 1/2 inches will do. The bottom piece of fabric needs to be an inch longer on each end, to allow for seam allowances.

Both top and bottom pieces should measure 3 1/2 inches wide. The photo says it all.

I chose scraps from a bed sheet that I had already cut up to make a round tablecloth.   



After cutting the strips, cut each one in half so you'll be able to slide them over the padding.


Run a row of basting stitches along both edges of the longer strips.


Gather the stitches so the longer strips are the same length as the shorter ones. 


Pin and then stitch the top and bottom pieces together, leaving one end open on each set, 
and the other end rounded. 


This is how the rounded end looks. You can remove the basting stitches now.
  

Wrap the wooden hanger with three plastic grocery bags. 
Make sure the end of the hanger is well-padded and smooth.  


 Turn the stitched covers inside out, and slide one over the padding. 


Slide the second half of the cover onto the hanger, and stitch the two together. 


 Add a bow to cover the hand-stitched seam and to decorate your padded hanger.


A set of padded hangers like this made from a sheer fabric over cotton batting would make an ideal wedding shower or baby shower gift.


Tulle makes an easy decoration for padded hangers. 

 
Here is the hanger I made from a men's silk tie. You ca always find ties at thrift stores. 


Remember to leave some space in your closets. Space for the imagination of buyers.

If you want to learn more decorating and staging tips, you can find them in my $4.99 eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. I give advice on closet cleaning, closet organizing, and closet staging as well as advice on staging every room of your home.


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