My latest obsession is clothes hangers. They're simple everyday objects that can be transformed into various geometrical structures - with spectacular results. Recycle hangers you no longer need (like those metal hangers from the dry cleaners) and create an industrial-style lamp for your living room. The cool thing about this design is that depending on the shape of the clothes hangers, your lamp will always look different. And it casts some pretty cool shadows on your wall, too. Best thing, it's actually a cinch to make.
- 24 clothes hangers.
- A pack of 100 plastic wire/cable ties (in one or more colors).
- Wire cutter.
- Simple table lamp or pendant lamp holder and cord.
This is a super-easy project using everyday objects as supplies. It's better if you use light plastic or metal hangers rather than the wooden variety, but just make sure that your hangers have a bottom side, forming a triangular shape. You can recycle old hangers but your design will look better if all 24 hangers are identical. The geometrical shape for the lamp is a cube. We'll be creating six square sides in total, consisting of four hangers each. If you want to make a pendant lamp you need a closed cube. If you wish instead to make a floor lamp, the bottom side of the cube can remain open, so you will only need 20 hangers.
Step 1: Form a Square Using Four Hangers
Start by placing on your work surface two hangers: one facing the other, with their hooks almost touching.
Take two more hangers and form a square. Try to place all four hangers looking in the same direction, for example, all the hooks going clockwise. This ensures your final pattern looks neat and symmetrical. Take care that the hangers meet in the centre and at the corners of the square.
Step 2: Tie the Hangers
Use the cable ties to secure the position of the hangers. Cable ties are a fast and fun way to tie things up. Just pass the end of the plastic tie through the hole and pull it until it's tight around the hangers. Start binding by the four points where the 'shoulders' of the hangers meet.
Step 3: Secure the Corners
Tie the four corners of the square in the same way.
Step 4: Secure the Centre of the Square
Now tie the centre of your square. Use two cable ties for that: one vertical and one horizontal, forming a cross. Tie them tightly to bring the hanger's hooks completely into the centre of the square.
Step 5: Trim the Extra Bits
Use the wire cutter to trim all the loose ends of the cable ties.
At this point you should have completed the first square. By tying up all nine points described above, it should be well fixed and stable to form a side of your cube. Have a look at this first transformation of the hangers. I love how a flower shape (highlighted in yellow) formed in the centre of my square as well as the cute hearts (highlighted in blue) at the corners.
Step 6: Alternative Shapes
Your hangers may not look exactly like mine, because I didn't use the most typical hanger shape. No matter what shape your hangers have, just make sure that the hooks are all in the centre, the corners are neat and the general shape created is a square. It is possible that your hangers don't form 'hearts' at the corners but they meet exactly. It depends on the shape of the hanger and the relative height and length of the hanger.
Step 7: Repeat Five Times
Now that you've got a grasp of it, repeat the same process and create the other sides of the cube. If you plan to make a floor lamp, make four more sides and if you want a pendant lamp, make five more sides.
Step 8: Join Two Squares
This is where you join the two squares together. Place them side by side and join them somewhere near the corners, always using cable ties. I am using the 'hearts' to do that, but if you don't have a 'heart' pattern, just tie the sides of your two squares that meet together.
Step 9: Lay the Squares and Join
At this point you will have all the squares you need to form a cube. Now lay down five of your squares, placing them in a cross shape. You need one square in the middle and four squares around it. Tie all four squares to the central one using the method shown in the previous step.
Step 10: Lift the Sides Up and Tie
It's time to turn the square into a cube! Lift two of the squares and tie them in the upper corner to secure them. Lift the other two sides and tie them as well.
Step 11: Secure the Lower Corners
Don't forget to secure the lower corners of the cube with cable ties.
Step 12: Trim Excess Ends
Tidy the cube by trimming all the excess cable tie lengths.
Step 13: Finish the Floor Lamp
If you're making a floor lamp, you're almost there. All you need to do is turn the cube upside down, place it over a simple table lamp and light up a corner.
Step 14: Complete the Cube For a Pendant Lamp
To make a pendant lamp you need to complete the cube with the sixth side. Just add the sixth square on top of the open cube, as demonstrated in previous steps.
Tie it to the rest of the cube, but leave one corner open. Now, cut the excess ends.
Step 15: Hang Your Hanger Pendant Lamp
So, your cube should now be ready for hanging. Just pass the light bulb through the open corner and when the cord and the bulb are inside the cube, close the corner with a cable tie. I prefer to hang it from a corner of the structure instead of the centre, but it's entirely up to you! If you used plastic or thin metal hangers, the lamp is light enough to hang directly from the cord. However, if you used wooden hangers, it would too heavy (and potentially dangerous) to hang as a pendant lamp.
We hope this tutorial will inspire you to make your own hanger-lamp. If you have any queries, suggestions or ideas, we'd love to hear them. Just use the comments section below.