Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Decoupage Your Hangers!

Would you like to add a little fun and personality to your closet without a lot of hassle? If so, then you should try this little trick for customizing wooden hangers. With a few scrapbooking supplies and a bit of Mod Podge, you can create hangers to match your favorite color scheme or personality.

Here's what you'll need:

-New or used wooden Hangers (I worked with 4, but you can always do more)

-4 Printed Digital Papers and embellishments (12 x 12 sized digital prints are best; traditional patterned paper also works just fine)

-Mod Podge

-a coordinating color of craft paint

-foam brushes

-Sandpaper (I use #60 grit)


-3 yards of ribbon that match your color scheme

-a little masking tape (not shown here)

-optional: a sheet or two or coordinating cardstock or any other supplies you want to use to adorn your hangers

Step One:

Start by sanding your hangers. If they are old, they might be unfinished and need some smoothing. If they are varnished, you will want to sand part of the varnish off to create some tooth (or texture) for your craft paint to adhere to.  Once the sanding is completed, wrap the base of the hanger's handle with a bit of masking tape. This keeps the handle clean and gunk-free as you work on your hangers. Then, using your foam brush, paint the top and bottom of the hangers. Leave the front and back sides of the hangers mostly bare; overlap a little paint on the front and back as shown in the third photo below. 


 Step Two:

Once the paint is dry, trace your hangers on the patterned paper. I used a patterned paper from Celeste's La Dee Da Papers digital kit. I was unable to get the whole hanger on the 12 inch print, so I had to trace the two halves for the front side, then repeat the process for the back. That means each hanger has four traced pieces of paper --- two for the front and two for the back.   

Cut our your traced pieces of paper and erase any stray pencil marks.  Take your hanger and apply Mod Podge to the front of it. 
 Adhere one traced piece of paper to the glue on one half of the front. Repeat the process to completely cover the front side of the hanger with the patterned paper. Match up the seams on the paper at the center of the hanger and press down firmly. Allow to dry and follow the same procedure to cover the back of your hanger. 

 Step Three:

Once the Mod Podge is dry, you are ready to sand the edges of your patterned paper. You will notice that the edges of your paper might be a little taller than the hanger and uneven in some places. You can trim any larger areas off with a pair of scissors, but I found it easiest to get out my sandpaper and sand off the patterned paper where needed. You should be able to get it sanded down so that it's mostly smooth and flush with the hanger. I left mine looking a bit rough or shabby, because I prefer that look. Do a quick touch up using your paint for any areas where your paint accidentally got sanded away. 


Step Four:

While the paint touch ups are drying, prepare the embellishments for your hanger. Here's what I did: I printed out a flower spray element (from the La Dee Da Elements kit), and punched it out with a large circle punch. I took some yellow Bazzill cardstock (from their Spicy collection) and used my large scallop punch to create a mat for the flower spray element. I inked the edges with black Ranger Ink, and put a coating of Mod Podge on the front to seal them. I made two elements for each hanger --- one for the back and one for the front.

When your embellishments are are dry, put Mod Podge in the center of each hanger and stick an embellishment down. To ensure the embellishments really stick, you can place a small can on the top to weight it down. The embellishment covers up the seams created where the pieces of patterned paper met up with each other. I repeated this procedure for the other side of the hanger, so that both the front and the back have an embellishment in the center just under the handle.

Once the embellishments are firmly in place, cover the rest of the hanger with Mod Podge. I found it easier to coat one side at a time and let them dry before moving onto another part the hanger.


Step Five:

Now that everything is good and dry, remove the masking tape from the handles. Take your ribbon and tie a bow around the handle, right above the snazzy embellishment you created earlier. Adjust the loops so that they look uniform and trim the edges of the ribbon on an angle. You are done! 


A few pointers:

-If you are frugal, the thrift store is a great place to pick up old wooden hangers.

-I tried using 8.5 x 11 prints at first, but found them too small and impractical for tracing. You will save yourself a headache if you get 12 x 12 prints of the patterned paper.  I always use and recommend laser prints for hybrid projects, since ink jet prints are prone to smear.

-I used 3 or 4 sheets of printed paper to create these hangers. If you want to do up more, than be sure to print additional sheets. You need to trace on the front of the paper where the pattern is, or your cut outs will be backwards and won't fit correctly.

-While this project was done in a more feminine style, this could easily be made more masculine by using your favorite manly/boyish papers and using rope, twine, jute, stars, etc.

-You may want to sand your patterned paper more if you want it to look less shabby and feel smoother. It will require a bit of experimentation.

It's my hope that tutorials like this one will help you see that the possibilities for using digital papers and embellishments don't just have to be limited to layouts and cards. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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