$10 and a Day: Justine’s DIY Closet Makeover, Fabric-Wrapped Hangers Included

I had limewashed my bedroom weeks before (see DIY Project: Limewashed Walls for Modern Times on Remodelista) and had been enjoying the serenity of the freshly painted space. The one drawback? Every time I opened my closet door, it was an affront to my senses. Dingy and disorganized, it called out for a makeover—something quick and cost-effective.

And so, armed with a can of leftover paint and a yard of cotton muslin, I got to work. A day later, my closet was finally as pristine as the bedroom beyond its door.

Photography by Justine Hand for Remodelista.

The Inspiration

DIY Closet Makeover with Muslin Wrapped Hangers, hangers by Pod, Remodelista
Above: Nonslip, wabi-sabi muslin hangers made by Julie Baine, owner of my favorite local store Pod/Shop Fog Linen in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Here’s the story: Years ago, Julie needed hangers for the clothing she carried in her fledgling boutique. She wanted something practical with a signature look and that didn’t break the bank. Donated wire hangers from a nearby dry cleaner were filling in until a better option presented itself, but the clothes kept slipping off. Then one day Julie was inspired by some muslin bags that came with the blankets she carried. Methodically, she began ripping the shear fabric into long strips that she then wrapped around the wire hangers.

Sometime later, during a moving sale, I bought 10 of these simple textile hangers for my own clothes. For my new closet, I wanted a complete set. And so, while the first coat of painted dried, I tried my hand at re-creating Julie’s hangers. Happily, it was very easy.

The Before

Justine's closet before
Above: When we moved into our our house years ago, we only had a week before leaving for the summer. With no time to cull and organize, we just shoved things away. The result: My drab closet with mismatched hangers (some of which, you will note, barely had a grip on my clothes) was both dysfunctional and dreary.

The Materials

DIY Wrapped Muslin Hangers, supplies, Remodelista
Above: This project is all about recycling. All you need are some white wire hangers from your dry cleaner, good shears for cutting cloth, and a yard or two of any cotton or linen muslin—an old sheet, even a worn T-shirt will do. I experimented with a torn linen pillowcase and some cotton muslin that I bought at my local fabric store. Similar Muslin Fabric is $2.09 a yard at

How to Make the Fabric Hangers

DIY Wrapped Muslin Hangers, tying fabric, Remodelista
Step 1: Cut your muslin into thin strips about a half inch wide and a yard long. Step 2: Tie the end of one muslin strip to the neck of your hanger. For decorative purposes, I left an inch-long tag.
DIY Wrapped Muslin Hangers, wrapping muslin, Remodelista_edited-1
Step 3: Holding your ribbon at a slight diagonal, tightly wrap the muslin around the hanger making sure that each new layer overlaps the one before.
DIY muslin wrapped hangers, step 4, Remodelista_edited-1
Step 4: When you have several inches remaining, tie off the first ribbon with a double knot and trim excess, leaving behind a small tag.
DIY muslin wrapped hangers, second ribbon, Remodelista_edited-1
Step 5: Tie your second ribbon onto the hanger. I placed mine so that it would wrap over some of the first strip. This helps to secure both ribbons and ensures that you don’t have two lumpy knots in the same place. The twist in the hook of the hanger provides a nice ridge against which to secure your final knot. When you’ve finished wrapping your second ribbon, simply it tie off and leave the hook exposed.
DIY Closet Makeover with Muslin Wrapped Hangers, finished, Remodelista
Above: Voilà! My muslin-wrapped hangers.

The Finished Look

Justines closet Makesover with Wrapped Hangers, Remodelista
Above: With my new hangers, my clothes hang at an even height—so much more functional (not to mention aesthetically pleasing).
Worlds Easiest Coat Hangers, finished closet, Remodelista_edited-1
Above: Here’s my closet, all fresh and clean and ready for spring. Of course, painting your closet and rehanging your clothes also gives you the chance to organize. Feeling ambitious? Go to Remodelista to try Michelle’s ultimate cull: Closet Clean Out: The Only 10 Pieces of Clothing You’ll Need.

Hang around—sorry, couldn’t resist—for some more inspiration:

N.B.: This post has been updated with new links and prices; it was first published on Remodelista in April 2015.

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