by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
So you've found the perfect wedding dress, what's next? A personalized hanger for the ultimate keepsake ...
Personalized wire hangers make meaningful bridal shower or bachelorette party gifts and beautiful mementos for the entire bridal party. This design idea can go well beyond weddings as well, making a heartfelt gift for special events such as graduations, proms, birthdays and more.
Find a wooden hanger (without a dowel at the bottom) at a craft store, flea market or second-hand store. The hanger can be painted, stained, decorated or embellished for additional design options. Keep the style of the wedding dress and bride in mind as you select a hanger.
Sketch out on a piece of paper what you would like to write with the wire. Such as mrs. smith, mary and david, i do, etc. Using lowercase cursive letters works best since the letters need to be continuous.
Plan ahead if you would like to add beads into the design, as you will need to add them as you are forming the letters.
Using 12- or 14-gauge aluminum wire and pliers, and your sketch as a guide, start from the middle of the wire to form the letters and add beads as you go along. Use the wooden hanger as a guide for the size of the letters, keeping in mind that you will want to center the text within the hanger. The amount of wire needed will vary depending on the amount and type of letters used, but a good rule of thumb is to allow 10 - 12 inches per letter and you'll want to leave six inches on either end of the text to secure to the hanger.
Once you've completed the text, bend the ends of the wire 90 degrees upwards on both sides and center within the hanger. Trim excess wire from either end. Next, drill holes in the bottom of the hanger and glue the wire ends into the wooden hanger.
Let dry and add additional embellishments as desired, such as ribbon or flat back crystals.
Use a small shot glass or round object to make perfect circles with the wire.
Match ribbon colors or embellishment details to wedding colors/theme.
You can also create the entire hanger out of wire, using an existing wire hanger as a template/guide. Plan on using approximately 60 inches of wire for the hanger and four letters. Form the text in the middle of the wire. Then bring the two sides of the wire together and twist one side around the other to form the base of the hook. Make the hook by bending the remaining wire. Note: this may not hold as much weight as using a pre-existing wooden hanger, but can still be used for a photo with the dress or as a keepsake memento.