Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tutorial: Cedar Closet Hangers

Do you know why cedar is such a popular scent for closets?  In additional to being really pretty, the wood has a wonderful, woodsy scent that repels insects.  Really, the fact that cedar repels bugs is the main reason for having it in your closet.  Those repelled bugs includes moths, which love to eat sweaters and coats.  Ask me how I know.

A few years ago, an egg-filled moth got into my closet and set up house.  By the end of the summer I was missing a coat, several sweaters and a warm pair of wool slippers.  Since then I've kept a couple of cedar blocks somewhere inside that closet.  Of course, more often than not I couldn't tell you where the blocks are.  

 When son Adam built a cedar greenhouse for a client, I had a light-bulb moment: gather a few cut-off pieces of waste and add hangers so that I could hang them from the rod.  Then it occurred to me that you might want to make a few of these also.  They certainly are handy and you'll need less spray.

Let's start.  Gather up these things: your cedar block, heavy gauge wire (I used 14 gauge but that was a little too heavy), some small nails, a pair of needle nose pliers, a hammer, and to finish up some pretty ribbon. 
Step 1:  use the pliers to cut about 20 inches of wire and then twist the ends into a tight circle.

Step 2:  place the wire end on the long, thin edge of the wood block.  Hold a nail as shown and hammer the nail in about halfway.

Step 3: bend the nail head down toward the bottom of the block. This will hold the wire onto the block.  It's important to flatten the nail as much as you can.  Please note: I am not nailing on top of my cutting mat.  In fact, I moved to the concrete floor to do all of my nailing so as not to damage my work table.

Step 4: now complete the process with the other side of the block and the other end of the wire.

Step 5: bend the wire over the top of the block until it touches and forms a loop near the center.

Step 6: use the needle nose pliers to begin twisting the wire as tightly as possible.  It's difficult to keep it from over-twisting but try so that it looks neater when completed.

Step 7: when you have a nice straight wire with enough twist to make it stiff, bend the top 1/3 or so to form a loop for hanging.

Step 8: measure the circumference around the block and add an inch and a half.  Wrap the ribbon around the block to cover the wire loops and the nails.  I used hot glue to hold the ribbon by first gluing one end down onto the block.  Fold and glue about 1/2 inch down on itself.  Now tightly wrap the ribbon and glue the finished edge down.  I used a velvet ribbon and found it's weight worked very well.

And so now the truth: This particular block never made it out of the studio. . . it's protecting the stash exactly as it appears right here. I guess I'll just have to make a few more.  It's a good thing I grabbed several blocks from the trash pile!

1 comment:

Kaja said...

Good idea. It reminds me that my mum has what we have always called "the cedarwood chest" - a large blanket box, heavily carved, made from cedar, for just this reason I guess.