Wedding DIY: Dress Hanger

by Amy Azzarito

Image above: de la Barra Photography

When planning our Design*Sponge wedding shoot, we were completely captivated by the deep reds of the dinner plate dahlias are in season during the Fall. Their deep red color made us think of wine and so wine became a little secondary theme for our wedding shoot. We created this wine-inspired photo backdrop. And our styling consultant on the shoot, Ginny Branch Stelling, came up with this project that actually uses wine as a material. I love the idea of crafting a special hanger for your wedding dress. It would also be fun to make one for each of your bridesmaids. If you’re not planning a wedding anytime soon, this idea could be extended for to your coat closet hangers – one for each member of the family and then a couple of “guest hangers.” It’s all about the details! Thanks to Jenn Gietzen for the hand-lettering on this project!.   –Amy

Project Photography by Kathryn McCrary
Dress: the Laverne Gown by Catherine Deane

Project 2 step 1
Materials Needed

  • Wooden Hangers
  • Sandpaper
  • 6 bottles of cheap wine
  • Large, wide bucket or tub
  • Liquid Frisket
  • Rubber Eraser

Project 2 step 2
Step 1: Sand wooden hangers all over to remove finish. The wood needs to be raw so it can absorb dye.

Step 2: Take liquid frisket and calligraph either “bride” and “maids” or the names of the bridal party. This will mask off the lettered area so the natural wood will come through.

See the rest of the how-to after the jump!

project 2 step 3
Step 3: Soak hangers for 12-24 hours.

project 2 step 1a
Step 4: Dry and remove the frisket with an eraser.

final shot
Step 5: Hangers can be sealed with a clear varnish topcoat for extra protection.

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  • looks cute, but I can’t immagine to trust this to hang a wedding dress on in case the hangers stain afterwards.

  • Beautiful results for a dress photograph. Although, as a fashion historian I have to strongly caution anyone from storing their dress on this hanger either before or after the wedding. It would be very easy for a natural fiber, like silk, to pick up the dye even in the short term.

  • Wait a minute. You are wasting wine to dye clothes hangers? People about to get married have the time to do this? Granted I live in Canada where wine is a lot more expensive than in the US, but still this strikes me as INCREDIBLY wasteful (of wine, of money, of time) and totally UNIMPORTANT in the scheme of things for your wedding day.

    I was a wedding planner and I’ve seen a lot of crazy pre-wedding crafts but this takes the cake. If this is the direction of weddings I’m glad I got out of the business. Once weddings become less about the marriage and more about the aesthetics of the “Big Day” I was out and this seems to confirm that I made the right decision.

    • Annabel – This is just a fun DIY project. We are, by no means, suggesting that you won’t have a successful marriage if you do not do DIY projects. But if you are a crafter, why not use this an opportunity to have fun. Also, there is no reason to use an expensive bottle of wine – you can either use leftover wine that has already turned or buy Two-Buck Chuck from Trader Joes. -Amy

  • This is a beautiful + thoughtful project!

    However, I think a protective top coat is a must (rather than optional), as there is a risk that pigment will transfer onto the dress.

  • Another fantastic idea. And like so many of these great posts, it inspires many more collateral projects. For example, I’d love to take squares or rounds of scrap wood and make coasters using this wine method – and maybe some interesting plinths and bases on which to set some of my millions of small flower arrangements. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  • Nice idea, but oh Lordy. Hangers ‘can’ be sealed for extra protection? For the love of all things bridal, seal the hangers, people. SEAL THE HANGERS! It makes me sick to even think about the wood stain accidentally marking a wedding dress. That is one dressing room I would not want to be in…

  • This project terrifies me. Pine is incredibly porous, yet sealing is optional? If it’s in humid surroundings or if the dress travels on that hanger and slides around, the red could transfer. A day to remember, indeed.

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