Monday, May 10, 2010

How To Make a Clothesline

I have to give my husband credit for this one. We were at the hardware store, and I was looking at the multi-line clotheslines they had on sale. There was only one, it had 5 lines, and it was $35. I'd found some online for about $12 (plus shipping), but couldn't find anything locally except this one at the store. I was worried about the sturdiness of a clothesline that only costs $12, but I also wasn't excited about forking over $35 for one either. Then my wonderful husband said, "Why don't I just make one?" So we went over to the hardware section and found some hook and eye screws (whatever those thingys are called - they're $1 for a pack of 6!), and a 100' cotton rope. We spent less than $10! We had some spare 2x4's at home, so we didn't have to buy that. Alright, let's go:

-4' length of 2x4 (or 8' of 2x2)
-4 screw hooks (a screw with a hook on the end)
-12 screw eyes (a screw with a round loop on the end)
-cotton rope (you'll need to measure how much you want according to where you're going to hang your clothesline.)
-Something to hang the clothes line from (I have a perfect space between my garage and my back porch, so mine is hung there).
-saw (if you need to cut wood)
-drill (if needed for screws)


1. Cut your wood to desired size. I had a 2x4 on hand that I cut in half the long way, to make two 2x2's. You could really use any blocks of wood you want, as long as they are about 4' long

2. Screw eyes onto mounting surface (garage, tree, etc.), about 3' apart. You'll have to decide on the best height for you. We made it so it was just above my husband's head, so he could walk under it when it's not in use, and it's within reach for me. Use a drill to help with the holes if you need to. You'll need to measure the exact distance between eyes so they're even with the hooks. Since one side of my clothesline hangs from a post on the porch, they had to be closer together. For this one, we hung the eye screws on the sides of the post to give a little more distance between them for better leverage.

3. Screw hooks onto back side of wood blocks, the same distance apart as the eyes are on the mounting surface. Make sure the hooks face down.

4. On the front side of each block, screw in 4 eyes, spread evenly apart.

5. Mount your blocks by hooking the hooks into the eyes.

6. Cut rope to desired distance, plus about 12-15 inches.

7. Tie rope to eyes on each block, stringing across to opposite block. This might take two people - one to hold the rope taut, the other to tie the knot. My hubby looked up rope tying on the internet to find a good knot for this. Cotton rope is pretty stretchy, so you want to make sure the ropes are pretty tight. You can trim the excess rope if you want to, but I didn't, in case they ever need to be retied.

There you have it! A clothesline for under $10! And it can come down and be stored when not in use.

A laundry tip for those of you who might not have space for this: Before we built this, I just had one cord strung across my porch. There wasn't space to hang very much, but I would scrunch everything close together, using only one pin for each item and let them air dry as much as possible until the next load finished in the washer. I also hung big things like pants over the porch rail. Then I'd take everything down and throw it in the dryer. Even though it wasn't completely dry, it would be at least partially or mostly dry, and it wouldn't need very much time in the dryer. And that dryer time would also fluff out the wrinkles and stiffness from hanging so close together. For me, it was a way to save some energy and money, with limited space for hanging.

Click here to find out How to Make a Clothes Pin Bag

I am linking to these parties!


Angie Holden said...

Yippee!! Love it when more people get on the clothes line bandwagon!! Thanks for posting! I love my clothesline!! My hubby built mine too!

Unknown said...

I love that it can come down when you aren't using it!

Mandy said...

AHH!! I was literally going this weekend to buy that $35 one!! I like this much better because you can take it down!! Wonderful!

Unknown said...

I really want one of these. I had an old 1950's one at my old house and boy do I miss it! ann at

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Looking good!! Thanks for linking up!!

Krysstyllanthrox said...

Thanks for the great idea! It made me get off my tush and make my own.


Claire Jain said...

I totally crafted up a clothesline today based on this post! Thanks so much for the inspiration :-)

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