Life In A Nutshell Build your own clothes line Right now

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Life In A Nutshell Build your own clothes line Right now

Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life. -Burton Hills

One of the things I missed while living in an apartment was my clothes line. As soon as we could, we put one up at the new house. We tried the pulley system, but the only place we could put it was right across the path into the back yard. I scoured freecycle and craigslist for clothes line posts that I could pick up (for free or a price) but nothing was ever posted. The other day, I noticed that my neighbor (the one who nowthinks I am insane) had a nice set up behind her garage and went over to ask about it. I told her that it was nice to not be the only one in the neighborhood to have one. I grew up visiting family in Amish country (Ohio), and even lived there for a few years, so seeing a clothes line was nothing new to me. For some reason, when we put one up sixteen years ago we were called tree hugging hippies. Now they are hip enough that you see them often.

After looking at her posts, Googling various instructions and pondering our needs, we came up with a plan.

5 landscaping timbers, a drill, saw, level, tape measure, 2 1/2 screws, 12 eye screws and two 6 1/2 lag screws.

Two feet deep and About *this* big around.

Then, Ifell into the hole.(But I recommend that you skip this step.)

Then, we got all scientifical, as Alex would say. We left the pole part the full 8, but cut the top beam to 66. We laid them on the ground, being sure to put the center post thing in the middle of the top beam. Using a drill bit that was slightly smaller than the lag screw, we drilled through the top support and into the pole part. After that, we laid the landscaping timber that was to be the support piece at an angle and marked where to cut it. Angle, schmangle.

Using the lag screws, attach the top beam to the pole. Using the screws,toenailthe angled supports to the top and pole, where they touch.

Once assembled, you can decide if you will be usingeye screwsto hold your line, or if you will just drill holes and run the line through it. As you can see from the picture, we skipped this part. Doh!

Thats ok. A small drill bit and screwdriver will take care of it.

To put it into the ground just pack the dirt around the post as hard as you can. For some reason Marty and Christian decided to pile stones and various lawn creatures left by the previous occupants, but you do not have to do that. In fact, I probably wouldnt if I were you. You can cement it into the ground, if you want to. (The easiest way to do that is to pack the dry concrete mix around the pole as hard as you can, and then wet it with the garden hose. Dont worry if you dont get the whole thing wet. The dry mix on the bottom will wick the moisture from the ground.) Ours are 20 feet apart.

Now, deciding which clothes line to use is your next step. Personally, I have always used cotton, but it usually sags. I am planning to use the cotton that I have, and replace it with plastic as needed.

By the way for sagging lines you can prop them with either an old broom stick or 1 x 2. Notch the top or pound two nails into the end. Do not, I repeatdo notbut a clothes line prop. That is just silly!

Voil.120 feet of drying space, with the ability to add more. (A 66 top is big enough for up to 11 lines, if places 6 apart.)

It took more time to explain it than it did to build it, I promise.

5 landscaping timbers @ $1.97 each = $9.85

Screws = leftover from another project (But you can buy them at any big box home improvement store for a few $)

Clothes line = Already had mine but you can find 100 of cotton line at Wal-Mart for around $3

Clothes pins = Already had mine, but Wal-Mart sells 50 packs for 98

Considering the fact that my dryer bites and loads need to be run 2-3 times (I know, I know) the savings should be substantial.

(Really good picture of Amish clothes line fromflickr.Really average pictures from

I love my clothesline, however, today I learned an important lesson. Goats and loaded clotheslines dont mix.

Oh no! One of my favorite pictures is of a clothes line in Amish country with a goat munching on the hanging clothes. I will have to try to find that picture.I have found out that clothes lines and 12 year olds dont mix. You would think he would remember near decapitation and steer clear, you know?!

Hi there! I wrote about you on Tonic News Network today. Loved this post!Loved the photo and we posted it with credit to you. If we should credit someone else, please do let me know. (citymama at gmail dot com)

I wondered where the picture came from! I love traveling through Amish country on laundry day. The deep colors and the contrasting blacks are gorgeous.

Loved reading about your clothesline. I hope to put up one soon on the Amish style. Did your pulley system have a brake so that you could have the far end much higher than the lower end without everything rolling downhill? If so where did you find the pulley?

My mom uses a clothesline and we did when I was a child alsobut, my concerns are dust and smoke and stuff from around me. If my window sills get dirty, wont the clothes on the line get dirty also?

How dusty do your windowsills get, hair girl? If you have to dust them twice a day, you probably dont want a clothes line.I live in the country surrounded by trees so Im not particularly worried about the polutants you might find in an industrial situation. I really enjoy the way the sun and air freshen the fabrics.Still looking for pulleys. Someone mentioned a well pulley that you use to pull up a bucket of water. Anyone have any idea where to find one? All suggestions appreciated.

I just love your clothes line.This is my next project.I live a 14 acres and I am dying for a clothes line.Yours is just PERFECT!!!! Thanks!..I wasnt sure if I could make my own,but seeing yours,I know I can.I just love the rocks!! Thanks again 🙂

I just love your clothesline and rocks are really a nice touch.I live on 24 acres,we moves here 3 yrs ago and I have just been dying for a clothes line.Yours is just PERFECT!This is my next project,at first I didnt think i could do it,but seeing yours just gave me the confidence to do soThanks!!!. 🙂 ALISHA

I love your clothesline idea- Were currently renting and I was looking for one I wouldnt really need to use concrete with We do live in the desert in California though, so while we have plenty of sun and wind (and no rain), Im a little concerned about the dust I guess well find out, because my windowsills get dusted once every two days, depending on what the wind kicks up!

I am SO excited to get the materials and try this! I used to live near the Amish in PA until I got marrie and moved to Florida. Clotheslines are so much cost effective, and better for the enviroment too! Thanks for the plan!

Thank you for the post! My DH was going to build me a clothesline for my birthday Sat. and I had one that I had wanted for a while. I decided to look on line and see if there were any styles I liked better and we both liked yours better. So I now have a clothesline like yours instead of the one I had planned on. Again, Thank you!

Great Idea , I was going to try making post with galvenized pipe.

PS Line dried clothes not only save energy the clothes last Much Longer.The lint in the electric dryer is clothing depreciation.

Great Idea , I was going to try making post with galvenized pipe.

PS Line dried clothes not only save energy the clothes last Much Longer.The lint in the electric dryer is clothing depreciation.

I have lived at my house over a year and could not get anyone to make me a clothes line. I found you on line and that very day I bought all the needed equipment. A friend of mine and I did this project in less than 2 hours, not counting the cement to dry. I am sooooooo happy. If I can do it, any woman can do it herself. Thank you so much for you article on how to build the perfect clothes line.

Im building one of these this weekend! Thanks for the info!

I just wanted to say thank you! My husband built this for me last weekend using your instructions and I am SO happy!!! Screw flowers, bring on the wooded clothesline posts, lol!!! Seriously, my kids were laughing at me for being so excited. So thanks, you helped make my summer!

Love my new clothes line; however, with all the materials, it ended up costing $40, but well worth it!

Im not even certain if you are still doing your blog or not, but I came across this when looking for some easy tips on how to build a clothesline. My boyfriend is in the garage right now building this for me and it already looks wonderful and it certainly seems sturdy enough. My 62 son is sitting on the poles as hes trying to drill into them. Thanks so much for your blog!

This seems to be a popular post, so here is an update:

In October 2008, we moved from Michigan to Mississippi and had to leave our clothes line behind. I still miss that thing.

I think I might try this! not much online about making your own..(that I found)have you made another in your new place?

This is a terrific tutorial. Im definitely saving it in my favorites for that day someday when hubby finds a little time.

What size/kind of landscaping timber are you getting for $1.97? What Im seeing are WAY more expensive!

To anonymous above, The Home Depot had them for less than $2 a couple of weeks ago.

I am SO excited to find directions for making a clothes line. Dads lines were made with painted iron pipes in 1960.

His lines are vinyl coated twisted wires. Im not sure if Ill beable to find it, but Ill try.

about the line getting dirty: I am a countryfarm girl. We used a wet, slightly soapy wash cloth and ran the length of the line every now and then. Actually not much farm dust got on the lines since they are so thin compared to the window sills someone else was worried about

Would it be alright to link to this post in my blog? I just want to brag about how awesome a clothesline is and this is by far the best directional Ive found for making the posts online! Love it!

Awesome! I am about the same level of dyi as you when it comes to carpentry. Will start tomorrow. Let you know how it goes. By the way have you ever built a easy deck? Just wondering. lol Lou

I have searched high and low for a clothes line pole that would not fall apart, twist or rust. Living in Michigan, the weather can be brutal.

I sent a link to your site to my dad asking him if he would help me build these. I got a phone call ten minutes later. Hes going to the hardware store in the morning 🙂

If you could see what I have been using- the end 6 x 6 from our pergola to the side trim of the garage- definately not pretty. I am so excited to get the up and in use.

Thanks so much for posting this- I am sure that with something sturdy I will be able to use it way more than I currently use my makeshift clothes line.

Great design. I have one tip, however. If you use cedar 44 posts, they wont warp and bend like landscape timbers, and will last 5x longer. After a few years, if you put much tension on your line, your timbers will snap off at ground level.

go to a tractor supply or marine supply that sell boats and get some marine grade pulleys like the ones that are used on sail boats .

I have been wanting a clothesline forever and now that we moved out of the city and more into a lakeshore suburb in Michigan Im hoping to have one up this spring once the snow is goneIve been warned that since we have so many trees however that it might not be a good idea? Any ideas the pics in this post look pretty similar to what we have although a few more trees in the actual yard. There is plenty of sun spots with no trees but there are definity trees around and Ive been told they get dusty dirty and buggy

I love this! I am going to the store this week and purchase these parts. I love the price and my electric bill is too high because of the dryer. Thanks a bunch for posting this!!

I just googled how to build a clothes line and your blog was the first thing that popped up. The directions look very easy, Im sure my husband will appreciate it next month when we move to a new house and he has to build one!

Love the idea and just bought the supplies. In 2012, we payed $26 for the listed items. Each item was priced almost double the 2008 cost. That is still pretty good for a clothespole that will last for decades.

I just saw this and it is exactly what I have been trying ti figure out! This is a great and easy project! Mine will be finished by evening, if we dont get another storm.

I want to use metal clothes line material, and found where to get it! I am so excited!

For those of you looking for pulley systems, go to foe everything you need.

Thanks so much, You have made my day!

I built a clothes line just like this 2 years ago and today it just snapped. The wood at the base of the soil just broke off after I hung my final pair of shorts. Any tips on rebuilding so this doesnt happen again? Thanks!

At the poster above, try substituting pressure-treated 44 or 46 for the uprights; everything else should be fine. I intend to start with PT 4x4s but am glad to save some dough with landscape timbers for the rest. Plus, it looks a lot nicer that way. I also plan to bury mine at least 42 deep as I am in cold country and mine will heave, otherwise.

This is EXACTLY what Ive been looking for. Email a link to your page here to my neighbor to see if hell put this up for me. Thank you!

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