How to make a clothesline (with pictures)

How to make a clothesline (with pictures)
How to make a clothesline (with pictures)

A washing line allows clothes to be dried in an ecological way. The dryer is one of the household appliances that consume the most energy, so by using a clothesline, you will not only do a good thing for the planet, but you will also save money. Making a clothesline is a practical and innovative option for those who care about the environment or are on a budget.


Part 1 of 4: preparing to make the clothesline

Make a Clothes Line Step 1

Step 1. Find out if you are allowed to have a clothesline

In some places, they may be prohibited by condominium regulations because some people think they are unsightly. Check your neighborhood condominium regulations.

Make a Clothes Line Step 2

Step 2. Determine the location of the clothesline

Most machines can wash a load of clothes that require a 10m rope. Your clothesline should be long enough to hold at least one load. It should not be in a place where there is a lot of traffic. Make sure it is not somewhere where people or dogs often walk. You also don't want it to be above flowers, a swimming pool, a bed of shrubs, etc.

  • Do not make a longer washing line. The longer it is, the more it will sag.
  • Avoid installing the clothesline under trees that drop sap, leaves or other items. Also, do not place it under trees with large numbers of birds.
  • If you want to dry colorful clothes, make sure there is a part in the shade to prevent them from rubbing off.
  • If you plan to dry several loads of laundry at the same time, you can install clotheslines between several poles or several trees.
Make a Clothes Line Step 3

Step 3. Determine the height of the posts

When building a clothesline, you need to make sure that it will be at the correct height. It should not be too high so that you can easily hang your laundry, but it should also not be so low that large items, like sheets and blankets, drag on the floor.

The wood you are making the posts should be longer than the height of the posts. Indeed, part of the wood will be sunk into the ground. For example, if you want a washing line at a height of 180 cm, you will need wood at least 240 cm long

Make a Clothes Line Step 4

Step 4. Purchase the materials

To make a good clothesline, you need the right materials. You need:

  • two treated wood posts measuring 10 x 10 x 300 cm
  • two treated wood posts measuring 5 x 5 x 240 cm
  • eight hot-dip galvanized zinc-plated steel lag bolts of 6 x 150 mm (with washers)
  • two zinc-plated steel lag bolts of 6 x 200 mm
  • eight pitons
  • two clothes line tensioners
  • two quick links
  • 30 m of clothesline
  • two bags of quick-setting concrete
Make a Clothes Line Step 5

Step 5. Gather your tools

To make a clothesline, you have to saw some wood, drill holes for the lag screws and dig a hole in the ground. To do this, you need these tools:

  • a miter saw
  • a drill and bits
  • clamps
  • a spirit level
  • a post hole shovel
  • a bucket (optional)

Part 2 of 4: making the poles for the clothesline

Make a Clothes Line Step 6

Step 1. Measure the posts

Most washing lines are around 180cm high. Two 300cm poles work well for this, as you will be able to drive 90-120cm into the ground and they will still be high enough for your clothesline. You can also use posts from 240 to 260 cm. If they are too long, they will have to be cut. However, you may not need to cut these two posts at all.

  • If you live in an area prone to severe frost in winter, drive the posts below the frost level to prevent them from moving. It could be 90 to 120 cm or even more.
  • You may also need to drive the posts deeper if your soil is sandy or unstable.
Make a Clothes Line Step 7

Step 2. Cut the angles of the beams

Take two 240cm posts and cut them in half so that you get four 120cm pieces of wood. Cut two of these new posts in half so that you have four 2-foot pieces. They will be used to make the reinforcements.

  • You should now have a 120cm cross beam and two 60cm braces for each of the clothesline posts.
  • Cut the ends of the 60 cm pieces of wood at a 45 ° angle. To do this, set your miter saw to a 45 ° angle. These pieces will form the reinforcement bars. Double check the angle before cutting the wood. If you are wrong, you will have to buy more wood.
  • If you want, the cross beams can be about 1m. You can also cut their ends at an angle if you don't want them to have right-angled edges.
Make a Clothes Line Step 8

Step 3. Drill the holes

Measure and mark the middle of each beam and the middle of the top of each post. The mark on the beams should be on the face that will face up. The mark on the posts must be on the top, i.e. the face on which the beams will be laid. Drill a hole slightly narrower than the lag screws at each mark.

  • Attach the beams to the posts using the two 200mm lag screws.
  • When you are finished, each beam should be laid on top of a post so that it forms a T.
Make a Clothes Line Step 9

Step 4. Screw the braces to the beams

Install reinforcement bars between beams and posts. Drill a hole at an angle near the bottom of each bar so that it can be attached to the post. Drill another hole at the top of each bar so that it can be attached to the cross beam. Drill these holes making sure they are centered in the wood.

  • The 45 ° angle at each end of the reinforcement bars will allow them to fit perfectly between the beams and posts.
  • Hold the braces in place with clamps so that they remain stable. Drill holes in the beams and posts and attach the braces with the eight 150mm lag screws.
Make a Clothes Line Step 10

Step 5. Install the eyebolts

Measure even spaces for the eyebolts along the cross beams. Don't start at the end. Try to start about six inches from each end. For four pitons, spaces of 25 to 30 cm will be needed. Drill guide holes then screw the eyebolts.

  • You can screw the eyebolts into the wood using the handle of your screwdriver.
  • Depending on the length of the beams, you may want to install three eyebolts instead of four.

Part 3 of 4: digging the holes

Make a Clothes Line Step 11

Step 1. Dig the holes

Use a post hole shovel to dig holes in the locations you have determined. If you live in a hot climate, you need holes 30 to 60 cm deep. If you live in an area with sandy soil or prone to deep frosts, you need holes 30 to 120 cm deep. They must have a diameter of 30 cm.

Before digging holes in your garden, make sure that there are no gas pipes, pipes or electric or telephone cables in the area where you are going to dig

Make a Clothes Line Step 12

Step 2. Adjust the angle of the posts

Push the posts into the holes. Use a spirit level to make sure they are vertical before adding concrete. Ask someone for help or try putting soil in the hole and tamping it down to help hold the post in place while you adjust it.

Make a Clothes Line Step 13

Step 3. Add concrete

Pour a bag of dry concrete into each hole. Water the preparation with your garden hose. Mix the concrete and water with a stick until everything is a uniform consistency. Use the spirit level again to make sure the posts are vertical before the concrete sets. Let it dry for twenty-four to seventy-two hours.

  • You can pour the concrete in several batches so that you can mix it more easily while keeping the post vertical.
  • When pouring concrete, tamp it down as you add more so that it is as compact as possible.
  • You can also prepare the concrete in buckets before pouring the mixture into the holes.
  • Use a strong rope or twine to keep the posts perfectly vertical while the concrete sets.
Make a Clothes Line Step 14

Step 4. Return the earth

Once the concrete is completely dry, put the soil back on it to mask it. Tamp the soil so that the post stays firmly in place in the hole.

Part 4 of 4: install the rope

Make a Clothes Line Step 15

Step 1. Attach the turnbuckles

Attach two turnbuckles to the outside eyebolts on one of the beams. You can buy them at a home improvement store. They will allow you to keep the washing line taut without sagging. They will also allow you to retighten the rope if it begins to sag with use and due to bad weather.

Make a Clothes Line Step 16

Step 2. Install the rope

Buy a 30m clothesline from a hardware store. Cut it in half. Tie one end of the rope to an inside eyebolt located next to the tensioner.

  • If your poles are too far apart, you may need to purchase two 30m clotheslines and install one on each side. When you are finished, cut off the excess cord.
  • If you want to keep the ends from fraying, wrap them in duct tape or burn them with a lighter.
Make a Clothes Line Step 17

Step 3. Install the clothesline between the posts

Pull the end that you have not yet attached to the other post. Pass the rope through the inner piton opposite then in the outer piton which is next to it. Bring the rope back to the first post and connect it to the tensioner.

  • Pass the rope through the tensioner and tighten it. Cut the excess cord.
  • Each rope must pass through four eyebolts in total: two on the inside and two on the outside of each beam.
Make a Clothes Line Step 18

Step 4. Install pulleys

Instead of passing the rope directly through the eyebolts, you can attach pulleys to them. You can buy them at a home improvement store. Attach one to each peg.

Pass a clothesline around a pulley on each beam. Tie one end of the rope to the end of a turnbuckle and thread the other end through the holes in the turnbuckle. The rope will pass through the pulleys so as to form a well-stretched mobile loop. Be sure to tie both ends tightly and cut off the excess string


  • To get the most sunlight, orient the clothesline so that it goes in a north-south direction.
  • If you don't have poles, you can attach a clothesline to a house or garden shed roof, trees, window sills, or anything overhead. Look for options.

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