DIY Old Fashioned Clothesline
This post was sponsored by Blue Ridge Tools, but as always, all opinions are my own.
So excited to share a project I've been wanting to do for years! We finally built our very own clothesline and I'm sharing the full tutorial here with you so that you can replicate it!
(4) 1/4” x 7 1/2” Turnbuckles
(8) 5/16” Screw Eye
(8) 3/16” Quick Links
(8) 5/32” Ferrel & Stops
(100’) White Coated Plastic Wire
#10 3 1/2” Coated Deck Screws
(2) 3/8” x 5” Powerlag Screw
(4) 4”x8’ Treated Lumber
(8) 1/8” Rope Thimbles
Cordless Sawzall with wood blade
Blue Ridge Tools Detail Sander
6.5” Circular Saw
Cordless Drill & Impact Driver
Blue Ridge Tools Bits
Blue Ridge Adjustable Wrench
Blue Ridge 7/16” Boxend Wrench
Blue Ridge Level
Blue Ridge Tape Measure
Step One - The Clothesline
The first step is getting your clothesline ready. I wanted my clothesline to be 25' in length, and I wanted four lines total. So we cut our coated wire into 4 even pieces of 25'. Then, you'll want to install your hardware on your clothesline.
First put on your ferrel, then wrap the end of your clothesline around your rope thimble. Using a crimping tool, crimp your ferrel.
Then apply your stop on the very end of the wire and crimp that as well. It should look like the below photo when you're all done! Do this to all 4 wires, on each end. So 8 total.
We knew we wanted our clothesline to be 6' tall. We also wanted to bury it about 2' in the ground, so each of our poles needed to be 8' in length. Our horizontal boards we wanted to be 4' in length. And then the cross members that connect the horizontal and vertical beams needed to be 23" in length.
So we needed 2 8' boards, 2 4' boards, and 2 23" boards. Using your Blue Ridge Tools tape measure, measure out the length needed on each board, mark, and cut using a miter saw.
In order for your cross members to fit nicely between your two supporting beams, you will need to cut 45 degree angles on either end.
To give our clothesline poles more strength, we knotched the horizontal boards using a circular saw, to fit over the vertical boards. To do this, mark the center of your vertical board (the 4' ones) and knotch it wide enough for the width of your vertical boards to fit snug inside.
Your lumber should fit together like so. This also gives you a good visual of what the clothesline poles will look like once assembled.
Using Blue Ridge Tools detail sander and an 80 grit sanding pad, we gave all of our lumber a quick sanding, as well as the knotch we just cut. This will give us a smooth surface for painting later on, and an overall better looking finished product!
We like to drill the holes for our hardware before assembling any of our projects. To do so we used a 9/32" bit from one of the Blue Ridge tool kits we had on hand, and marked a straight line across our 4" horizontal boards using a chalk line. We then spaced our 4 clotheslines out evenly, and drilled a hole for our screw eyes. Do not insert your screw eyes just yet!
Now we can start assembling part of our clothesline pole! Place your vertical and horizontal beams together, and using your powerlag screw, screw them together.
Then using your coated deck screws and a Blue Ridge bit, install your cross members that you cut at a 45 degree angle.
The most important part in ensuring that your clothesline is here to stay, is how sturdy it is. To ensure ours was sturdy enough to withstand weather and clothing, we dug 24" into the ground.
We used a level to ensure that both of our posts were level horizontally and vertically, then installed temporary stakes to hold the posts upright and in place. We used one 60lb bag of concrete per hole, and let these dry overnight. We then simply filled the holes back in with dirt, and removed the temporary stakes.
We had a can of white exterior paint on hand and used this to paint both of our clothesline poles. I wanted a classic white look, and it took about an hour to give them two coats of paint. Make sure to use an exterior paint so that it will hold up to the outside elements.
Now's the time to install your hardware! Start out by screwing your 4 screw eyes into the holes we pre-drilled earlier. We used a Blue Ridge level to make sure that each screw eye was level! We also used a flathead for leverage to turn the screw eye.
One side of your clothesline will have a quicklink only, the other side will have a quicklink and turnbuckle.
The below photo shows the quicklink and turnbuckle, which will be on one side of your clothesline.
Connect your clothesline using the quicklink on one end, and the quicklink and turnbuckle on the other end, by connecting them to your screw eyes. The turnbuckle can be used to add tension to your clothesline so it's not a big deal if you have a little bit of slack in your line.
To close your quicklink, use a Blue Ridge adjustable wrench so that it doesn't open up on you later on. You will also use this adjustable wrench to tighten your turnbuckles and add tension to your clothesline.
And now you have a classic clothesline to dry all the clothes you want! I've wanted one of these for years and it was the perfect spring time project to tackle!
We also purchased a fun little clothespin bag to store my clothespins in, and installed a hook to hang it on. I even was able to dry my first load of laundry out here as soon as we got it up, as it was a beautiful sunny day!
Resources for this project:See all materials
LindaLee Furstenwerth on Jun 07, 2021
brings back bad memories of my childhood to me carrying up those heavy wet laundry loads to hang out, and the dried clothes always smelled dusty to me and were stiff, scratchy, and needed ironing. Just alot of extra work. Not everything "vintage" (since it is all from my lifetime doesn't really seem vintage to me) is good or better for instance we stopped using tin cups because they tasted of metal after time and some things were just not worth the effort.
Maude LaFountain on Jun 08, 2021
I LOVE IT !!......Sheets dried out in the sun smell so good !!! ....I have been wanting clothes lines put up for years... now I have to get that project going !!!....FRESHLY AIR DRIED CLOTHES ARE AWESOME !!!....And I don't mind the extra work taking them out to Hang ....GREAT JOB !!