When I was in the military, Liz and I would dream about what life would be like when we moved back to our hometown of Grand Rapids Michigan. We had hopes of continuing down the path of DIY blogging and seeking out adventure. I think we both had own little variations but still came back to the same image…
A farm, just out of reach of the chaotic city hustle but not quite deeply rooted in the hills that you keep a wet compass in your car just in case you pass the same tree twice.
We found or perfect little piece of heaven here at white cottage farm. The location was great and the projects were endless. We continued to build on our dream of having a little one running around wrangling up our sheep under the rustling noise of a waiving American flag, all while mom hangs clothes on the clothesline.
After five months with little man in our house, we already feel like the laundry is endless, we cannot image what it’ll be like with 16 year old Cope is going to be like. So we found it fitting to make this great dream come to life, and finally install our DIY Clothesline.
The Tools Needed
- Miter Saw
- Post-Hole Digger
- General Shovel
- 2 Clamps (Optional)
- 1/4″ Drill Bit
- 1/2″ Drill Bit
- 2 Bags of Cement Mix
- 4 Pressure Treated 4 x 4 x 8′
- 1 Pack (12) FastenMaster Headlok 6 in. Heavy Duty Flathead Fastner
- Clothesline Rope
- 4 Clothesline Tightener
- 8 Eye bolt – 5 in.
- 8 3/8 Washer
- 4 Quicklinks
- Outdoor Rated Tape – Hurricane Tape (optional)
Installing the Post
Start identifying where you want your clothesline to be placed and the distance between. Our clothesline is 25 feet apart. Keep in mind the further you away you place the posts the more the clotheslines will sag when you place items on it. I would recommend not exceeding 30 feet.
Using your Post-Hole Digger, dig your hole 24 inches deep and approximately 12 inches wide (diameter). Once you reached the 24 inches, take the 4 x 4 post and tamped down the bottom of the hole. Measure each side again to ensure you kept 24 inches.
Using spare 2 x 4’s I already had, I clamped two of them to the 4 x 4 post, about midway up, to use as support to help me keep level the post level. If you do not have bar clamps that will fit the 4 x 4, you can screw the 2 x 4’s into the post using a single screw for each to all for the 2 x 4’s to pivot.
Center your 4 x 4 post in the middle the hole, and level it vertically. I used the fence as reference and measured to each side of the post to ensure the face of the post stayed parallel. Using the 2 x 4’s as support, once you receive level, plant the 2×4 into the ground to keep the 4×4 from moving along that axis. Repeat for the adjacent axis until level is achieved on all sides.
Once all the sides are leveled, follow the cementer mixture directions and add the cement to the hole. The mixture I used, stated it was cured in 4 hours, but I left the posts in place overnight, given I was going to provide consistent tension inward from the clotheslines. Once all the mixture is added I check one last time for level to ensure I didn’t move the post. Cover the top of the cementer mixture with the dirt removed when you dug the hold to bring the hole back to flush with the surrounding ground.
Creating the Cross Bar and Support
While the post set, cut the top cross bars and diagonal support beams. Measure and cut two 4 x 4’s to 4 feet. These are going to be your top cross bars. Once cut, measure from each side, 6 inches and 18 inches centered vertically. Using the 1/2 inch drill bit, drill holes all the way through. Next, from each end measure form the top down, 2 1/2 inches, at a 33 1/2 degree angle on the miter saw, cut the taper inward.
Install the closed eyebolts. I added a 5/16 washer to ensure the backside of the eyebolt wouldn’t pull through. Using a pair of pliers and a screwdriver through the eyebolt, tight the eyebolt to the 4×4. Repeat until all eyebolts are installed.
Lastly, from the top of the cross bar, using the 1/4″ drill bit, pre-drill two holes at the center of the cross bar. This will be for the screws that are attaching the cross bar to the 4×4 post.
For the support, cut four 4×4’s at a 45 degree angle, with 2 feet being the outside (longest) edge. Using the 1/4″ drill bit, drill two pilot holes four inches and center from each end.
Once you feel the posts are set, install the cross bar first, and then install the 45 degree support beams.
Installing the clothesline Rope
Tie one end of the clothesline rope to the eyebolt. I used a Taught-Line Hitch knot, but any general slipknot will work. String across to the opposing clothesline post. Roughly Cut out the distance with about one extra foot of slack. This will be used to pull-on to tighten up the clothesline rope. Feed the clothesline rope through the clothesline tensioner and attach the the tensioner to the eyebolt using a quick link. Pull tight, until you feel the clothesline is fully taught.
Using outdoor rated tape, tape the clothesline rope about 3 inches beyond the clothesline tensioner and cut to act as an eyelet. This will keep the rope from fraying. *I used white “hurricane” tape (link here) to blend in with the white rope. Repeat these steps until all the clotheslines are installed.
Lastly, we had to make it fit into the farm, and painted it white. And that is it… Outside of allowing enough time for the cement to fully cure, this project takes only a few hours. We already through a few blankets on it to dry and were so happy to look out the back window to see them waiving back. This was the first time I have ever used clothesline tighteners and absolutely loved them. I’ll be using them all around the farm I am sure. Well let me know what you think… have you built a clothesline or do you currently use a clothesline? We’d love to hear how you use yours. Leave a comment below or follow us on Instagram! As always thank you so much for stopping by the blog today and give grace!