How to Build an Outdoor Clothesline

Drying your clothes on an outdoor clothesline is one easy way to decrease your gas or electric bills. According to, line drying decreases the wear and tear on your clothing and can help clothes last longer.

  • Post-hole digger
  • Clothesline T-posts
  • Concrete mix
  • Water
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hoe
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Drill
  • 2 eye bolts for the braces, six inches
  • 2 dog tie-out stakes
  • 16- or 18-gauge wire
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 2 eye bolts per clothesline, six inches
  • 2 turnbuckles per clothesline
  • Clothesline
Choose a location for your clothesline. Clothes dry faster and whites are brighter if dried in the sun, but as sun can fade bright colors, a combination of sun and shade is ideal. The length of the clothesline depends on the space available. Three or four lines 10 to 12 feet apart allow you to hang out plenty of clothing while lessening the chance of the line sagging from the weight.

Dig the holes for the posts with the post-hole digger. Make the holes 18-inches to 2-feet deep and at least a foot in diameter. Set the posts upright in the holes.

Mix the concrete mix with water in the wheelbarrow, following the directions on the bag. Use a hoe to mix thoroughly. Shovel the concrete into each hole around the posts, tamping down to pack the mixture into the hole.

Use a level to determine if the posts are straight. Make sure the crossbar also is level. Allow concrete to set overnight.

Drill a hole for one of the eye bolts two feet from the ground on the outside of each post. Insert the eye bolts, leaving one inch of threads exposed.

Twist the dog tie-out stakes into the ground one foot from the post on the outside. Angle the stake slightly away from the clothesline post. Connect the tie-out stake to the eye bolt with wire. Use pliers to twist the wire securely around the tie-out stake and the eye bolt. Turn the eye bolt until the wire is taut.

Screw eye bolts into the top inside of the crossbars. There should be holes for this purpose. If you're using a homemade clothesline post, drill the holes.

Thread one end of the clothesline through one of the turnbuckles. Tie this end to the clothesline. Repeat for each line.

Stretch the clothesline to the crossbar on the opposite post. Thread the line through a turnbuckle, then tie the line to the eye bolt. Repeat for each line. Turn the turnbuckles to tighten the lines.

Tips and Warnings

  • After you hang your first load of wash, you may need to tighten the turnbuckles to compensate for any stretching in the clothesline.

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