How to Build an Umbrella Clothes Line

Outdoor clotheslines give your fabrics a fresher aroma.
Outdoor clotheslines give your fabrics a fresher aroma. (Image: clothes pins image by Inger Anne Hulbækdal from

In this era of environmental consciousness, it makes sense to avoid using unnecessary appliances. Your clothes dryer is one of the easier things to get rid of, and doing so can make big savings both in money and in waste. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, if everyone made small, achievable changes to their lifestyles, including air-drying clothes instead of using a machine, it could cut U.S. carbon pollution by 15 percent, or 1 billion tons of global warming pollution. Instead of using your machine for every wash, make a handy umbrella clothesline to go outside. Your pocket will appreciate it, and so will the planet.

Things You'll Need

  • Post hole digger
  • Post hole cement
  • Spirit level
  • Plastic tubing, slightly larger than pole of clothes line
  • Saw

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Choose where to place your clothesline. You need a space that's far away from trees and under open skies so your clothes won't be fouled by visiting birds. It's also a good idea to phone your local authority and find out whether there are any pipes or lines under your yard before you begin digging.

Dig a hole about 3 to 4 feet deep using the post hole digger. Check the instructions on the post hole cement package to find out how much water is needed, then fill the hole with the cement.

Insert the piece of plastic piping carefully into the hole, making sure that no cement is on the inside of the pipe. Use a spirit level to make sure the pipe is properly upright. Once it's in, allow the cement to dry overnight. The next day, use the hand saw to cut most of the pipe off above ground level so it forms a base for the clothesline that's mostly hidden below ground level.

Slide the clothesline into the pipe base, where it should stand straight. Your clothesline is now ready for use, and you can remove it from the yard when you don't need it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your yard is big enough to have a permanent clotheslines,you can ignore the plastic pipe and insert the line directly into the ground. Be sure to check it with a spirit level before letting it dry.


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