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After many years of high washing and drying bills, I wanted to go back to a clothes line outdoors, even though I have devised a series of clothes line "poles" for one storage hallway adjacent to my laundry area indoors from 4-5' tension poles that local folks have tossed on their curbs over the past couple of years, their likely having upgraded their old homes to glass sliding shower doors.
Being my age, I well remember that the old clothes lines sag, rust, stain, and that it's almost an art or craft to get a clothes line that's sturdy enough to hold heavy wet laundry up, plus I am extremely limited on extra money for such things. Here's what I finally did that works so well:
At the dollar store I found two long vinyl wrapped dog leads that are 25' each ($5 each and I needed two) with wonderful chrome swivel heavy duty clasps on each end (originally designed and sold for exercising dogs, which is now illegal in our state!) I had two 6" heavy duty eye bolts, a large nail, a screwdriver and a hammer.
Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, I knew that I had to do something about a leaning fence post or risk getting a fine from the city who is rather strict with their codes. So, I noticed that the only path available for the clothes line was also in line from the leaning fence post (luckily it was leaning towards the alley, away from my house) to a very old single but medium and sturdy tree and then to another thicker older tree.
We all know you can save a ton of money hanging out your wash instead of using the dryer. I recently started doing this, but realized that my clotheslines sagged when I put anything heavy on it or when they were completely full.
To create a clothesline prop pole, I found two old metal poles that were previously used for a canopy over an outside swing. The poles fit together perfectly. Then I got a metal hanger and cut just enough of it to make an "M" shape at the top of the pole. We drilled a very small hole near the top and allowed part of the metal hanger to come out of it and wrapped it around the pole for extra support of the "M". Fortunately, I didn't have to cut the poles as they were the perfect length. Now when the clothesline sags, I just prop the pole underneath it and my sheets and towels no longer lay on the grass.
A sagging clothes line can be fixed in a couple of easy ways. You can either tighten the line or use a clothes line pole or prop to push the line back up. This is a guide about keeping a clothes line from sagging.
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Has anyone ever make a clothesline from a faded patio umbrella? I think you could simply remove the cover, then drill holes in the spokes, and lace the line though the holes. Does anyone want to try it and let us know? It seems like a great use for re-purposing an old faded umbrella, right?
By Suzie from Seattle
Drilling holes in the spokes may be difficult---try tying the rope around the outside edges, like making a spider web. Then try to tie another row in closer toward the center, just making sure that there is something to 'catch' the rope, so that it doesn't slide down the spokes of the umbrella.
My umbrella is made of wood, so drilling would not be difficult. However, I can see how drilling holes could weaken the spokes. Thanks for giving me some insight.
Hmm, interesting! The clothesline idea sounds do-able, if the spokes are strong enough, and it's not super windy like it is where I live. I got tired of only being able to use my umbrella on calm days, so.
Here's what I did with my old patio umbrella: I re-purposed the cloth into a very large roll-up sun shade (like a bamboo blind) for the west side of the patio. It took a long time to detach each piece of fabric from the spokes and then pick off the plastic reinforcing material with a seam ripper. I then sewed the pie wedge-shaped fabric pieces together so they form a large rectangle. Then I got some long 1 x 1s for the top and bottom, and attached it to my pergola using bungee cords. It stays rolled up until I need the shade late on a summer afternoon.
I disassembled the umbrella hardware and used the umbrella pole for a bird feeder (the angled section makes a good "branch"). I drilled a hole through the end of the angled section to put rope through to attach the bird feeder to.
I probably still have the umbrella spoke assembly in the tool shed. I'll have to check and see if I can make a clothesline out of it - without the pole, I'll have to be creative about supporting it and how to place it. You've given me another project to ponder! Thanks!
I dry clothes on mine daily during warmer months . One hanger per spoke on umbrella. They smell so fresh too!
I want to re-install my clothesline posts. Years ago we cemented PVC sleeves in the lawn to hold the posts. When we removed the posts, the lawn grew over the sleeves. Is there a simple way to find the location of these sleeves so I can re-insert my poles? Or should I just start digging!
Charlotte from Waco, TX
Well one way you may be able to find the concrete sleeves is to buy a metal rod sold at hareware or big box stores. The rod is about 1/4 inch in diameter and 3 feet or so long.
Then go to area you think the sleeves are located in push or hammer the rod into the ground untill you hit some resistance then clear the area to see if it is the sleeves. You only have to insert the rod maybe 6 to 12 inches. One draw back is you may hit some rocks instead of the sleeves. This is the simplest way to locate the missing sleeves.