How to build a clothesline pulley

Clotheslines are used to dry your clothes naturally, and you only need a little space to do it. The pulley makes the line movable so that you can hang your clothes without having to reach the line directly. Users can also pull the line to them and the laundry basket. The pulley also makes it possible to hang your clothes higher than you would be able to if you had to reach the line all the way across.

Measure the distance from your house to where you want the line to extend, and the vertical distance, or how high above the ground you want your line. The distance from the house will be half the length of clothesline. The vertical measure determines the height of the support you will need for the far end of the pulley.

Attach one clothesline pulley to your wall where you want the clothesline to begin.

Cut a 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) to the height of your vertical measure, plus 7.5 cm (3 inches). Attach the second pulley to the 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) timber at the same height as the one attached to your house.

Build three support triangles to attach to the 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) timber. Build the support with the 10 cm (4 inch) side of the 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) board flat on the ground, and the bracing 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards should be upright so that the 45-degree angle cuts cross the grain, and the 5 cm (2 inch) side is vertical. The bottom support leg should be at least 75 cm (2 1/2 feet) long.

Screw the bottom three supports to the long 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) timber that holds the pulley, and then screw the bracing 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) timbers tightly into the gap. The support triangles go on each side of the long 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) timber, with one in the middle facing inward to brace against the weight of your laundry on the line.

Thread your clothesline through the pulleys, tie the ends tightly together, and pull the support up. You may have to screw an eye hook into the back of your support, and stake it to the ground to keep it from falling over if your ground is soft.


If you have an existing support like a tree in your back garden already, you can just attach the pulleys to that instead of building the whole structure.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) pieces of wood
  • Saw
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Eye hook
  • Tent stake
  • 2 clothesline pulleys
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About the Author

Cyclist and organic gardener Delia Rollow has been writing since 2010. She has been published in the "Commonwealth LitMag." Rollow has a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Bard College.