Hanging wet laundry on a rope or plastic clothesline to dry in the fresh air and sunshine is a time-honoured tradition that is gaining new popularity as homemakers look for ways to save money and reduce energy consumption. Most clotheslines are formed by stretching line between two T-posts and pulling them taut. Whether rope or plastic, clotheslines eventually may stretch out of shape and sag under the weight of a full load of laundry. Longer items such as trousers, sheets and towels may drag on the ground and become soiled without clothesline props to elevate them.
Select a sturdy tree limb or branch about 8 feet long and at least an inch in diameter. Longer branches or limbs are effective if they contain a fork or notch at or near the top.
Clip all of the lower branches or limbs that may be shooting off of the main branch. Offshoots that extend at least 8 inches higher than your clothesline may be trimmed until the offshoot forms a fork with a pocket that is about 2 inches deep.
Remove all of the leaves, vines and bark from the main tree branch that will become your clothesline prop. If your branch is not notched or forked naturally, carve a narrow notch in the centre of the branch top. Make the notch at least as wide as your clothesline rope or plastic.
Secure the base of the clothesline prop in the ground. Turn the prop back and forth in your hands until a small indentation forms in the ground where the base rests.
Hold the prop at an angle near the middle of your clothesline. Slip the clothesline into the top notch or fork. Push the prop base and centre until the line is elevated to the appropriate point.
Allow your clothesline prop to lean at an angle while you hang your laundry. Adjust it to a slightly more vertical position after your clothes are on the line.
- Young, green wood is better for clothesline props than older, drier wood. It's easier to shave and won't break as easily as older wood.