Clothesline Frame from Book Tour

Beginner Projects
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Build a frame with clothespins for clipping photos! Free tutorial!

Do you know how authors refer to their books as "their baby"?

Well, I now know exactly why they do that. I sure do!

Yes, creating the book takes months and months of your life, causes you to gain lots of weight, and "let yourself go" (well, at least in the case of your's truly) and you become super proud of all your hard work and sacrifice.  But it doesn't end there.

Have you ever taken a baby home from the hospital?  

My book released last Tuesday.

And it's like we are first time parents all over again, trying to figure out what the heck to do with a new baby, and wondering how on earth they let us take her home without a mandatory training class with overnight sleep deprivation testing, current patience certification and a parenting license.


It has been a whirlwind last few days, filled with interviews, live tv segments and book signings.  No, you don't get to call anything you "baby" without working super hard and losing lots of sleep.

Thank goodness there are no diapers associated with book releases.

And of course there's lots of smiles and laughs and hugs to go along with. That's why we do these things!  Thank you everyone who came to our book signings in Atlanta!  I really enjoyed our time in Atlanta, and loved meeting you.  And a special thank to those of you who woke up early on Saturday and stopped by to say hello in Houston.  Sierra, I loved your play kitchen!!!  

And no book signing of mine would be quite right without bringing along a drill, would it?

At the book signings, I build this frame and answer any questions you may have about building.  It's actually modified from a plan from the book, much larger in size, with the added string and clothespins.  We give the frame away at the end of the demo.  


Tonight, I will be building a frame in Salt Lake City at the Home Depot on 3398 S Highland Drive, followed by lots of fun giveaways (including gift cards so you can build your own frame!) and free autographed books with $20 purchase.  

Can't wait to see you tonight Salt Lake City!


If you haven't already picked up a book - thank you to those of you who have! - there is quite a few giveaways going on that you can enter and win a book:

- Free Book with $20 purchase at all Home Depot book signings (Salt Lake City 10/15, Chicago 10/17 and Seattle 10/18)

- PureBond Plywood is giving a book away a total of 20 books! Entry daily!

- My publisher Crown is giving away a free book!

- You can Pin 2 Win a $600 building goodies package (3 $300 valued runner up prizes too!) by just pinning the book!  

- My friend Jen at Tatertots and Jello is giving away the book and posted a plan from the book!

- My friend Beth at Home Stories A2Z is giving away the book and is sharing a new free plan from the book!

- Dear Wendy from the Shabby Nest who I so fondly say "discovered me" is sharing a free plans from the book and giving away a free book!

It will just take a second to put your name in to win the book!  And if you already have a copy, why not give the gift of building to a friend?  Take a second to enter the great giveaways right now!


Just wanted to give a special thank you to those of you who are taking a second to write a review of the book over at Amazon.  Your reviews mean zillion times more to me than professional reviews - I work for you, and value your feedback tremendously.  Thank you, thank you!


Oh. My. Goodness!  We got our first book brag post! 

It's a mirror with shelf built by JoanneS!  I have this mirror too and LOVE it!  Thank you JoanneS for sharing the brag post!

For those of you building projects from the book, when you brag, just check the box that says "Book Plan" and I will create a special "Book Brag Board" when I get home.  Fun stuff!


And of course, I want those of you who don't live near signings to be able to make this frame too!  It's modified from the book plans, so follow along the book plans too as you build!  



Shopping List

• 1 – 1x3 @ 12 feet long, pine furring strips
• 2 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long, pine furring strips
• 20 – 1 ¼” pocket hole screws
• 14 - #6 x ¾” Flat Head Screws…
• Roll of twine
• 24 mini clothespins

Cut List

• 2 – 1x3 pine furring strips 23 ¾” long
• 2 – 1x3 pine furring strips 37 ½” long
• 2 – 1x2 pine furring strips @ 28 ¾”
• 2 – 1x2 pine furring strips @ 39”

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Start by building the inner frame. A tip I give in the demos is if you are having trouble with your wood splitting, try setting your pocket hole jig to 1/2" setting and using 1" pocket hole screws. Use glue at all joints.

Step 2

Take your inner frame and drill pocket holes facing outward for attaching outer frame. Then begin attaching outer frame, shorter boards first.

Step 3

Then add the final outer frame boards.

Step 4

Take a small drill bit sized to fit your small screws and measure 1/2" on it and mark with tape. This will help guide you to not drill your holes too deep. Then drill pilot holes as noted in diagram. Insert screws and tighten, leaving enough room to wrap twine around.

Tie off twine at first screw, zig zag across screws to create the clotheslines, tie off on final end screws. Attach photos with mini clothespins.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Holly Kennedy (not verified)

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 06:56

My book should arrive today and I am soooooooo excited! You are so talented! Thank you for sharing your brilliant ideas with the rest of us! ;)

Melody J (not verified)

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 07:31

I was still subscribed to your old blog. I still keep in in the archive folder on my Google Reader. I totally lost track of your current work. A couple of weeks ago someone linked to this blog. It was like seeing an old friend again. I'm so happy for your success. I can't wait to get this book.

monkeyshiners (not verified)

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 08:04

I have so many of your projects pinned and on my to do list it is not even funny! as soon as we get some extra money for wood, we will be starting on our own "hand built" home! No more particle board junk for us! Thanks so much!


Mon, 10/15/2012 - 08:18

I had a package waiting for me from Amazon last night! I was so excited. Read it cover to cover. It's absolutely gorgous! I love all the pictures and the information section in the front was so well thought out and written:-) I can't wait to start on some new projects.

barbarella67 (not verified)

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 08:58

Any chance you might be coming to Southern California?

MoeWest (not verified)

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:29

Congratulations on your book! I love that your plans are easy enough for the DIYer to accomplish.


Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:55

I read your book last night, the whole thing, It is perfect! Beautiful photos! And I just wrote my review on Amazon, thanks for the link! I can't wait to build something from it! Thanks so much Ana!

Katie D (not verified)

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 12:57

Saw you this morning on KSL and I'm so excited about the projects you were highlighting there and what I've seen on this page so far. Can't wait to come see you tonight and get my book!

Mekenzie @ Int… (not verified)

Tue, 10/16/2012 - 07:28

Hi Ana,

It was so much fun to go to your demonstration and meet you last night. I was so nervous and extremely awkward when meeting you. But thanks for your kind words when giving me blogging advice. You are a major inspiration to me. And I LOVE the book. I've already read through it twice.

Cheers! Kenz

Robert (not verified)

Tue, 10/16/2012 - 11:36

Hi Ana,

It was so nice to meet you last night in Salt Lake. The book is great, your demonstration was great, you were great. You're such an inspiration. Keep up the good work and please come back to Salt Lake soon.

There are obviously a lot of people in Utah that love you.


Heather Sitton (not verified)

Tue, 10/16/2012 - 18:32

I love this frame! I hope to win your book! If not, I will be buying it soon. I don't have a Kreg jig yet, but I notice that the plans are usually for pocket holes. I am using countersink bits. It seems as though I need to put my screws on the outside, right? I am confused with their placement for this frame. Please help. Thank you!

Lynnette (not verified)

Tue, 10/16/2012 - 19:16

My husband attended on my behalf in Houston. He's the smarty pants that shared what HIS version of DIY is....he says it means "Darling, It's Yours!" He said that it was a great class, and was impressed that I'm not the only girl that owns tools!

Lisa Kubin (not verified)

Tue, 10/16/2012 - 21:39

I just found your blog and love it!! Can't wait to get a copy of your book. Wish you were coming to Southern Cali for a book signing!


Fri, 12/21/2012 - 13:09

I am headed out to my garage to build this right now! And I just realized I have a question...haha. Are the 1x3's centered on the 1x2 frame pieces? (is there an overhang/lip on the back side?) Or is the back completely flush?? Thanks for the help!!! :)

Robert (not verified)

Sat, 12/22/2012 - 12:03

There is a lip on the back side. The lip should be enough so that the screws holding the twine will not touch the wall if you hang the frame on the wall.


Robert (not verified)

Sat, 12/22/2012 - 12:13

There is a lip on the back side. The lip should be enough so that the screws holding the twine will not touch the wall if the frame is hung on the wall.


JSean (not verified)

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 07:11

So Robert posted that there should be a lip on the backside so that the screws do not touch the wall (which makes sense) but clearly the lip on Ana's frame in the picture at the top of the page has the lip on the front. I'm confused. I'm going to split the difference and have a little lip on each side and hope for the best.

Deanna Moore (not verified)

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 15:07

I love this project and had some help building two. Now I'm ready to stain and finish but was wondering about the color stain you used and if it was just one stain or a two step process. Color/colors?

Thank you,


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 15:21

Robert - thanks for your response! I had actually started building it right away and didn't leave a lip on the back side at all. Instead of screws, I just used a staple gun to tack the twine where it needed to go, and it worked out fine. The metal staples probably won't be very good for the wall/paint if the frame swings back and forth much, but maybe there is something that can be put on the staples to soften their impact on the wall? Like a dab of glue or something? A lot of wall hangings have staples on the back, but this one will probably be rocked around more if you like to change out the pictures a lot.

Anyway, a slight lip on the back would also create a little space between the twine and the wall so that the twine, clothespins, and photos aren't all brushing the wall (they won't look like they're hanging on a clothesline so much). I think it looks fine like that, and having them away from the wall might actually cause the pictures to hang kinda tilted (??). So, whatever works I guess. I'm going to try making a second one with a slight lip on the back and see which one I like more.

JSean - there is definitely a lip on the front, and the majority of the lip should be on the front side. Robert suggested leaving a small lip on the backside ALSO. As I stated above, I think either method would work, but if you're using screws for the twine on the back, you probably should leave a lip there so you don't mar your wall. Good luck and have fun building! This was a nice little project :)


Fri, 09/12/2014 - 05:19

Hi anna, ive just started this frame and ive just completed the cut list although im thinking my 1x3's are a bit wider than the ones for this plan (im in uk). im measuring the 1x2's at 29 1/4" across top and bottom but everything else fits perfect. thank you for the plans :)