How to Make a Picture Clothesline

Do you have lots of pictures, but have no way to display them? A great way to show off your favorite snapshots is to create a picture clothesline. Easy to make, easy to use, and easy to change, a picture clothesline is exactly what it sounds like--a clothesline for your pictures!


  1. Image titled Make a Picture Clothesline Step 1
    Choose a space. Usually a wall works best for this project, but it's possible to use something else--a large bookcase, the back of a door, or across a window frame.
  2. Image titled Make a Picture Clothesline Step 2
    Gather your materials. You'll need string, nails or tape (thumbtacks work as a substitute for nails), and clothespins. You can switch it up a little and modify these materials; use beaded string or strips of pretty fabric. You can decorate your clothespins with paint or markers. Get creative!
  3. Image titled Make a Picture Clothesline Step 3
    Measure your space and cut your string. This step is simple. You don't even need measuring tape for it--just unroll your string across your wall and cut accordingly.
  4. Image titled Make a Picture Clothesline Step 4
    Hang your string using nails or tape. If you can use nails on your chosen space, that's your best bet. They will last longer than tape. Pound a nail in where one end of your string will be. Tie the end of your string around it, being sure it's sturdy. You might want to pound the nail up a little, so the string won't slip off. Then extend your string out to about the middle, and pound another nail. Pull your string taut to that spot and tie around that nail. Finally, pound a nail in at the end of your string, pull taut, and tie off. Whew! Now you've got your first clothesline! Basically you have three nails, with the string tied around each one to make one long, strong line.
  5. Image titled Make a Picture Clothesline Step 5
    Hang your pictures. Use your clothespins to hang your snapshots. Horizontal pictures should probably be hung with two pins to keep them straight. Vertical pictures can be hung with one pin placed in the center.
  6. Image titled Make a Picture Clothesline Step 6
    Change as needed. The best part about this project is how versatile it is. You can switch your pictures and change your whole room in a few minutes. Use all black and white pictures for a more formal look. Hyper-colored pictures can really brighten up a space as well.


  • A clothesline is a great idea for a desk area, as an alternative to a bulletin board.
  • This project can also be done vertically, although it wouldn't be a "clothesline," per se. It would look neat, though.


  • Don't pound nails without checking first. If you are living in your parents' house, be sure you can punch holes in their walls. In a dorm room? Maybe strong tape would work better for you. If you have fragile plaster walls, try sticky goo instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Twine, rope, or some kind of string
  • Nails, tape, or something to hang the string with
  • Clothespins
  • Pictures

Article Info

Categories: Decorating with Prints and Pictures