Thursday, January 7, 2010

Making a Clothespin Holder from an Old Jersey

It is twenty degrees out. The forecast is calling for around 8 inches of snow. Instead of crying, I am dealing with this arctic weather by thinking about spring.

I love my clothes line. I love the smell of clothes fresh from the line. I love the extra absorbency the sunshine seems to add to my towels, not too mention the stains it takes out of our clothes. I love the quiet time in the sun I find while hanging the clothes. The fact that the drying my clothes on the line saves me money is an added bonus.

Most years I use my clothes line year round. This winter has been a harsh one already, and my clothes line has not seen much use. Back in November, before all this winter weather set in, I made myself a new clothes pin bag to use when (and if) this winter weather breaks.

I've tried a lot of different clothes pin bags over the years. First I bought one from the store. That was a big disappointment. I didn't have it long before it broke. For awhile I used a make do holder using plastic shopping bags. Then I got a wonderful bag from My Recycled Bags. You may recognize this site, as Cindy is a frequent Make it from Scratch participant. Her clothes pin bag is made from crocheted recycled plastic bags. I loved this bag, but after two years of heavy use I wore it out. It was time for a new bag.

This time I wanted to try and make my own. I don't crochet, so making one like Cindy's was not an option. I needed to sew one. I did some searching around and the idea I like best involved a button up denim shirt that was sewn at the bottom to create a bag for the pins. You can see it here.

I like the simplicity of the bag, and was pretty set on making one like it. After some thought though, I realized that it might not be exactly what I wanted. One of the things I liked best about Cindy's bag was that it was mesh. See, I've been known, every once in awhile, to not quite get the clothes in when it rains. Occasionally, mostly when the kids are helping, the clothes make it in, but the pins are left in the bag hanging on the line. With the mesh bag the clothes pins dried out nicely. I didn't think that would work so well with a button up shirt.

After a little thought, I remembered an old practice jersey that my oldest son had. The perfect material for my clothes pin bag.

First I sewed the bottom together, and clipped the inside corners of the seam so that it would not pucker.

Then, I sewed the arm holes shut. This probably wasn't really necessary, but it seemed like it should be done.

The original neck hole was not large enough to allow me to reach down into the bag to get the pins. I enlarged it by cutting the front of the neck out in a rectangle and sewing up the edges.

Finally, I hung the bag on a clothes hanger. I suggest using a mostly plastic hanger, and one that swivels. Being able to turn the bag around on the line makes for easier work while hanging your clothes.

And in case you're wondering the picture above was taken in November. Currently my back yard looks like this.

Stephanie is a homeschooling, homesteading momma of four, attempting to live a frugal and simple life in the hills of West Virginia. She also blogs at Stop the Ride and Adventures in the 100 Acre Woods.


  1. That is a really cute idea. I remember the days when all laundry was hung outside or in the basement!

  2. Just what I needed! My clothespin bag died a few months ago. My line is also buried in snow, so I have a few months to make a new one. Thanks!


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