Build your own Garden Trellis

Building a garden trellis is fun and simple and when you build it the rustic way, it can be done with little or no damage to your wallet. If you already have a few basic tools about the only thing you will need to buy are a few nails or screws.

The first thing that must be done in building a rustic garden trellis is to find the right building materials. Just about any large tree will provide a sufficient amount for this project. If you don't have any free building materials read this article on finding building materials for your rustic projects.

For this project, we will be making a fan shaped garden trellis out of Eastern Red Ceder branches, but don't let this limit you. You can build a trellis any shape or size and out of just about any type of wood that you want. The wood should be green (fresh cut) so that it will flex and bend to the shape you want.

Tools Needed: Pruning Shears, Hand Saw, Electric Drill, various screws

(Read over the steps once before starting the project)

Step 1: Draw out a sketch of your Trellis

Step 2: Gather and cut the wood: (These are all approximate sizes which can vary according to what you have available and what kind of trellis you want.)

-7-9 branches 1-1 1/2" in diameter and 5 ft. in length (vertical and horizontal supports)

-1 branch 1-1 1/2" in diameter and 24 inches in length (bottom support)

Step 3: On a flat surface lay out 5 vertical supports side by side and secure the bottom support about six inches from the base using screws. Make sure to predrill pilot holes in the wood prior to putting the screws in. (If predrilling is not done the wood will split as it dries and shrinks)


Step 4: Attach upper and middle horizontal supports of the garden trellis by predrilling pilot holes and inserting screws. Start with the middle verticle support and alternate sides as you work your way out. (note: You may need a little help bending the vertical supports to shape while you predrill and secure the horizontal supports in place.)

Bending and placing screws at the same time is a bit tricky but with extra help it is fairly easy. I have done this alone using clamps and bracing. Also, using branches with natural curves may decrease the difficulty of this project.

Step 5: Trim the middle and upper horizontal supports to the desired width.

Notice on the top horizontal support that the branches I used were not long enough so I secured two shorter branches together and then attached them to the trellis.

When building rustic you can improvise in ways that conventional wood construction does not allow.


Step 6: This is optional and you may not need to do this. After you have your trellis together you might find that it is not quite the shape you want. The picture on the left shows the arches not arching very well.

Unscrew one or two screws at a time on each branch and adjust to the desired arch shape you want. The picture on the right shows the finished garden trellis after adjustments were made to the shape.

In six easy steps, you have created your own beautiful rustic trellis. Now that you have created your first trellis why not try building something else for the garden. If you liked this garden trellis visit our home page for more great ideas!