How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (2024)

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1Creating Your Trellis Frame

2Building the Trellis

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Tips and Warnings

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Co-authored byPete Sveen

Last Updated: March 28, 2019References

Garden trellises are useful for supporting plants, hanging vines, and holding planters, but they can be expensive. However, you can make your own garden trellis for less than it costs to buy one. Try making a garden trellis of your own to complete the look of your garden.

Part 1

Part 1 of 2:

Creating Your Trellis Frame

  1. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (1)


    Gather your tools and supplies. Making a garden trellis is not difficult, but it does require some special tools and materials. To build a garden trellis, you will need:[1]

    • miter saw or circular saw
    • drill
    • sander
    • eye and ear protection
    • eight boards measuring 1 ½ inches x 1 ½ inches by 8 feet
    • lots of 2 ½ inch exterior grade screws
    • tape measure
    • pencil
  2. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (2)


    Measure and mark your boards. Take your 8 foot long boards and measure them to the dimensions that you need for this project. Use your pencil to mark the boards where they will need to be cut. You will need to measure and mark your 8 foot boards so that you will end up with:[2]

    • four 72 inch boards
    • seven 48 inch boards
    • several small pieces (about 6 inches) to use as spacers (optional)
  3. 3

    Cut your boards. After you have finished measuring and marking all of your boards, you can use your miter saw or circular saw to cut them. Use the pencil marks that you made on the boards to cut the boards to the required dimensions.[3]

    • Make sure that you wear your ear and eye protection when you use the saw.
    • Watch your fingers and be very careful when cutting your wood pieces.
    • If you are worried about cutting the wood or if you do not have a saw, then you can also consider getting them cut at the hardware store.
  4. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (4)


    Sand the ends and edges of the boards. Do your best to smooth out any rough edges on the ends of the boards.[4] You can use a power sander or a manual sander to smooth out the ends and edges of your boards.

    • Start with a coarse grit sandpaper such as #80 grit and then advance to a finer grit sandpaper as you remove the larger flaws in the wood. For example, you might finish sanding the trellis edges with a #150 or #180 grit sandpaper.[5]
    • Don’t forget to wear your ear and eye protection if you are using a power sander.
  5. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (5)


    Create the frame. Lay out two of your 72 inch pieces so that they are parallel with each other. Then, place two of your 48 inch pieces on top of them so that they resemble a picture frame. Next, screw the corners of the 48 inch boards the corners of the 72 inch boards.[6]

    • Place two screws into each of the four corners to keep the trellis from pivoting.
    • You can make pilot holes before you place your screws to help prevent the screws from splitting the wood, but this is optional. If you decide to make pilot holes, then they should be as big as the smallest diameter of your screws.[7] Use a smaller sized drill bit that is as long as your screw to create the pilot hole before you place the screws.


Part 2

Part 2 of 2:

Building the Trellis

  1. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (6)


    Connect your last two 72 inch boards to your 48 inch boards. After you have created the frame, you should have two 72 inch pieces left. Measure along each of your 48 inch frame pieces to determine where to connect your last two 72 inch pieces. These two pieces should be evenly spaced between the other two 72 inch pieces.[8]

    • Secure the ends of the 72 inch pieces to the 48 inch pieces with a couple of screws.
  2. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (7)


    Secure your other five 48 inch boards to the frame. Measure the two outer 72 inch boards and place pencil marks to indicate where you want to place your five remaining 48 inch boards. You can place them wherever you want, but make sure that these marks are even with each other so that the boards will be straight.[9]

    • To get a sense of how to space your boards, you can start by placing one board so that it lays across the centers of the 72 inch boards. Then place the other four pieces in the spaces that are left.
    • Consider how you plan to use the trellis before deciding where to place the boards. For example, you might like to have a couple of boards lower to the ground to hang a planter.
    • After you have decided where each of the boards should be placed, secure them with screws.
  3. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (8)


    Add spacers if desired. If you want to leave a gap between the back of your trellis and the wall, then you can add some spacers to the back of your trellis. You can also add spacers to the front if you plan to hang something from the front (such as a planter or trough) that may sag without a spacer.[10]

    • If adding spacers to the back of your trellis, secure them to each of the four corners as well as a few in the center.
    • If adding spacers to the front of your trellis, then place them wherever you think you may need them.
    • Use your drill and a screw or two to secure your spacers.
  4. How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (9)


    Hang your trellis. Use your drill and screws to secure your trellis to a wall or sturdy fence. Place screws at each of the four corners of the trellis as well as a couple of screws in the center to secure your trellis in place.[11]

    • Make sure that the screws that you use are long enough to go all the way through the trellis and into the wall behind it. For example, if you have placed spacers at your corners, then you will need screw that are at least five inches long to secure the trellis to the wall.


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  • Question

    What wood do I need to make a trellis?

    How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (10)


    Top Answerer

    You can use cedar, teak, willow, beech or oak, but all must be protected against humidity.

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      • Always use caution when using power tools! They can cause severe injuries if not handled properly.


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      About this article

      How to Build a Garden Trellis: 9 Steps (with Pictures) (24)

      Co-authored by:

      Pete Sveen

      DIY Craftsman

      This article was co-authored by Pete Sveen. Pete Sveen is a DIY enthusiast based in Montana. He creates and shares inspiring video tutorials on building projects, from furniture construction to metalworking. His YouTube channel, DIY Pete, has over 240,000 subscribers. This article has been viewed 24,329 times.

      25 votes - 83%

      Co-authors: 1

      Updated: March 28, 2019


      • Print

      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 24,329 times.

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