Beloved by gardeners and greenskeepers around the world, the trellis is a mainstay of the gardens everywhere—the bones upon which the garden grows. They can take many forms and serve just as many functions, from simple structures meant to merely keep vining veggies from crawling across the dirt, to far more elaborate, studier designs that give shape and beauty to back patios, add a splash of floral color to otherwise plain walls, or provide shade and privacy to pathways. If you’re just looking for a basic trellis, you can often get away with simply buying a great trellis online or at your local garden store. But sometimes you want something a little more personalized — or cheaper. That’s when it’s worth taking (a small amount of) time to design and build your own trellis. To help you envision the perfect structure for your climbing plants, we’ve rounded up the best trellis projects from around the web, to match a wide variety of styles and purposes, from purely functional to easily elegant.
Trellises, which often seem undeniably romantic, are a safe bet for inclusion in every great garden in the world. But it’s not necessary to pay a fortune for a beautiful, functional trellis. Whether you’re dreaming of an uncomplicated little support system for growing peas, or a stunning arbor laden with blooms that arches overhead, chances are, you can make it yourself— especially with the help of the following DIY trellis ideas. (And don’t forget to check out our best garden plans, landscaping ideas, and backyard ideas.)
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Pergolas, also known as trellises and arbors, can be used not only as a support structure for crawling vines, but also to define outdoor spaces and create cooling shade. Before building yours, be sure to call your utilities offices and note the location of underground lines. You’re going to need to sink the footing to one-quarter the height of the post.
Get the tutorial at A Piece of Rainbow.
SHOP TIE CONNECTORS
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DIY T-Post Trellis
This sweet, rustic little trellis can be made from simply two T-posts, poplar sapling twigs, and twine, though you can use zip ties instead of the latter for added strength. Use bigger branches on the bottom and smaller ones up top, alternating the thick ends on each row.
Get the tutorial at Chicken Scratch NY.
SHOP ZIP TIES
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DIY Honeycomb Trellis
Lovely in itself, this hexagon-shaped honeycomb trellis will add serious zing to your property. Use a miter saw to make the hexagonal cuts, then mount the trellis onto a fence, making sure it screws into all the horizontal supports.
Get the tutorial at Mama Needs a Project.
SHOP MITER SAWS
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DIY Fancy Trellis
This beautifully made trellis is suitable for showing off at the entrance to your home, especially draped with a flowering vine like clematis. Be sure to use pressure-treated lumber and stain and sealer so it stands the test of time.
Get the tutorial at HandyDadTV.
SHOP STAIN AND SEALER
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DIY Clematis Trellis
Just about everybody loves the privacy tall fences bring, but they can also look fairly uninspiring. Jazz up your backyard barrier with a clematis trellis that will give flowering vines the support they need to climb high. For this project, cedar boards cut into short, 1 ½-inch-wide strips make the perfect trellis material.
Get the tutorial at The Handyman’s Daughter.
SHOP NAIL GUNS
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DIY Wire Wall Trellis
Shouldn’t all brick walls have at least a few vines crawling over them? You can help get picturesque greenery going on your brick with this wire trellis, which uses masonry anchors, eye hooks and cable wire to create a foundation for your plants to cover.
Get the tutorial at Salvaged Living.
SHOP DRILL BITS
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DIY Trellis With Planter Box
Two projects in one, this trellis is mounted inside a handy planter. Even better, the box has casters mounted on the bottom, making it easy to move. Along with the casters, be sure to add drainage holes to the bottom of the planter to keep your plants healthy.
Get the tutorial at Deuce Cities Henhouse.
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DIY Copper Trellis
You don’t need to be able to weld to assemble this delicate copper pipe trellis—just be sure have some Gorilla Glue at the ready. And think how lovely that copper will look draped in vines when it begins to weather to a pale green patina.
Get the tutorial at 33 Shades of Green.
SHOP GORILLA GLUE
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DIY Trellis Ladder
Whether you’d like to use this to use this homey ladder as a true trellis, or as a support system for pails of posies and other seasonal decorations, it will be a lovely addition to your porch or patio. Craft it from black birch saplings or the limbs of other visually unique trees to give it extra appeal.
Get the tutorial at Ashbee Design.
SHOP PRUNING SHEARS
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DIY Crisscross Wall Trellis
This elegant crisscross trellis can be used in the most formal of outdoor spaces to support climbing foliage like pink bower vines. If you have a fountain or artwork you’d like to highlight, think about leaving out the center “X” and placing the piece within the space, using the trellis as its frame.
Get the tutorial at Centsational Style.
SHOP STAPLE GUNS
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DIY Rustic Trellis
Whimsical and deeply charming, this trellis is made with green saplings, which are bent into a hoop shape and wedged between large rocks for about two weeks, until they’re dry. The ends are then placed in wood inserts buried in the earth at either side of the walkway, the saplings lashed together with jute twine for extra stability.
Get the tutorial at Ellen Ogden.
SHOP JUTE TWINE
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DIY Garden Obelisk
You can use this simple, cheery obelisk for everything from a tomato cage to a trellis for roses, depending on your needs. Easily assembled out of pine, it can be topped with a weather vane, or coated with protective tung oil instead of paint.
Get the tutorial at Flower Patch Farmhouse.
SHOP TUNG OIL
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DIY Cattle Panel Trellis
A perfect space saver for those of us with little room to garden, this clever trellis made from metal cattle panels enables you to grow goodies like cucumbers, pole peas, and beans up instead of out. After trimming and halving the panel, use hog rings or cable ties to join them. This trellis saves space in the winter as well, by folding flat for storage.
Get the tutorial at Frugal Family Home.
SHOP HOG RINGS
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DIY Pea Trellis
Kids will love to lend a hand making this adorable, tiny trellis for pea plants. After building the frame out of four bamboo poles joined by twine, run the twine up and down the frame, keeping it taut. With a little coaxing, the pea tendrils will take to the twine just fine.
Get the tutorial at Garden Therapy.
SHOP GARDEN TWINE
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DIY Freestanding Trellis
Easy, efficient, and, at less than $5 for materials, incredibly cost-effective too—this trellis is built from just four 1 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. furring strip boards, glue, and brad nails. You can customize the size to suit the needs of your garden as well.
Get the tutorial at Hydrangea Treehouse.
SHOP FURRING STRIP BOARDS
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DIY Pea Trellis
Perfect for peas or any vining plant, this five-foot-tall trellis can also be built shorter or higher, depending on your needs. For slightly sturdier, thicker trellis, as seen here, you can use 2 in. x 2 in. boards.
Get the tutorial at Jen Gilday Interiors.
SHOP NAIL GUNS
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DIY Trellis Wall
Pretty as a picture even without bougainvillea creeping over them, these expandable wood trellis panels create visual interest where there were once only a blank wall. If you’re planting something as leafy as bougainvillea, make sure to hang the trellises several inches from the wall, so the vines have space to grow around and through them.
Get the tutorial at Jenna Sue Design.
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DIY Trellis Planter
Practical, but smart-looking, these trellises will add weight and structure to your patio or porch. You can make the build faster and easier by using pre-fabricated latticework, but think about adding a frame made with 2 x 2 pressure-treated lumber around the trellis to give it a more finished look.
Get the tutorial at Love Grows Wild.
SHOP CIRCULAR SAWS
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DIY Pallet Cucumber Trellis
Get your cukes off the ground and away from insects and diseases found in the soil with this quick, easy trellis made from a wood pallet. No tools are required—just bailing twine and two posts—and you can even plant another row of crops like lettuce and radishes underneath the pallet.
Get the tutorial at Lovely Greens.
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DIY Chevron Lattice Trellis
Using the eternally-stylish chevron shape for lattice is genius, guaranteeing your garden will have a slightly modern flair—especially if you spray paint the trellis black. Add clay flower pots to the trellis with zip ties and go even bolder, ensuing you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood.
Get the tutorial at Remodelaholic.
SHOP MEASURING TAPE
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DIY Garden Tools Trellis
This playful trellis doubles as garden art, and is a good use of broken or worn-out tools like rakes, hoes, shovels, spades, and the like. Simply chisel down the ends of the tools into a stake shape, next attaching cross slats made from scrap wood using glue or a nail gun. The more weathered the sculpture becomes, the more its charm increases.
Get the tutorial at Sadie Seasongoods.
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Sleek and slim, these trellises offer simple, unfussy lines that contrast nicely with the heavier, more traditional raised planters installed beneath them. You can keep the look clean and bright by using two coats of an exterior semi-gloss paint; for extra ease, use a sprayer.
Get the tutorial at Yellow Brick Home.
SHOP PAINT SPRAYERS
Jill Gleeson Jill Gleeson is a travel journalist and memoirist based in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania who has written for websites and publications including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Country Living, Washingtonian, Gothamist, Canadian Traveller, and EDGE Media Network.
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