Build Your Own Trellis
I built this trellis for the back yard and it was pretty easy. I knew that I wanted to build a trellis, but I wasn’t really sure how to go about it. Now that I have completed this backyard trellis, I will definitely be making another one. It was actually really easy. The hardest part was just figuring out the logistics of it all. And now that I’ve done that, you don’t have to 🙂
Until I lived in my current home I had never grown clematis. When we moved in here there were already 4 clematis plants growing along the fence. They really are beautiful plants.
Near Death Experience
This one that I built the trellis for on the back fence ALMOST got pulled out last year by accident. I had taken the metal arched trellis down to stain the fence, and I didn’t put it back up. Then a few months later, I was weeding around the bleeding heart plant and I started to pull out what I thought was a weed, and JUST as I was about to yank the roots out, I realized it was a clematis!!! Which was winding it’s way through the other plants, since it had nowhere else to go. Yikes!!! Maybe the near death experience was renewing for it, because after I re-attached it to the trellis, it went CRAZY!! And this is what it looked like at the start of this year. Looks a bit like something from the The Addams Family.
Once it’s growth spurt kicked into high gear it was shooting straight up to the sky for about 3 feet before it finally gave up looking for something to grip onto and flopped over to one side. So, it only seemed fair to build a trellis for the little guy to fulfill his climbing trellis dreams. I didn’t really know quite how to go about this. So, I scoped out my neighbours trellis for inspiration, and then made a few improvements 🙂
Originally, I wanted the trellis to cover off the area above the whole garden box but then I decided to just add an extension to the 2 posts on either side of the panel in the middle of the garden, and have the ends extend past the post. So, I needed to get 12′ lengths of lumber instead of 8′. Here are the supplies you will need for this trellis. This one is only for a single fence panel, and would need to be adjusted for multiple panels.
Here are the supplies you will need for this trellis. This one is only for a single fence panel, and would need to be adjusted for multiple panels.
4″ x 4″ x 8′ pressure treated cedar fence post – 1
You only need 4′, if you can get a shorter length
2 x 12′ lengths of2″ x 4″ dimesional lumber
2 x 8′ lengths of 2″ x 2″ dimesional lumber
1 x 14″ pieces of 2′ x 4″ for supports
Post saddles – 2
Spray paint (for saddles)
Screws: 2″, 2.5″ &
Disposable latex gloves
For reference the existing fence panels are 8′ long panels. They are 8’7″ from outside post to outside post. This is just your standard pre-fab fence panel.
Pre-stain the 4″x4″ posts; 2″x4″s and 2″x2″s. You could cut them and then stain them. But it’s easier to stain them long and then just have to stain the cut edges after, which is how I did these. I ended up doing these in the garage. I did some outside, but bugs seem to like paint and stain, and it was threatening to rain, so inside I went. Make sure you have a drop cloth and gloves, especially if you are using an oil-based stain.
I spray painted the metal saddles as well, so they don’t stand out as a shock of bright metal against all of the wood of the trellis and fence. I just used paint that I already had on hand, it’s espresso by Rustoleum. Paint them to match your stain, as best as you can.
I did all of the staining first, then the cutting.
4 x 4 Posts
Cut 2 – 24″ long sections (You will have 4′ left over, if you had an 8′ length)
2 x 4 Lumber
For the 2 – 12′ lengths of 2″ x 4″ cut 45 degree angles on the ends facing the same direction, (like the 2″x2″‘s in the photo below) You may need to use a circular saw. It was too long to get into the chop saw in my garage.
Cut 2 pieces of 2″x4″ dimensional lumber at 7″ long and then cut the ends at a 45 degree angles facing in opposite directions
2 x 2 Lumber
These are your cross members. Cut these at 45 degree angles, flipping it over after each cut, so that the angles are opposite, as below. I cut up 2 x 8′ lengths, which gave me 16 pieces, I only used 13 for the trellis. Once these are all cut, stain the cut ends. You might need more or less depending on how you choose to space them out.
We marked the 2×2’s along the long edge at 3.5″ and 8.5″ (or 3.5″ from each end) and pre-drilled all of them, so they wouldn’t split when we put screws in them. It was super quick, we set up a little assembly line, I marked all of the pieces, handed them to Greg and he drilled them, using a small drill bit. Just run a pencil line along using a straight edge, only the birdies will see the pencil line 🙂 You will also want to flip these over and mark a pencil line 1″ from each end, on the short side. So that you have a guide for placement later.The blue cylinder is Greg’s Portable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker that goes where he goes. Because it’s important to listen to Fleetwood Mac when you are drilling holes… If you like to take your music along with you, these are really really great speakers. It has AMAZING sound quality, plus it’s portable AND water-proof 🙂
I left enough space (1″) at the top of the post for the Solar Post Caps to be attached, and added 5″ for the combined height of the cross member and beam. So I marked it at 6″ down from the top of the 4′ x 4″ post, and this is where the top edge of the support goes. Attach the supports to the posts before installing them onto the fence.
Screw the 2″ x 4″ supports onto the post at the marked line (I pre-drilled these as well) – 2 screws.
Remove any post caps or covers from the fence post. Place the saddle onto the post facing up, so it’s like a U, as in the photo below. Using the holes provided, pre-drill into the top of the existing post, so that it doesn’t split. Then attach the saddle to the top of the post with screws (4). Next add your 24″e post extension pieces with the supports already attached. Attach with 2.5″ screws using the holes (pre-drill) on the side of the saddle. Now your trellis looks like this. It sort of reminds me of an old-school clothesline. Anybody ?Place the 12′ long 2″x4″s onto the supports, measure twice 🙂 to ensure they are centered and then screw them in place, using 2.5″ screws. Give yourself a little pat on the back, because you have done all the hard work. Let’s finish this up!
For the next piece of our outdoor garden trellis we add the cross pieces to the top. These should already be pre-drilled and marked on each end at the 1″ mark. I cut a piece of 2×4 at 6″ long to use as a spacer. Actually, I cut two of them, but I dropped one over the fence, when I was up on the ladder, and so I carried on with just one 🙂 Gotta adapt on the fly!
Start with the CENTER one. Use a square to ensure it’s not off kilter, otherwise everything will be off, by the end of the trellis. Using your guide marks to line it up to the 2×4’s and attach using 1.5″ wood screws and your pre-drilled holes. The rest is really easy, except for having to move the ladder as you go 😉
Just use the spacer and then screw in one side of the piece, and move over the spacer, and screw in the next side. Continue on until you reach the posts. I just added one more on the outside of the post. And that is all for the cross pieces of this fence top garden trellis.
Top It Off
To top it off, you could re-attach or replace your post caps. I added these beautiful post caps . I just love these, they really do add a bit of class to the trellis, and to the whole yard. There are 6 of them at strategic locations along my fence line.
And you are all done, now you just need to get yourself a glass of wine, and sit on your deck and enjoy your beautiful yard!! Good job!!
Here are a couple more photos of the trellis from a few different angles.
And that’s me, because it’s a good idea to show your face in your posts every now and then 🙂
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