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Freestanding Trellis

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Build a trellis that looks great as an outdoor architectural element -- and becomes even more beautiful when intertwined with climbing plants.

Three trellises along walkway to a front door

Project Overview

Skill Level

Intermediate

Estimated Time

1-2 weeks

Estimated Cost

$$$$$$

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Miter saw, handsaw, or circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Metal snips
  • Drill and bit set
  • Staple gun
  • Work gloves

Materials are enough for 3 trellises:

  • 12 - 2"x2"x8' #1 treated lumber, #204231
  • 19 - 1"x2"x8' #1 treated boards, #201999
  • 2 rolls welded wire (1"-square grid), 24'x15', #52247
  • 3 boxes 1-1/4" Grip-Rite tan deck/patio screws
  • 6-ounce Minwax stainable wood filler, #164701
  • Titebond III wood glue, 16 ounces, #1444
  • Arrow 3/8" stainless-steel staples, 100-count, #242245
  • Olympic Elite tintable solid exterior stain, 1 gallon, Dark Bark

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources

Instructions

Follow these instructions to build one trellis or several. The "Tools and Materials" list provides enough material to build three.

Start with the Tall Section

Step 1

Cut screens to size from hardware cloth

Cut the long anchor posts (A), rails (B), center slats (C), and connector post (D) to length. From the welded wire screen, cut the top screens (E) and bottom screens (F) to size (Cutting List). Then press the screens flat. (Wear work gloves to avoid injury.)

Step 2

Soak post ends in stain to seal

To keep moisture in the soil from being absorbed into the buried ends of the anchor posts (A), seal the ends using the stain you'll apply later. Fill a small container such as an empty soup can about half full with stain. Lower the bottom end of the post into the stain and let the wood soak up stain for about five minutes. Remove, wipe off the excess, and store the posts upside down until they dry.

Step 3

Mark rail locations on posts

On a flat surface, lay the two long anchor posts (A) side-by-side with the ends flush. Mark the locations of the five rails (B). Then space the posts 15" apart and use a carpenter's square to keep the ends flush.

Step 4

Screw rails to the posts

Drill countersunk pilot holes in the rails and transfer the holes to the posts. Glue and screw the rails to the posts and let dry. If you plan to paint the trellis, drill the pilot hole countersinks deep enough to leave 1/8" above the screw head and fill the space with wood filler. For stained trellises, countersink screws flush with the wood surface.

Step 5

Mark the locations of the center slats (C) and connector post (D). Glue and clamp the center slats and connector post in place.

Step 6

Staple wire to rails

Flip the assembly (A, B) over and support it on 2"x4" scrap-wood spacers where needed. Staple the top screen (E) and bottom screen (F) to the inside faces of the rails (B).

Step 7

Cut a 15"-wide spacer from scrap wood or cardboard and use it to separate two rails (B) with their ends flush. Staple a top screen (E) to the inside faces of these rails and repeat for the bottom screen (F). Drill, glue, and screw the rails with screens to the long anchor posts (A) to create a pair of double screens. Then drill, glue, and screw the remaining rails.

Step 8

Cover screws with wood putty (if necessary) and let dry before sanding smooth. Sand as needed and lightly round over any sharp edges. Stain or paint the panel and let dry. Repeat as needed.

Build the Short Trellis

Step 1

Cut the short anchor posts (G), long top rails (H), short rails (I), upper slats (J), lower slats (K), and upper end slat (L) to length.

Step 2

Follow the same procedure as with the tall trellis to mark, glue, and screw the rails (H, I) to the short anchor posts (G).

Step 3

Glue and clamp the upper slats (J), lower slats (K), and upper end slat (L) to the rails.

Step 4

Staple the top screen (M) to the long top rails (H). Then staple the lower screen (N) to the short rails (I).

Step 5

In addition to the 15" spacer you made for the tall trellis, cut a spacer 7" wide to separate two long top rails (H). Using the spacers, staple the screens to the inside faces of the rails (H, I) to create another pair of double screens. Drill, glue, and screw the rails (H, I) with screens (M, N) to short anchor posts (G). Then drill, glue, and screw the remaining short rails (I) in place.

Step 6

Cover screws with wood putty (if necessary) and let dry before sanding smooth. Sand as needed and lightly round over any sharp edges. Stain or paint the panel and let dry. Repeat as needed.

Install the Trellis

Step 1

Screw the tall trellis rail (B) to the short trellis post (G). Then screw the long rail (H) to the connector post (D)connector post (D).

Step 2

Using a posthole digger or a 4' stake of 2"x2" pressure-treated lumber and a hammer, make four 12"-deep holes in the soil where you'll install each trellis.

Good to Know

If your ground has become dry and hard, soak the trellis locations with a hose before attempting to drive a stake into the soil.

Step 3

Place a trellis in each set of holes and use a level to ensure it's plumb on all four sides. Then fill in the rest of the soil around the anchor posts (A,G).