- Ideas & How-Tos
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Turn durable wire screen into rugged garden trellises for climbing plants. Then add summertime color with painted steel straps to complement the blooms.
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Unroll 9' of wire fencing and cut it to length; leave wire "tails" on one side. Lay the piece of fencing on the ground. (We made some towers the full 60" width of the roll and others 48" by cutting 1' along an edge of the fencing.)
Each 50' roll provides enough material to make five towers. For each tower, you'll need seven straps and a package of three landscape stakes.
Starting with the end opposite the wire tails, roll the fence onto itself to make a 12"-diameter coil. As much as possible, overlap the vertical wires on each other and keep the ends flush. Spool the tower until it becomes four layers thick.
When you reach the other end, use pliers to wrap the tails around all four layers of coiled fencing.
With a hacksaw or jigsaw with a metal-cutting blade, cut 12", 16", 24", and 32" lengths of slotted flat straps. We used about seven 4' straps per tower. Use a metal file to smooth the cut ends and wash the pieces with a degreasing dishwashing detergent.
Prime each metal strap and let dry. Paint both sides of each strap. We used Concert Hall (#ar1504), Va-Va Voom (#ar1506), and Couture (#ar1505).
Make a drying rack for the freshly painted metal straps by driving finishing nails into a scrap board about 3" apart and 1/2" into the wood. Then suspend the rack 36" off the ground.
Cut two 2"-long pieces of 18-gauge wire for each strap and bend in half. As a helper holds the strapping against the tower, loop the wire through the top hole and around the wire fencing. Then use a pair of pliers to twist it tight, cut off all but about 1/2" of the excess wire, and fold the twisted wire toward the tower to prevent scratches. Repeat at the bottom of the strap.
Decide where you want the tower, and then hammer in metal landscape stakes to anchor it in place. Inside or near the tower, add climbing plants such as mandevilla, clematis, or black-eyed Susan vines.