How to Build a Planter Trellis from Stained Wood

by Chris Lambton

A trellis, whether for climbing vegetables or flowering vines, is a great addition to any outdoor space. Not only does it serve a functional purpose by acting as a structure for plants to grow on, but it can also add a great element of design into your yard or garden. Create a few different DIY trellises and strategically place them throughout your outdoor area to add visual interest with varying heights and textures.

How to Build a Planter Trellis from Stained Wood

Another place I like to add trellises are into large planters. On their own, a planter can be beautiful with different colored flowers, but inserting a DIY trellis allows for many additional plant varieties to thrive – ones with climbing vines that don't survive unless climbing up a surface. Adding these plants into your outdoor area gives you additional height and dimension.

Another great thing about a DIY trellis is that it is easy to construct out of many different materials. One of my favorite materials to use is cedar planks. The cedar is durable and sturdy and should stand up to the elements better than some other types of wood, even without a stain or sealant. Plus, the planks themselves are strong yet simple, giving you a great base to build from.

This write up will walk you through the basic steps for how to build a DIY Trellis, plus list out all the materials and tools needed.

Materials Needed for your DIY Trellis:

  • Four pieces of wood cut to 1" x 2" x 8'
  • 1 ½" long finishing nails
  • Dirt and plants to grow up your trellis

Fiskars DIY Precision Tools Needed for your DIY Trellis:

  • Fiskars® Precision Hand Saw – this tool features a thin, yet powerful, triple-ground blade that enables it to glide through materials like the wood needed for your DIY trellis giving you controlled, precise cuts.
  • Fiskars® Precision Hammer – this tool features a forged steel head for ultimate strength and durability, making it the ideal implement for DIY projects like this DIY trellis.
  • Fiskars® Precision Nail Starter – this handy tool protects fingers by removing them from the striking zone which can be a huge help when constructing a project like this DIY trellis that requires many different steps of attaching materials with nails.

Steps for How to Make Your DIY Trellis

Step 1. Purchase your supplies. Purchase four 1" x 2"s made from a natural wood like cedar. Cedar is preferable as it withstands the elements very well over a longer period of time.

Step 2. Determine your dimensions. Decide the height you would like your trellis to be and cut three matching pieces of wood at 48" long with your Fiskars® Precision Hand Saw, which enables you to make controlled, precise cuts.

Fiskars DIY Planter Trellis 02

Step 3. Construct your trellis. Here is where you can experiment a bit. You can certainly create a straight vertical trellis, but I wanted to add a little design into my final project. Consequently, I laid out the three long pieces at an angle and I recommend you do the same to add some visual interest into the final project. After laying out your pieces, use your Fiskars® Tape Measure to measure the width at the top of your DIY trellis from the outside to the outside of the three cut pieces. Once you have this measurement, add one inch extra per side and record your measurement. Cut another piece of 1x2 to go across the top of all three pieces and adhere them together. My piece is 36 inches long.

Fiskars DIY Planter Trellis 03

Once cut, mark three holes 2" from the ends of the newly cut piece of wood, then place on top and using the Fiskars® Hammer and Nail Starter secure three 1.5" nails into the marked holes. Repeat this step half way down and then 6" up from the bottom. This will leave enough space to allow the trellis to be sunk in the ground or dirt of a planter.

Fiskars DIY Planter Trellis 04

Now cut smaller pieces of wood that only go from the outside long piece to the inside long piece, not all the way across the whole trellis. Adding these smaller pieces will give you a staggered look. Continue using 1.5" finishing nails to secure the pieces in place.

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Step 4. Prepare your garden or planter. Begin planting your outdoor planter by adding dirt into the container. Add the trellis into your planter and begin planting. Select you flowers and cut their pots open using the Fiskars® Multipurpose Snips. Once out of their pots, place them into the soil using the Fiskars® Ergo Trowel. Weave flowers and vines of larger plants into the DIY trellis to encourage upwards growth. Secure with wire if needed.

Fiskars DIY Planter Trellis 06

How Much Does This DIY Trellis Project Cost?

This DIY trellis will cost $75 to construct. While you could buy a pre-made trellis at this cost, creating one of your own is definitely worthwhile. You can add in any kind of customization you'd like to make this project truly your own.

Best Plants for Your DIY Planter Trellis

Any kind of climbing plant is perfect for this DIY trellis project. Some of my favorites are a mixture of flowering vines and vegetables.

  • Ivy
  • Climbing Hydrangea
  • Morning Glory
  • Wisteria
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Bougainvillea
  • Nasturtium
  • Clematis
  • Pole Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Climbing Cucumbers

How to Place Plants in Your Trellis

To start, simply plant your vines like normal. Dig a hole in the dirt of your final location near the base of the trellis. Insert the plant and cover the roots with soil. Make sure to water to encourage new growth. Once your plants start to grow their vines, begin to weave them through the trellis. They will naturally climb up and weave themselves throughout the trellis. There isn't much work you need to do to maintain them – once they begin to climb upwards they should continue to do so all on their own.

Fiskars DIY Planter Trellis 07