Sunday, June 5, 2011

DIY - Folding Trellis


I'm sorry .. I promised you a trellis tutorial last week and didn't follow through on it! I ran into so many problems with it, so I kept leaving and coming back to it. Finally it's perfect! Trial and error is the best way to describe it.  I've been keeping busy with other projects (you'll see those soon, too). I've finally gotten around to playing with Camera Raw to edit the photos; it's a sub-application of Photoshop. Camera Raw makes it super easy to make a great difference in the quality of your photos, here's a simple tutorial courtesy of Etsy if you're interested in finding out more. On with the tutorial!

I saw a folding trellis similar to this one at Lowe's for around $20. I am a thrifty person, and didn't want to pay that much for some wood and staples, so I decided to make it myself. Each folding ended up costing around $9.50 for wood and hinges (I borrowed the staple gun and staples). Half price .. not bad! Update: If you cannot find these slats at Lowe's, call around to or check at other home improvement stores with lumber sections (Home Depot, Menard's, etc.). I had a reader comment that she wasn't able to find these at her local Lowe's. 


Here's what you need: a bundle of wooden slats (these are from Lowe's and cost around $13 for fifty, you can make two folding and one single trellis out of this bundle), a pack of rust-resistant hinges (mine are zinc coated) or 4"x8" of heavy duty plastic (see hinge photo below), a staple gun with 1/2" staples, and some type of staple remover for mistakes (scissors, flat head screw driver, etc.). EDIT 3/22/13: You also will want some wood glue.

Make a square with four slats by placing two slats parallel on the ground, then two more on top of them. Glue then staple to secure. I would recommend at least two staples per joint.

Evenly space three slats parallel to your first two slats. Glue and staple in place.

See how the parallel slats all go under the slat they're perpendicular to?

Overlay three evenly spaced slats so they cross over the previous. Glue and staple in place, and glue and staple at each of the center joints. Let the wood glue dry per bottle instructions.

Repeat to make another trellis.

Screw in hinges at the corners of the trellises to join them together. Make sure you screw the hinge on so it will close fully when the trellis is folded. Double check! The hinge will only close completely one way. If you're brave, you can experiment with using a heavy duty plastic in the place of a hinge (think of those annoying packages that can't be opened without scissors). The folding trellis at Lowe's used a heavy duty plastic for a hinge .. in this case, you could staple on the plastic like it's shown below:

Taadaa! What a cute trellis. Here are some tips for keeping it standing up: 1. Make sure the trellis base is spread apart so it'll have a wider base and less chance of blowing over in the wind 2. Dig a trench and bury the bottom slats 3. Cut slats into four-8" pieces to use as stakes and attach to the bottom with zip ties 4. Secure the trellis to a tree or fence using twine or string 

10 comments:

  1. Was just at Lowe's...saw these and thought to myself that I could make them to suit my needs. Glad to see your instructions. So excited to start them. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. In what department did you find the slats? I looked everywhere and two different employees looked, then the head over lumber said he's never seem them there.

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    1. Hi Beckstreet, I actually found them in the lumber department. I think they were by the MDF and the furring strips. Since I made this almost two years ago, their stocks may have changed... I'm not sure. I'm sorry this isn't more help.

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  3. My Lowe's has these next to the rebar/concrete supplies.

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  4. Looks good for peas and beans, but might be a little wimpy for melons and cucumbers. Still, I might make some using the same principle but with sturdier wood and screws instead of staples.

    I'd been looking at pre-made trellises and the ones I saw like this were in the $40 and up range, so finding this is awesome!

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  5. Holy cow! My son is a yardman at a local lumber yard. When they receive shipments, these slats are between layers of lumber. To them, it is trash and they throw them away. He brought me enough to make my two, plus my friends with gardens. And of course, the craft or two. Don't go to Lowe's or Home Depot for these, they sell them. Local lumber yard, that's the ticket.

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    1. Thanks for your insight, Toni! Great advice!

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  6. Do you plant 5 plants on both sides or just one side?

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    1. I planted plants on both sides of the trellis and it worked well!

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