Do It Yourself: Building Trellises And Arbors

Trellises are a must in your garden or yard if you're going to plant climbing plants like Roses and Ivy. An arbor can provide an open ceiling or wall for your backyard patio or deck. Learn how to build both yourself with these easy instructions.

Trellises are a must in your garden if you're going to plant climbing plants like Roses, Ivy, and the like. And, an arbor makes a great addition to your trellis. Plus, you can build an arbor to provide an open ceiling or wall for your backyard patio or deck! Trellises and arbors can not add beauty, but they can also be used to hide garbage cans and other unsightly, but necessary, items that you have stored in the backyard.

The first step in this project is to determine how long, wide, and tall you want your arbor to be. Let's say you decide on an arbor that measures ten feet long and ten feet wide, and is eight feet high. You'll need several pieces of hardwood to build it with, and pressure treated lumber holds up better in the weather. Then, determine where your arbor will be located, and mark it out in your yard by using wooden stakes and a roll of twine.

Next, measure and cut four - four by four pieces of lumber for the supports. They'll need to be about nine feet long. Use a post hole digger to dig twelve inch deep holes where the supports will be. Then, mix up a bucket of concrete and position each support in a hole. Fill each hole with concrete and allow it to set up. You may need to use scrap lumber to hold the supports up until the concrete dries.

The third step is to use four - two by fours to make a frame around the top of the supports. Measure and cut the pieces so they are ten feet long. Secure these rafter pieces to the supports by either nailing them on, or, by using galvanized wood screws. Then, measure and cut additional two by fours to partially fill in the roof of the arbor. You'll need to space these rafters evenly and approximately two feet apart.

The fourth step in this project is to use thin wooden lattice work to cover the rafters of your arbor. Lattice work is relatively light weight and easy to work with. It's also efficient at allowing a certain amount of sunshine it, yet giving you some privacy at the same time. Measure and cut the sheets of lattice work to fit, and secure them down by using galvanized nails or wood screws.

You can finish your arbor; you can screw hangers into the top of the arbor at various locations to hang your potted plants on. Or, you can even plant Roses, Ivy, and other climbing plants at the sides of the arbor and let them creep up the trellises and over the roof of the arbor.

The second part of this project is building a trellis. This is easy because you can use additional sheets of lattice work along with your existing arbor. But, first, you'll need to measure and cut four - two by twos so they are eight feet long. These pieces of wood will be used for the frame of the two trellises. Position two of the two by twos on one wall of your arbor. Space them evenly in between the arbor frame on one side. Also, space them far enough apart so that a sheet of the lattice work will fit vertically in between them. Nail or use galvanized wood screws to attach the wood to the arbor frame. Then, position a sheet of lattice work over the frame and secure it on. Continue adding lattice work until the two by two framework is covered. Then, repeat this process with the opposite wall of the arbor. Use additional two by twos and lattice work to build the second trellis.

Finally, you can either paint or stain your new arbor and trellises, or, you can just let the wood turn a natural looking color in the weather. This can give your arbor and trellises a rustic look that will complement your outdoor

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