DIY Gardening

June 12, 2014 at 8:41 am

Obelisk Trellis for $10

Obelisk Trellis for $10DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

When I was in that in between gardening space this spring, that time where you have bought your seeds and started them but it’s still too cold to plant anything, I was searching for trellis ideas.  Last year we grew pole beans for the first time, but they jumped from the 6’ tall poles and onto the surrounding garden fencing.  We also grew our cucumbers on a trellis last year and they were spectacular, and not misshapen from growing on the ground. 

So I was on the search for some sturdy, large trellises that didn’t take up too much space and didn’t cost a ton.  I found these instructions via Pinterest from The Cottage At The Crossroads.  After building one, I realized there needed to be a couple of changes, and I put my own stamp on them.

First off, after buying the supplies suggested in the instructions, I quickly came across the fact that there was no way to get the number of pieces needed from the suggested wood purchase list.  I also do not put any pressure treated lumber in my garden and am growing organically this year.  So, my adjusted instructions include purchasing (3) 2” x 1” x 8’ boards (less than $2 a piece) and (2) 2” x 4” x 8’ boards (less than $3 each) all out of pine. 

Please note that we have a table saw and I was able to cut down the 2×4’s into 2×2’s.  If you do not have a table saw, purchase (4) 2” x 3” x 8’ pieces.  This will make your sides slightly bulkier and less symmetrical, but will be approximately the same size and style.

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk TrellisNext you need to make the cuts to the 2” x 1” boards.  You can see all of the pieces needed below.

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

Using a drill, I pre-drilled each piece about 1/2” in on both sides to minimize splitting when screwed together.

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

Next you need to mark the placement of the cross pieces on your 2” x 2” x 8’ lengths (those (2) 2×4’s that were cut down, making (4) 2×2’s).  Mark each piece at 12” from the bottom, 15” up from that, 15” up from there, and another 15” up from that.

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

I laid out the 2x2s in an approximate A frame shape, and attached the 11” piece at the tallest marking.  And yes, I really do this myself.

IMG_3152Then I attached the 22” board at the lowest marking (12” off of the ground).  Now add the 18 1/2” piece and 14 1/2” piece.

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk TrellisRepeat with the second set of 2×2’s.  Here is a visual of what you should now have.

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

Place the two A frames side by side and begin attaching the remainder of the cross pieces.  It started to rain, and I do not do rain and wet well, so hubby worked on this part and I took pictures from inside. 

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

Finally, after leveling out all the sides, attach the four 3”  pieces on top.  Here is your finished product!

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

I am really into those brightly colored tomato cages that have been all over garden centers.  But as my tomatoes quickly overgrow their cages I figured very little would be left to see.  And at about $6 a piece, I was not forking over that moola per tomato plant!  So I decided to paint my trellises to make them last a little longer, and add some pops of color in my veggie garden.

Each trellis took two cans of Rustoleum Painter’s Touch spray paint.  Quick, easy and no painstakingly rolling or brushing all of those sides.  The tops also begged for a bit of oomph, so I bought garden stakes, whirly gigs and mini gazing balls and attached them.  These improvements are not necessary, and of course bump up the cost a bit.

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

Here the pole beans are already making themselves at home!

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

This is the first look at my completed veggie garden for 2014.  I am loving it!

DIY Trellis, Wood Trellis, Obelisk Trellis

If you decide to make one, let me know!


  1. LOVE! Now come to my house and make some for me 😉

  2. Very fun. I can see them painted and adorned to look like lighthouses too.

  3. this is soooo cool! I’m actually growing pumpkins and melons this year, a trellis like the ones you made would be perfect! Thanks for the whole tutorial!

  4. Thanks so much.ive been wanting something like this and hated spending hundreds of dollars on it.

  5. Shannon M says:

    I will for sure make one of these. I will buy 2x2s instead of ripping a 2×4. Thanks for posting and instructions. I am in the middle of making a garden on a budget, and I need a trellis, but don’t want to fork over a fortune for something or use something that looks hideous! This looks awesome!!!

  6. These are lovely! We’re planning on making 2 or 3 for tomatoes and cucumbers. I was wondering if you found the spacing of the supports to work well or in retrospect, would you change anything. Also, did you find them to be sufficiently sturdy to support the weight or should they be “grounded” or secured at the base in some way (might they be in danger of falling over?) ? Thanks for posting these beauties and for considering my questions.

    • For cucumbers they worked great, as well as green beans. If using for tomatoes I might add another rung in between each one. I later did add a stake to the footer on two of the four legs, opposite corners. They actually were fabulous! They even stayed in the same place all winter. They need a quick cleaning if it ever actually starts to get warm here in NY and then they will be good to go for another round!

  7. Oliveroblong says:

    This is SUCH a great tutorial! Thank you.
    Your trellises are very cool.
    [Just some feedback too: that share button on your page is obnoxious….btw]

  8. I LOVE Your trellis handy work good for you they are gorgeous!♡

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  10. You have made this look totally doable! Thanks for the instructions, I love them all painted up in different colors!

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  13. FYI Still a great tutorial! I am making this in a weekend for my cucumbers. For anyone who doesn’t have a table saw, Home Depot will cut these pieces for you in Lumber if you but it from them.

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  17. Fantastic idea for supporting tall plants and adding to backyard decor! Thanks for posting. My husband is going to teach me how to use tools ; these will be great projects to learn on. I can hardly wait to get started.

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  19. Reggie Tarr says:

    How do you secure the bases to the ground to keep them from toppling over in storms?

  20. Chris Thomas says:

    I need a 3 foot obelisk for red runner beans. If I adjust the measurements will this work? Was not sure if you chose 22 inches because the obelisk fits nicely onto a row or because anything larger would not be sturdy. Your advice is much appreciated. These are fun and perfect for the garden.

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