How to Build a Metal Garden Obelisk

Updated July 19, 2017

Garden obelisks have form and function that are an asset to the garden. Pyramidal or cylindrical in shape, they serve as sculpture when left to themselves and as a station for climbing plants. They provide a focal point in a garden bed, drawing the eye upward. Obelisks can be made from wood or metal. They can be tall or short and as simple or complex as you wish. Clematis, roses, morning glory and honeysuckle, as well as confederate and yellow jasmine, are a few of the climbing plants that make this structure glorious. A very simple metal obelisk that you can construct without welding is detailed here. In this plan, the obelisk will stand half as high as the length of the rods you use.

Bend one 72-inch rod in half, leaving the centre of the bend rounded. The legs should flare out. (Think of a hair clip with the ends spread out.)

Repeat the process in Step 1 with the second 72-inch rod.

Position one bent unit on top of the other, forming a cone shape. There should now be four legs spreading out, with about eight inches between each leg. Hint: Take the structure outside and push all four legs into the ground. This will make it easy to keep the obelisk upright until you fasten the two sections together.

Lash the two sections together at the top centre with wire, where the rounded rods meet. The wire can be removed when the obelisk is completed.

Bend a loop into the end of the remaining short rod with the pliers, leaving a gap about 1/2-inch wide. If you have trouble bending the rods, a vice is helpful. Insert the open end of the loop into the junction of the structure and continue bending the rod around the obelisk in a spiral fashion. The spiral will flare away from the cone shape and create a free-form sculptural effect.

Remove the lashing wire, if desired. The spiral rod loop should be enough to hold the unit together.


To make a taller obelisk, instead of bending the rods in half, position them tepee style. Lash the rods together with wire and proceed with Step 5.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 1/4-inch metal rods 72 inches long or longer
  • One 1/4-inch metal rod 48 to 54 inches long
  • medium-gauge wire, 20 inches long
  • snub nose pliers
  • vice (optional)
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About the Author

Debra Taylor is a freelance writer whose career experience includes owning an interior design business and a retail frame shop. She also taught elementary school and middle school language arts and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood and elementary education from Lander University. She continues to be involved with children in an after school program.