DIY Inexpensive Trellis

Written by tanya khan
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DIY Inexpensive Trellis
Use bamboo poles for an inexpensive trellis. (straight bamboo poles image by Yali Shi from

Although commercially available trellises in different shapes and sizes can beautify a spot and enhance the surrounding landscape, it is possible to achieve the same effect using less expensive homemade alternatives. A climbing plant supported by a decorative wrought iron trellis enhances the yard as does a simple bamboo trellis, provided it is built and anchored appropriately. Collect bamboo poles from your local field. The resultant latticework or tepee trellis adds rustic charm to the area and stands out while supporting climbing plants.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • 1 ½- to 2-inch-thick bamboo poles
  • Handsaw
  • Masking tape
  • Leashing cord
  • Scissors
  • Garden rope

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  1. 1

    Design a detailed sketch of the lattice trellis on paper to determine the number of bamboo poles you need, the length of each and the spacing in between.

  2. 2

    Spread the vertical bamboo poles on the ground first. Cut to the desired length with a handsaw and use a ruler to space them according to the determined distance on the sketch. Carefully place the horizontal poles over these.

  3. 3

    Mark the points where horizontal and vertical poles intersect or overlap with masking tape or a marker to reduce time and effort during assembly.

  4. 4

    Wind leashing cord over marked points to join horizontal and vertical canes together. Secure each joint carefully to prevent it from coming loose and snip off excess cord length with scissors. Attach all the marked joints over poles this way.

  5. 5

    Suspend the latticework trellis in front of a fence or gate. Extend rope or heavy-gauge galvanised wire through its corners and centre to secure it to the structure in the back.

  1. 1

    Remove stones from the selected spot and outline a 4-foot wide circle over the ground with a stick. Measure and mark 6 equidistant points around the edge of the marked circle.

  2. 2

    Measure and cut six bamboo poles into 8-foot lengths. Cut directly above the node on each with a handsaw to prevent water from pooling inside and weakening the structure.

  3. 3

    Insert an end of a pole directly over one of the six marks around the edge of the circle, 8 to 10 inches deep. Angle it slightly inward so its top meets the tops of the other canes in the centre. Slightly angle each pole before inserting it so the resultant trellis resembles a tepee.

  4. 4

    Hold the tops of the bamboo poles and wind a length or two of garden rope to secure them together, 5 inches below the upper edge.

  5. 5

    Measure 2 feet below the previous weave and knot a length of rope around a bamboo pole there. Extend the rope to the adjacent pole, pulling it taut, and loop it firmly around several times before extending it even further to the next pole. Continue the process of weaving the rope around each of the six poles until you reach the point where you started. Knot the end of the rope firmly around the last pole and snip excess off. Weave rope at 2-foot intervals along the trellis until you reach the base. The rope will support growing tendrils as they climb upward.

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