Create Country Charm: Make a Vintage Trellis

Add charm and character to your landscape with salvaged treasures from flea markets, antique shops, or garage sales.

Here's how to turn two old garden gates into a trellis of blooms. With a little imagination, you can transform just about anything into a garden-worthy ornament.

Here's how to create your own trellis:


Garden Trellis

  • 2 similarly sized garden gates
  • 2 12-inch-square pieces of plywood
  • 8 2-inch bolts
  • Several salvaged tin ceiling tiles
  • Small nails
  • Sturdy wire
  • 2 1x4 boards (cut the length of your gates)
  • 4 12-inch rebar stakes

Step 1: Clean It Up

Remove any rust that's accumulated on the iron by spraying it down with a power washer or scraping it off with a little steel wool.

Step 2: Create the Frame

Put your trellis together by leaning the two gates together. Push the tops apart slightly to leave space between them for a planter.

Once you determine the space for your planter, take two 12-inch-square pieces of plywood and place them against the open ends at the top of the gates. Mark the edges of the gates, and cut off the excess plywood. Attach the plywood on top of the gates by drilling holes through the boards and gates, fastening them together with 2-inch bolts.

Step 3: Reinforce Your Trellis

Keep your trellis from tipping over in strong winds by wiring a 1x4 piece of wood along the bottom of each gate. Drill a 1-inch-wide hole at the ends of the boards and drive a 12-inch-long rebar stake though each hole into the ground. Hide the boards with a layer of soil or mulch.

Step 4: Make the Planter

Garden Trellis

Add a planter to the top of your trellis by taking salvaged ceiling tiles and folding them over the plywood to hide it. Attach the tin tiles to the plywood with small nails.

Then take chicken wire and mold a section of it to become your planter. (Don't let the chicken wire hang below the bottom of the plywood.) Tie the chicken wire to the gates with sturdy wire.

Dress it up by lining the chicken wire with sphagnum moss or coconut fiber. Fill the planter with a high-quality potting mix, water it well, then plant your favorite flowers, herbs, or vegetables.