In Garden Gate issue 54, I shared a design for a beautiful trellis that you can make in a weekend. And in “Trellis Toppers” I show you three options to personalize it with a pediment, or decoration at the top. Here’s how to attach it to a wall or fence so that air can circulate and vines can twine.
Direct Mount Method
Mounting your new trellis directly to the wall using spacers is the quickest and easiest method of attaching it. Plus it leaves plenty of space between the trellis and the wall for the vines to twine and air to circulate. It’s tightly secured to the wall if you have a windy location, but still easy to take down for painting or other maintenance.
- 4 pcs. 1/2-in. PVC cut to 1 1/8 in. lengths OR 4 1/2-in. copper pipe couplings
- 4 3 1/2-in. coated deck screws
- Drill with a 3/16-in. bit and a phillips head screwdriver bit
Step one — Cut the PVC. This method involves just four 3 1/2-inch-long screws and either four 1 1/8 inch-long copper pipe couplings, or pieces of 1/2-inch-diameter PVC pipe. I’m using PVC, so I cut the pipe with a hacksaw into 1 1/8-inch sections. You can make them longer if you want to keep the trellis further away from the wall , but you’ll need longer screws. Now, if you want, you can paint the pipe sections to match the wall or the trellis, or leave them neutral.
Try to locate the studs in the wall. If the screws go into a stud, your trellis will be more secure. You can often spot a nail head in the siding, or purchase a stud finder at your home improvement store. Mark these locations on the wall. Hold the trellis against the fence or wall where you want to attach it. Adjust it so you can line up a stud and a part of the trellis frame. Mark the locations on the wall and on the trellis where you want to put screws. They may go through the side edge of the trellis as I’m doing in the photo. Or they may have to go through the top and bottom edges of the frame. It all depends where the studs are in the wall.
Step two — Attach with screws. If you’re working with a friend, have him or her hold the trellis in place while you level it and then predrill the holes.
If you’re working alone, here’s a system that works for me: After leveling it and marking where to drill, take the trellis down and predrill all the holes in it. Then, while holding the trellis in position on the wall, drill through one of the holes in the trellis into the wall. I like to pick one of the upper corners first. Put the screw in and tighten it part way. Now, hold the trellis up to the marks, making sure it’s level and drill another hole. Drive another screw in part way. Now you can drill the rest of the holes, but don’t put the screws in yet.
Back the screws out and insert a piece of PVC pipe between the trellis and the wall. Then put the screws back in through the trellis and the spacer into the wall, but don’t tighten them completely yet. Repeat this with the other holes and then tighten all of the screws.
Now your trellis is firmly attached to the wall and there is enough space for vines to wrap around the wood.
If you like to take your trellis down from the wall for cleaning at the end of each season, this attachment method will make it quick and easy. It also allows you to paint the wall behind the trellis without taking it down completely. The frame stays attached at the bottom and folds down away from the wall. It’s fastened with two 1 1/2-inch hook and eyes at the top. As you’re installing your trellis, always predrill the holes so you don’t split the wood.
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- 2 1 x 2 cedar ledger boards:
3/4 x 1 and 1/2 x 33 1/2 in.
- 2 2-in. leaf hinges with screws
- 2 1 1/2-in. screw eye and hooks
- 4 3 1/2-in. coated deck screws
- tape measure
- drill with a 3/16-in. bit and a screwdriver bit
Step one — Position the ledger board. Start by finding the studs in the wall where you want to attach your trellis. You can purchase a stud finder at a home improvement store, or look for nail heads on the surface of your siding. Mark the location of the studs on the wall near the ground. Center a 1×2, as long as the trellis is wide, in this case 33 1/2 inches, over the location of the studs. This 1×2 will be your ledger board, or the stable board where you will attach the trellis. Use a bubble level to make sure it’s level and mark the locations of the studs on the ledger board. Also, mark the position of the ledger board on the wall. Predrill the holes in the 1×2.
Step two — Fasten the ledger board. Attach the board to the wall by screwing through the pre-drilled holes and into the wall studs with three 3 1/2-inch-long screws.
Step three — Attach the hinges. You’ll need two 2-inch leaf hinges. Fasten them to the 1×2 ledger board as you see in the photo, about 1 inch in from each end.
Step four— Screw the hinges to the trellis. Lay the trellis face down in front of the wall, supporting it on blocks. Now fasten the other half of the hinge to the back of the trellis frame. Again, the photo will help you figure out the placement.
Once the bottom of the trellis is secure, you’re ready to fasten the top to the wall. Swing the trellis up into position. On the wall, mark the top outside edges of the trellis and then lay it back down.
Screw your second 33 1/2-in-long. ledger board to the wall just as you did the bottom. Make sure it’s level and a couple of inches below the top edge, so it’s hidden behind the trellis frame.
Step five — Install the hook and eyes. Put the trellis up again and screw one of the hooks into each side of the trellis frame. Screw an eye into each end of the 1×2 for the hook to fasten into.
Hook the trellis in place and you’re set to plant. When you need to clean off the trellis, or paint the wall behind, just unhook the two top hooks and lay the trellis down.