How to Build a Stainless Steel Garden Trellis

 

“This kit contains everything you need to build the trellis, and it has three patterns to choose from: fan, grid, or diamond. And if you’re feeling creative, you can make your own pattern.”

Todd Dermody


Materials

For the sixth year, we’re heading to the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival (NWFGF). We're excited to bring you more fun projects at the Dunn DIY booth to help you move forward in your DIY journey, so stop by booth 707 to say hello! The show runs Feb. 26 through March 1. And be sure to check out our other NWFGF projects: "How to Make a DIY Planter Box on Wheels" and "How To Make a Garden Storage Shed." A trellis is a great way to add texture to a garden (or indoor) wall. Today, we’re building a stainless steel trellis using Feeney’s 3-in-1 kit. The kit contains everything you need to build the trellis, and it has three patterns to choose from: fan, grid, or diamond. And if you’re feeling creative, you can make your own pattern. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Mark for template

Once you’ve picked your pattern, mark the wall where you want to mount your trellis. We chose the diamond layout, but choose whichever shape you like best. We modified the diagram and shrunk the dimensions by half to fit our space.  We did this by taking the paper template that comes with the kit to a local office supply store and used their large copier on 50%. Start your layout referencing the paper template—the markings show where the trellis will mount to the wall—so mark a vertical line on the wall where the center of the trellis will be. Then, make a horizontal line to mark where the bottom of the trellis will sit. Use pencil or temporary chalk for your markings so they can be removed after your project is complete.  Note:  We're using  a "wall" we made out of one-by-three whitewood;  most people will probably use an existing wall.
pick your pattern for a trellis
mark the layout for a garden trellis

Step 2: Tape trellis template in place

Using your marked horizontal and vertical lines as guides, tape the template in place following the instructions in the kit. The template is only half (one side) of the trellis—so you’ll mark six points on the left, then turn the template over like a page in a book and mark the same spots on the right side. We used an awl to mark the mounting points, but you could use a pencil, as well.  
tape trellis template in place
use an awl to mark the mounting point

Step 3: Drill holes for hanger bolts

Using a 3/16” drill bit, drill 12 holes in the spots you marked in the last step. Make sure to drill these holes as straight up and down as possible so the stand-off bracket will be perpendicular to the wall and not crooked.
drill holes for hanger bolts

Step 4: Drive hanger bolts into wall

The Feeney kit comes with its own installation tool that fits a power drill. Lock the tool into the chuck of a driver (you can also use a wrench if you don’t have a power drill). Thread the machine-thread end of each hanger bolt into the bolt installation tool. At a low speed, drive the hanger bolts straight into the pilot holes until the wood screw threads are driven completely into the wall and the machine-thread screws are about 1/16” below the wall face. Reverse the spin direction of the drill to leave the bolt in the wall. Repeat for the other 11 hanger bolts.
Milwaukee power drill
use a power drill
using a Feeney kit for our trellis
drive hanger bolts into wall

Step 5: Attach stand-off fittings

Thread the stand-off fittings onto the machine screws of the hanger bolts. The directions call for a hex nut to be threaded onto the hanger bolt before the stand-off fitting, but we skipped this for a cleaner look.
diy wooden trellis
attach stand-off fittings

Step 6: Thread rods through fittings

This is where the trellis really starts coming together. Thread the rods through the lower or upper holes in the stand-off fittings. Use the lower holes for rods going one direction and the upper holes for the rods running the other way. Consult the pattern diagram, and use the cross-clamp fittings for the 10 rod intersections in the interior of the trellis (inside the 12 stand-off fittings). Make sure the set screws in the cross fittings face the wall.
diy garden trellis
thread rod through fittings

Step 7: Tighten screws and trim ends

After you thread the rods into position, make any final adjustments, and tighten the set screws on the stand-off brackets and the cross-clamp fittings using the hex key that came with the kit. Cut off the ends of the rods with pliers or wire-cutters and file smooth if needed.
final adjustments on the trellis
tighten screws on the trellis
cut off the ends of the rods
diy trellis
how to make a stainless steel trellis
Now you’ve built your own trellis using the Feeney kit! For other trellis ideas, check out our tutorials on how to build a mini-trellis, how to build a wooden trellis, and how to make a wire trellis (sans kit).