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DIY - Metallic Art Trellis

With many homeowners looking for a way to provide modern decoration with function to their backyards, a metallic trellis can be just the touch to add something shiny, weathered, handmade, and functional, to aid in the growth of grape vines, ivy, and other crawling plants along fence lines, in gardens, or wherever.

A metallic copper Trellis can look great with other garden features such as pergolas, metallic furniture, and along the length of privacy fence to merge and juxtapose the qualities of wood, metal, earth, and the colors of the foliage.

Copper tubing is a cheap and easy material to use that can give the effect of something that’s both high end and eye catching—and not only that, but as it experiences the different seasons throughout the years, it weathers beautifully to a brass and green color.  The various materials that are necessary to build a metallic trellis can easily obtained at your local hardware store and the total cost of the project can be done for under $40.00 and take about two hours time to complete.

What you will end up with is something completely do-it-yourself, cost less than what you can get in the store, and last twice as long—all knowing it was something you created.

Copper Metal Trellis

What you need:

  1. Copper Tubing – 3/4inch. With a little thicker width, the ¾ inch tubing (not conduit as it will be much more bendable and likely a little cheaper) is a great support for the outside of your trellis. With its thickness, you can also drill through it as it may be necessary, and weave the ½ tubing throughout. There are going to be different types of copper tubing, J being the easier and more malleable of the readily available copper tubing. Cost will be around $14.00 per 10 feet.
  2. Copper Tubing – ½ inch. This will be the smaller and even easier to bend material that will provide some of the more decorative designs to the trellis. Cost will be around $10.00 for 10 feet.
  3. Drill with ½ inch bit. I prefer a Milwaukee, but you're welcome to use anything with a battery and chuck that suits your fancy.
  4. Vice Grips. Good old trusty vice grips will ensure you don't go and poke yourself in the eye or skin your knuckles.
  5. Work Gloves. You know what work gloves are so hopefully no explaining is needed here. Play a little scavenger hunt and find some made in the USA.
  6. Eye goggles. The safety glasses are all important and I can't stress this enough. No sense in loosing an eyeball over some garden art.
  7. Yard stick. You'll need a yardstick for nailing down the exact locations of the various intersections, tie-downs, etc, etc.
  8. Pencil. Try and get a carpenters pencil; you know, the ones that are 1/2" wide and have a pencil lead that won't break off at every opportunity.

What you need to do:

  • Using the vice grip, clamp a 5 foot piece of ¾ inch tubing at the base and give it a slight bend so that only the bottom foot or two sees any change.
  • Repeat this step with another 5 foot piece.
  • Take two other similarly sized pieces and bend them as well, except the bend shouldn’t be as significant.
  • What you should hope to come up with is four pieces of metal that extend outwards away from each other like a fan or a V in a \II/ shape. This will be the main structure of the trellis.
  • Side by side, set the four pieces next to each other in the position it will ultimately look (that V formation) and number them 1-4 somehow discreetly.
  • Using your pencil and your yard stick and starting from the base, make a mark on the inside of the 3/4 inch copper tubing moving parallel where you would like to thread the ½ inch tubing.
  • After marking out several rows, secure the tubing with the vice grips, put on your glasses, and drill your holes.
  • If you run a line of ½ inch tubing through the base of the ¾ tubing and secure both sides of the ½ inch tubing after its through so the structure can’t move, you can start running your side wise strips throughout the rest of the trellis.
  • Be as decorative as you want and remember everything does match! A-symmetrical, symmetrical, circles, whatever!
  • Place in ground near a crawling plant (be sure not to upset the root system if it’s already in place), and watch the plant find its way to the top!

V Shaped Metallic Art Trellis