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DIY Fence Trellis

This fence trellis is easy to build, and will turn a dull fence into a living wall!DIY Fence Trellis

Hi, Pretty Handy Girl readers! I’m Vineta from The Handyman’s Daughter, and today I’m going to show you how to create this easy DIY fence trellis. Easily give a boring, flat fence visual interest in winter, and a place for vines to grow in the summer!

Our entire backyard is surrounded by a six-foot-high cedar fence, which gives us plenty of privacy but isn’t exactly pretty. The previous owner planted clematis vines along one side, but didn’t give it anything to grab onto. So it sits in a pile on the ground instead! This fence trellis will give the vines something to climb and fill in the plain background.

That mound of green at the bottom of the fence is a vine! With a new fence trellis, it can climb and thrive.

Materials for Fence Trellis

  • Cedar fence pickets (I ripped 6″ wide pickets into 1 ½” strips, but you can also use 1 x 2 boards.)
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Exterior wood stain (I used Behr’s waterproofing exterior stain in Coffee)
  • Nail gun or hammer
  • 1 ¼” brad nails
  • Level
  • Scrap of 1 x 4 board to use for spacer

How to Build a DIY Fence Trellis

Start by cutting four 6″ wide cedar pickets into 1 ½” wide strips lengthwise. If you don’t have a table saw, you can simply use 1 x 2 boards.

Cut cedar fence pickets into 1 1/2" strips to create this fence trellis.

Next, cut the strips down into shorter lengths. I made a few of each of these dimensions: 16″, 20″, 22″, 24″, 26″ and 30″.

Cut the pieces for your fence trellis out of inexpensive fence pickets.

Sand each piece, then give them all two coats of your preferred exterior wood stain.

Stain the cut pieces of your fence trellis before assembly.

Once the stain is dry, you can start assembly! Begin with the longest pieces. Hold them vertically against your fence, spacing them out along the fence evenly and nailing them directly to the fence.

Use a nail gun to attach the vertical pieces directly to the fence.

Next, select a few pieces to attach horizontally at the bottom. Nail one end to the vertical support, then use the level to make sure it’s even before nailing down the other end.

Use a level to make sure the bottom rows are straight.

Use the 1 x 4 spacer to keep the distance between horizontal pieces the same. Rest the spacer on top of the attached piece, then prop another piece on top and nail into place. This is much easier than using a tape measure!

Use a spacer between the slats of your fence trellis so the horizontal rows will be evenly spaced.

Work your way up the fence, randomly placing horizontal pieces. Make sure each one is attached to at least two vertical supports. Add more vertical supports as needed to bridge the gaps.

Fill in gaps with additional vertical supports, and mix up the various lengths.

Remember to step back and to view your overall design every once in a while. It should look random, but not TOO random! It’s easy to pull off pieces and move them around if you don’t like how it’s turning out. I went for an asymmetrical look, but you could make a simple grid if you prefer.

This fence trellis provides visual interest in winter, and a spot for climbing vines in the summer!

This fence trellis now draws attention to the shady part of the garden.

Weave the vines under the elevated pieces to help the plants find a spot to grip. Over time, the vines will find their own way up the DIY fence trellis. I can’t wait to see them blooming next spring!

Weave your vines through the fence trellis to create a living wall!

Give the vines a helping hand by weaving them through the slats of your fence trellis.

Want some more trellis ideas? You can get the free building plans for this angled garden trellis I created for another part of the fence at The Handyman’s Daughter!

There are so many ways to create your own fence trellis! You can find the plans for this one at The Handyman

Or create a lattice privacy wall trellis instead!

I’d love to hear what you would recommend planting under this DIY Fence Trellis. Until next time!

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