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Make your own inexpensive trellis

After seeing the prices for ready-made trellis, my son decided to make his own garden trellis using Meranti cover strips.


My son recently got married and moved into his own home. The garden is pretty sparse and he is planting a variety of creepers to cover up blank walls. Wanting to install a trellis on one wall, he discovered that a large garden trellis would cost over R700, and like me, he decided to make his own.

The trellis measures 1100mm x 1600mm and is made with Meranti cover strips. These are thin strips of wood, usually 8mm in thickness, and of varying lengths. You can buy Meranti strips at many timber merchants, or companies that specialise in wood profiles. Cover strips are generally used for ceilings but can be used for other projects as well.





Meranti is a more durable timber than pine, especially for outdoor use, and the garden trellis will have a much longer lifespan.

Depending on your location, Meranti cover strips should cost between R20 to R30 per 2.4 metre length. We bought ours from RSB Mouldings in Randfontein. To find your nearest supplier simply Google 'meranti or pine cover strips'.

Tips for making your own inexpensive garden trellis:

1. Cut all the cover strips to length for the size of trellis that you want to make. Ours is 1100mm high x 1600mm wide, but you can adjust this to any size you want.

2. Arrange 4 slats for the top, bottom and [2] sides, making sure that all the corners are absolutely square. You can use a carpenters square, corners square, or a square piece of board, like we did. Once the corners are square, start at one corner and apply waterproof wood glue before nailing in place. Secure with 2 to 3 brad nails at each intersection.

3. After you have done the first corner, you will repeat for the other corner.

4. Once all the corners are done, you can start adding the horizontal slats. Space all the horizontal slats at equal distance from the bottom to the top before nailing in place.

GOOD TO KNOW: Have a long, straight plank or straightedge to make it easier to line up all the ends of all the slats.

5. Flip the trellis over to add the vertical slats in the same way.



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