This DIY pipe trellis project is part of the Summer Outdoor Blog Hop – thanks for visiting and make sure to visit the other blogs linked at the bottom of this post for more outdoor inspiration!
This past weekend Chris and I spent some much needed time in our backyard getting the garden ready for summer. Chris decided to reconfigure our veggie garden from a U shape to an E to keep most of the garden in the sun (while still allowing easy access to the back plants).
While he was doing that, I made some quick DIY trellises. I built the stone flower beds a couple of years ago and planted some climbing roses and honeysuckle plants in an attempt to add more green to our back fence. Last year I threw together a quick trellis out of scrap wood and dowels. The wood was not rated for outdoors use so they were looking a little sad, and now that the plants are getting bigger it was definitely time for a more durable solution.
Browsing Pinterest I came across a beautiful trellis made from copper pipe – I loved the look but after pricing it out was not impressed with the cost. Instead I decided to create the same look with inexpensive PEX pipe and some copper spray paint.
This was an easy weekend project that cost about $30 Canadian (~ $25 US).
A couple of things to note about PEX piping: PEX is not rated for outdoor use, but because I’m not actually them for plumbing I decided to use it for this project anyways. You could also use PVC pipe for a more durable (and more expensive) alternative.
These are the materials I used for a 48” x 40” trellis. This project is completely customizable and can be made bigger or smaller to fit your space.
- 3 x ½” PEX Pipe (10’ length)
- 4 x ½” PEX 90° Elbows
- 6 x ½” PEX Tees
- 1 x Bag of ½” Pipe Clamps
- 1 x Can Spray Paint (I used Rustoleum Metallic in Rose Gold)
- Contact Cement
- Deck Screws
- Using a hand saw or compound miter saw cut:
- 5 pieces 48” long
- 8 pieces 10” long
After cutting all your pieces do a quick dry fit to make sure you are happy with the size of the trellis and nothing looks warped.
My original design only had four horizontal pieces which looked too small when I put it all together, so I went back and added a fifth. On my second dry fit I found I had cut my new pipe piece slightly too long and it was bowing – moral of the story: dry fitting is important!
I say dry fit, because I found that my pipe pieces and connectors did not fit together tightly. To make them a bit more secure, I used some contact cement. If your pieces fit together nicely you can choose to skip this step.
As soon as you’re happy with your assembled trellis, spray the entire thing with a light coat of primer and then do 1-2 coats of copper making sure no more primer is visible. At this point I also painted the pipe clamps copper so they would blend in with the trellis.
Once everything is dry and the paint has had some time to cure (I waited until the next day) use the pipe clamps and some screws to install your trellis. I used deck screws because we have a gazillion of them left over from when we built our floating deck.
Some of my paint scraped off during installation because I had to shimmy some pieces around once my trellis was installed to make sure it was in the right place and looked straight. I sprayed a puddle of copper paint onto some scrap of cardboard and then used a small paint brush for touch ups.
Now that it’s installed I’ve woven in our climbing roses and honeysuckle plants that have already started growing.
This was a really easy project that has made a nice alternative to a wood trellis. I’m really happy with how it turned out I think I’m going to add a few more to encourage our plants to cover more of the back fence. I can’t wait for the flowers to start to bloom!