wide closeup of pieces of bamboo slashed together to support flowering vines

Make a Bamboo Trellis That’s Quick, Easy and Really Cute!

Vertical growing is often the answer when your plants outgrow your small space!

Or maybe your space isn’t so small, but rather your happy garden dreams took over at the garden center, the farmers’ market, big box store parking lots, even the local hardware store.

Or like me, at all four such sources — combined! This year, I just couldn’t seem to help myself.

But now my new clematis is taking over the large pot it shares with three other lovely plants. It’s like the kid on the playground with a growth spurt who is taking over everything. 

large patio pot with clematis on top of everything else

He needs his own jungle gym to climb up. He needs a trellis!

Fortunately, building your own trellis doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. 

In fact, with a few simple materials and a little creativity, you can create a trellis that’s both functional and adorable! 

This DIY project is perfect for gardeners of all skill levels, and the end result will be a charming (but functional) trellis that will add a delightful touch of whimsy to your garden.

The links in this post may include affiliate links, which means if you purchase anything using these links, you pay no extra, but I may receive a small commission that helps keep this blog running. I truly appreciate you using affiliate links whenever possible. Please know that I will never recommend a product I do not believe in!

Why a Trellis?

A trellis is the answer for vining plants. Your plants will be healthier as air can circulate around them and they will can taken more sunshine.

Making your own is a great way to save money, get the exact size you need and add your own custom style.

Which Trellis Design?

There are many trellis designs:

  • Teepee: Simple build
  • Vertical Panel: Ideal for walls or fences
  • Lean-to Trellis: Leans against a wall or support, providing angled surface for vining plants.
  • Arch: Creates a beautiful entranceway and supports larger vines.
  • Obelisk Trellis: A vertical pyramid structure, usually with a finial on top

The design is partially impacted by the space and the crop. 

My garden trellis is for flowers, specifically clematis. They’re vigorous growers, but pretty light weight. And they are growing as part of a large pot arrangement. So either a teepee or obelisk trellis would be best

The teepee and obelisk are very similar. Teepee trellises can have as few as three, but up to eight or even ten spines depending on the size. They are all gathered and lashed together crossing at the top.

An obelisk is usually made with four spines gathered at the top with a finial.

A narrow teepee trellis is stronger and more secure than a single narrow panel type trellis, especially in loose potting soil.

finished trellis with flowering vine with an umbrella table behind

I chose to go with the obelisk, because I love a good finial — kind of an exclamation point to the design. And I used three spines because It’s in a pot and that’s what fit under my candle cup finial.

What Material?

Trellis can be made with one primary material. The most common are:

  • all wood
  • all metal
  • all bamboo
  • all prefab plastic, or plastic coated metal

Or trellises can be constructed with a combination of two such as a wood frame holding a metal hog fence interior, or bamboo verticals with jute wrapped as the cross members.

For my diy, I went with all bamboo trellis (with jute used as my lashing).

Why bamboo? It’s a great material for a garden trellis diy because it’s:

  • lightweight
  • strong and sturdy
  • easy to work with
  • readily available 
  • inexpensive
  • environmentally friendly
  • AND I love its all natural look!

the finished obelisk with clematis vine wrapped around it with thee patio behind


Because my trellis is for a relatively lightweight flowering vine, I could have used bamboo poles for the vertical spines of the obelisk and wrapped jute around it, but I really like the aesthetic of all bamboo and I could give it a bit of extra girth that I felt the clematis might need.

If this trellis was for a bed of tomato plants or other climbing plants with  heavy fruit like cucumbers, squash, cantaloupes, pumpkins, etc., I might have made my trellis more like a metal and wood vertical panel, lean-to or arch.

How to Make the Cutest Obelisk Bamboo Trellis​

Materials and Supplies-​

  • Scissors
  • Small razor hand saw or equivalent. This is the one I use.
  • Paint brush
  • Wire Snips

NOTES: I found my bamboo poles at a garage sale a while ago as a bundle of 10 for 50 cents. But they are the very same as the ones from Home Depot.

General Working With Bamboo Notes

Bamboo may remind you of reeds and you may think they are pliable and easily bent. Not so once they are dry! Great for building trellises, furniture and more.

To cut bamboo, use a thin hand saw. I used this thin razor saw.

Try to cut bamboo at a node. The nodes are thick and solid. Cutting at a node helps to keep water from running inside and possibly rot the bamboo.

Step 1) The Finial-

I know, it seems like a crazy place to start, but trust me, I wish I had prepared my finial ahead.

wood candle cup, wood bead and dangle bead waiting to be combined
closeup of the finial all glued together on top of the obelisk, before it was painted to match

I used clear Gorilla Glue to glue an oblong wood bead to the bottom of the candle cup. Then I glued a dangle-style bead with the loop inserted in the bead’s hole.

Once dry and set, paint it however you choose.

finished finial is seen atop the bamboo obelisk with a lake behind

I wanted to pay up the shape of the obelisk and finial, so I mixed some craft paints from my stash to match the colors of the bamboo.

Step 2) Build Obelisk Structure-

closeup of the top bundle of bamboo ends wrapped with wire

Select three similar sized poles. Start with them all at the same length, so trim one or two if you have to.

Stick the bottom of the poles in your planter or bed.

​Gather them together at the top and wire them to hold together.

PRO TIP: Test fit to make sure the candle cup fits over the top of this bundle of three. Rearrange or replace a pole until they do.

Once you have a good fit, add a generous amount of glue inside the candle cup and attach over the bundle of wired poles.

Step 3) Add the Cross Bars-

closeup of jute lashings in the flower pot with green leaves and blossoms all around it

I opted to add two cross bars, on each of the three sides of the obelisk. And I decided to attach them at angles and extending belong the width of the verticals. I wanted to give my clematis plenty of surface to grab ahold of and wind around.

Once I determined the layout and had cut the cross bars, it’s time to attach them, or lash them together.

This is one of the more traditional lashing techniques. It’s really very simple and you’ll get the hang of it rather quickly. It’s all a series of wrapping that ends with one square knot.

I started with pieces of jute about 2 feet long.

woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine

  1. cross the twine behind the vertical, above the cross bar
  2. bring ends down the cross bar on each side of the vertical
  3. wrap behind the vertical, under the cross bar

woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine

4. wrap in front of vertical, below cross bar

5. bring ends up behind cross on each side of vertical

6. cross over the center of vertical and horizontal

woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine

7. bring ends up behind cross bar

8. cross in front above cross bar

9. bring ends down on each side behind cross bar

woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine
woman's fingers showing steps of lashing bamboo together with jute twine

10. cross in back

11. bring ends to front under cross bar, tie right over left

12. tie left over right to complete the one square knot.

Trim the ends and seal with a drop or two of glue.

colosseum of bamboo lashing in the flower pot

All Done!

Please excuse this quick break in the action to ask if you enjoyed this post. Would you like to join our creative community for all the fun straight to your inbox? Plus exclusive content!

Thanks so very much! Now back to our trellises:

closeup of jute lashings in the flower pot with green leaves and blossoms all around it

finished trellis with flowering vine in large patio pot with an umbrella table behind

Isn’t she the cutest addition?

And my clematis, the playground bully, is now so happy and playing nice with all the other others

SIDENOTE: I may trim off a bit of the extra length on the cross bars.

Trellis Alternatives to DIY

So perhaps you really want/need a trellis for your large planters or your planting beds, but you are not up to making them right now.

Life is busy! I get it.

So I put together a collection of my favorite 4-6 foot tall obelisk and teepee style trellises to help you out.

Click on each item to learn more and order:

pin featuring image of trellis with umbrella behind and a title that reads: Bamboo Trellis: Easy, Thrifty & Cute

I hope this encourages you to try making a garden trellis next time your vines are needing more space to play in the sun and grow.

round image of Diane smiling next to a Signature that reads: With Joy, Diane

2 Comments

  1. Marlene

    Love your bamboo trellis and thanks for the instructions.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Sharing great projects with instructions is my jam!!! It’s what I love doing. So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for being part of this community.

      Reply

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