Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teepee Trellises

On Saturday, my wonderful husband made two teepee trellises for the decorative gourds we like to grow.
It's likely some other vines will find them too.

We've been considering different plans for quite some time.
I found these plans online from Organic Gardening magazine.  Here's a look at how they went together for us.

First of all, we both looked and looked, but could not find a concise list of materials needed to make the teepee trellises in the article. It is a simple plan.  We figured out the materials pretty easily. 

To make one teepee trellis, as we like to call them, you'll need:
*four 8' 2X2s (This is a standard length.  The article didn't give the length, but 8' fits with the other measurements the article provides.)
*two quarter inch 4 1/4" long carriage bolts with washers and nuts
*eight 4' 1X3s (It seems to have 1X3s, you need to 'rip down' 1X6s.  The lumber yard can do that for you for a small fee.  We opted for eight 4' 1X4s instead.  1X4s come in 8' lengths.  You just saw them in half.)
*thirty-two 1 1/2" deck screws (We used 1 5/8" deck screws because we had them on hand.  Just make sure your screws won't poke out on the other side of the 2X2s.)
*four 12" wood or metal stakes (We used metal because we had them on hand.)
*twine ( I always have twine.)

We used basic lumber not cedar, redwood, etc.  We didn't seal or stain them.  They should last us a few years.  If we really like them, the next set may be made of something more expensive.

Tools needed:
*safety goggles
*your favorite drill
*drill bits (1/4" to drill holes for the carriage bolts and a skinny one to drill pilot holes for the screws.  Plus, a bit to put in the screws.)
*wrench for the nut
*tape measure
*2 to 8 clamps to help hold everything together.  (No clamps are seen in the online instructions, but my WH enjoys using clamps.)
*hammer to drive in the stakes
*scissors to cut the twine

Put on your safety goggles.

Put two 2X2s together and drill a 1/4" hole 14 inches from one end.  Insert the carriage bolt tightening by hand.
Spread the 2X2x legs four feet apart and attach the first 1X4 12 inches from the ground with two screws on each side.  Clamps helped hold the 1X4 for my WH while I was planting carrots.

I don't know if it matters, but we made sure the "top" 2X2 leg went the same way (in this case left) for the two sides we used together. One teepee trellis goes left and one teepee trellis goes right because my WH made one each way with the first two he created. So, he made sure the last two he created also had one going right and one going left. We used the two rights together and the two lefts together. I hope that makes sense.

Here are the other 2X2s bolted together and waiting.  Our carriage bolts are longer than necessary because I forgot that 2X2s are not actually 2" X 2."  They're less.  I picked up longer carriage bolts than needed.

Space the other 1X4s along the 2X2s 12 inches apart and attached them with the screws.  You can space them closer if you wish.  See the clamps holding the boards for my WH?

Tighten the carriage bolt with the wrench after all the 1X4s are secure.
Repeat the process to make the other side of the teepee trellis.

My WH made two teepee trellises.  These plans can easily be altered to make smaller teepee trellises.

After figuring out where we wanted to place the teepee trellises, we leaned two sides (that have the top leg going the same direction) together and tied them securely with twine.

My WH drove a 12" metal stake into the ground at each leg and I tied the legs to the stakes with twine.

We repeated this with the other teepee trellis.

We will cut the twine at the end of the season when we clean up the garden, remove the stakes and lay the teepee trellises somewhere for winter.

Here they are. Ready for vines.

I love the shadows they made on the ground in the last photo.


  1. WOW! I love these. They will work great!

  2. What a great idea.
    He did a wonderful job.

    What kind of gourds?

    White Spray Paint

  3. First of all you have been removing sod for a lot of years! Love the Teepee wonder you call him WH..

  4. Love those! Can't wait to see what grows up them!

  5. These are great trellises. Thanks for the link. :-)

  6. I am so glad you showed these the suspense was getting to me. LOL! They look like they will be just the thing for your gourds and things. Sturdy too.

  7. You'll have to make sure to post a picture of all the gourds that will be hanging off them.

  8. These look a lot more finished and sturdy than the ones I've seen made from bamboo!

    Nice job!

  9. Oh they will look so great with something growing on them, well done!!!

  10. Love them! Hubby could market these things girl...

  11. Those are really cool and will be great to grow vines on!

  12. They turned out great. Looks like they will be nice and strong to hold the gourd vines.

  13. I saw this design a few weeks ago and considered it for my squash. They look great, I may just go with them now.


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