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Our backyard is a bit of a mess in some places; some parts of it are nice and neat, planted with pretty flowers, grass trimmed, patio swept, etc., but other parts of it are basically just junk storage! Now that the weather has warmed up, we’re spending a lot more time in our backyard, and the junk is a bit of an eyesore. So I decided to build a super simple DIY trellis screen to hide the mess. It took me about two hours to build and install it (with lots of breaks for a glass of ice water in the air conditioned house; it was 97 degrees out the day I was building it…whose dumb idea was that?!), and it’s working perfectly to make the whole backyard look pretty and “on purpose”!
I can’t wait for the vine to grow up onto the trellis and really cover that whole half of the pathway; it’s going to be so pretty!
If you have an eyesore area in your backyard, try putting up a little trellis screen. It really is easy to make, and it makes a huge difference!
By the way, they do make prefab, pre-framed sections of trellis that you can just install, but then you’re limited to the sizes, shapes, and colors that are available at your local hardware store. I figured it would be easier to “custom build” a trellis screen that perfectly fit our space than to try to make a prefab one fit.
Simple DIY Trellis Screen
- 2 hours (time spent doing stuff)
- 0 minutes, unless you paint your trellis (time spent waiting around)
- 2 hours (total project time)
- 4’ x 8’ sheet of lattice
- enough 1×4 cedar boards to frame the edges of your finished trellis TWICE (the lattice will be sandwiched between a front and back frame)
- galvanized nails
- exterior screws
Here’s what the side of our house looked like before. We had the gravel and that path put in last fall, and we purposely placed the path closer to the fence so that we could use the gravel area for storage. But it didn’t really occur to me how ugly the storage part of it would be. 🙂
So I decided to cover it up!
The first thing I did was figure out what shape and size I needed my finished trellis screen to be. The pathway between the side of the house and the fence is 8’ wide, so I figured I would use the full 4’ width of the lattice. But I wanted to attach the trellis to both the house and the fence on the other side to give it more stability, and the lattice is taller than the fence. I measured the fence and cut the lattice down to the same height using my circular saw.
NOTE: Be extremely careful cutting lattice!!!! There are metal staples at every single intersection of the crossed boards; make sure your saw doesn’t run into any staples!
Once the lattice was cut down to size, I measured the edges and cut 1×4 cedar boards down to size to create a frame for the lattice. Be sure that you cut two boards for each edge so you can frame the front and back of the lattice at the same time. I measured and cut the boards for the sides and bottom frame first, because I knew I wanted the top frame to run all the way across to the fence, and I wanted to measure again once the lattice was framed up, just to double check.
To attach the frame to the lattice, lay one board under the lattice and one on top, sandwiching the lattice in between the two boards. Line the boards up with each other and with the edge of the lattice, then use a nail gun to nail through all three pieces everywhere you can. I used my AirStrike nailer, and it made super quick work of the framing; I really love that thing!
Once the frame was attached on the bottom and sides, I stood the lattice up and measured the length for the top frame piece. I cut two boards to that length and attached them to the lattice. On the fence side of the top frame, I stuck a small scrap of wood in between the boards and nailed them together to make sure the boards weren’t just wiggling around on the fence side.
Then my mom and I stood the lattice up, and she held it in place while I attached it to the house and fence. Because the entire finished trellis is only about 2″ wide, there wasn’t really a good way to screw the trellis directly onto the house.
So instead, I used a few small 2×2 scraps as cleats; I put the 2×2 up against the frame of the trellis and attached it securely to the trellis with screws. Then I was able to screw the 2×2 into the house to hold the trellis up. I used four of these cleats (one at the top and one at the bottom on both sides of the lattice) and the thing is super stable!
On the fence side I toenailed a few screws in through the cedar boards and into the fence, from both sides.
Mom planted a nice flowering vine in a huge pot, and we put that in front of the trellis, along with our strawberry pots. And now the “utility” area of our yard is totally hidden!
And there’s still enough room for my DIY pulley clothesline between the trellis and the house; perfect!
Once that vine starts climbing on the trellis, it’s going to look even better!
It just makes the whole yard look a lot more “finished” and thought out, so I’m really happy with it!
And from the patio, where we spend most of our time, you can’t see any of the junk…just a nice, pretty trellis!
So much better, right?!
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