Planter Box Trellis Build Plans

Here are the plans for building the trellis that can be added to the planter boxes I previously provided plans for. You can also use these plants to add trellis to existing planter boxes you may have, with a few adjustments to the measurements.


3 – 2” x 3” x 8’ boards
1 – 4′ x 8′ lattice panel (can be smaller if your planter is 4′ or less)
12 – #8 – 2″ screws
Chalk line or large square
Stain – Your choice of colour (we used Ipswich Pine)


Robertson bit
Pilot hole drill bit
Router table & router
Channel router bit
Dremmel (if you do not have one, a drill with a larger bit or a drill press will work)
Tape measure
Carpenter square
Band saw (Jig Saw or table saw will also work)


*For this cut list, I am making the trellis for the 5′ planter in the previous post. I have made notes on how to adjust based on the size of your planter.

2 – 2″ x 3″ x 6′ (length depends on the height of your planter. You will want 3′ 11″ + height of your planter)
1 – 2″ x 3″ x 5′ (length depends on the length of your planter. You will want the top cap to be the same length as the planter)
1 – 4′ x 4′ 10″ lattice (length depends on the length of your planter. You will want to cut the lattice 2″ shorter than the length of your planter. The lattice should be 4′ tall)


Directions for assembling trellis

Step 1: Cut the lumber
Cut all your lumber to the cut list. We also chose to plane the frame lumber for a nice sharp edge, but you don’t need to do that if you do not have a planer. Cutting the lattice in a straight line if you do not have a table saw, which we did not. We used our jigsaw to cut our lattice. In order to get a straight line, we measured in 4 different places and used a large ruler to draw the line that we needed to follow. It worked out very well for us.

Step 2: Router the channels
For the uprights, the 2″ x 3″ x 6′ you can cut the channel from end to end, making it a very easy channel to cut. We used our router table to cut this, however if you do not have a router table, just setup some sort of guide to ensure you are getting a nice straight line with your router.

You will want the channel to be off-centre. We set ours so that it was 1/2″ from the front edge. This left us with 1-1/2″ on the back edge of the channel once cut. You will want a wider section as that will eventually be used to attach the lattice frame to the box, and you want a nice sturdy depth to ensure that the lattice will be able to withstand winds or heavy plant matter climbing the trellis.

For the top cap, you will not want to cut your channel from end to end as that will make the outer edge of your frame look a little odd where the corners will be joined. We started our channel in 1″ from either end to ensure that when the frame was assembled, you would not see any of the channels from the outside of the frame.

To get the channel started, we used our Dremmel to hollow out part of the channel so that the router bit would fit into it. A drill press with a bit that is slightly wider than your router bit will also work, we just don’t have one, so we improvised. Only go as deep as the router will go, again you don’t want anything showing on the outside of the frame. Once the starting hole is done, mark a line on the other end of where you will need to stop the router so that you don’t go all the way through the other side.

Step 3: Cut the braces from the uprights
In this step, you are going to cut out an “L” at the bottom of your uprights. This will be how you attach the lattice to the planter boxes. The top frame of the planter box will act as the bottom of the lattice support, with the lattice sitting directly on the planter box frame.

I forgot to take a picture of the cuts before assembling but this shows the “L” shape cut that we made so that there was a back brace and part of the frame sits on the planter box frame.

Measure 3′ 11″ on your upright boards. Using the channel, cut from the front edge to the back of the channel, then down the back of the channel to the bottom of the board, cutting out a section, and leaving the thicker back side of the board intact.

Step 4: Stain the wood
As mentioned in previous posts, we prefer to stain the wood prior to assembly. This ensures a solid covering and that all nooks and crannies in the wood will be evenly stained. We made sure to run some stain into the channel where the lattice will be sitting as you will be able to see into the channel where the lattice is open.

Step 5: Assemble the trellis
We did a few “dry-fits” to make sure everything was fitting together properly, but when it came time to do the actual assembly, we found it easiest to do it right on the planter box.

Start with one of your upright braces. With the cut out section at the bottom, place the upright so that the board is resting on the top frame of the planter, with a section hanging down flush to the back of the planter. Drill pilot holes down the back brace. We did 4 based on the height of our planter. Using 2″ screws, attach the upright flush with the edge and top of your planter.

Pre-assembly. Everything was brought to the planters, ready to assemble.

Once the first upright is in place, put the lattice along the back of the planter with one edge inside the channel of the first upright. Place the other upright on the other side of the planter, ensuring that the lattice is placed within the channel. Drill pilot holes and use 2″ screws to attach the second brace to the planter box. This should hold your lattice upright along the back of your planter.

Next, place the top cap on the lattice, ensuring the lattice is within the channel. Square the corners of your top cap with the uprights and using pilot holes and 2″ screws, attach the top cap to the uprights. Conveniently, due to the height, no one will see the few screws on the top of your frame. However, if you would like it to have a full finish, you can sink your screws into the wood slightly and fill with a wood fill, and stain once dry.

Other trellis options

If the above trellis seems a little too much work, or beyond your ability based on the tools you have available or perhaps it isn’t the style you would prefer, no worries. There are a lot of great trellis options that allow you to create support for plants to grow and that are easier to accomplish, or require less tools. Pinterest, of course, has a few great options, but here are a few that we have used in the past in our yard.

Simple Netting Trellis
On the back of our raised beds, we created a simple trellis for our peas to grow on using 1″ x 2″ x 8′ boards and some garden netting. The netting you can get at any gardening store, or even the dollar store. We used a lightweight one and it easily held our peas and lasted 3 years. It probably would have lasted longer, but we had different plans for our garden beds and wanted to be able to access them from both sides.

For this trellis, you can use a staple gun, and any kind of saw (hand saw included). You will still want to use screws to attach it to your planter or garden bed to make sure it is secure. Ours wobbled in the wind a little, but it held to the bed for 3 years without problems. You can add some string braces if you like to the bed for extra strength if you live in a really windy area.

Build your frame to size, we used the full 8′ height of the boards for the uprights, and because our beds were 8′ across, we didn’t need to do any cutting. As you can see, we included a centre upright for extra stability. Once the frame was built, we stapled on the netting and screwed it to our beds. It took a very short amount of time to build and worked like a charm.

Privacy Screen Trellis
For mothers day last year, my mom wanted a narrow, long planter for her deck, with a privacy trellis to help block the neighbours a bit (not because they don’t like them, but because they just wanted privacy when sitting on their deck).

To create this trellis, I just used 2″ x 4″ x 8′ boards for the back uprights, and 1″ x 3″ x 8′ boards for the front verticals. Again, a simple build that you can do with minimal tools. Depending on the length of your planter, you may need to cut the verticals shorter than the 8′ lengths, but you can do so with any kind of saw, including a hand saw. From there, I laid the uprights on the ground and started attaching the verticals, ensuring that the first board across was square so that the privacy trellis would also be square once attached to the planter. A really simple way to do this, is to put the bottom of the uprights against a wall and that they are square to the wall. This will help keep them in place as you add the vertical boards.

Again, with this one, don’t forget to measure the height of your planter to ensure you stop the vertical boards with enough room to have attach the uprights to the back of the planter.

All the best with your builds! If you have any questions, please feel free to message us.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Errol Leerar says:

    Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!


    1. JP says:

      That is great! I am glad you enjoy our fun stories.


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