Ready to make a DIY obelisk? I’ll be using mine for roses, but they can be used for support for any type of climbing plant. This obelisk trellis is 4 feet tall and takes advantage of vertical space in a garden. Plus it’s an inexpensive project- I break down the costs below. It’s an easy build that can be created in one day. Plus, there are no angled cuts. Let’s get started!
how to make a DIY Obelisk
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. It’d mean so much if you’d watch the video! I’m trying to get better at my video skills so I can grow my YouTube channel. If you have a few minutes to watch this and/or subscribe, I’d so appreciate it.
inspiration for this project
I sketched out my ideas for this project in my sketch book. I love having a place where I can take the image I have in my head and put it on paper! Plus, it’s a great way to communicate what I’m thinking.
SUPPLIES to make 2 DIY Obelisks
- 2 Planters
- 4′ 2×2 Lumber (8 pieces)
- 3 Lattice Boards
- 2 Post Caps
- 2 Finials
- Exterior Paint- Frosted Sage
- 2 Roses- Strawberry Hill
For this project, I’m creating it because I have a climbing rose that I need support for. The planter I started with was pretty narrow and tricky to put a square obelisk in a round pot.
So I bought a square Planter instead. It works nicely because it has a little lip along the edge that’ll hold the obelisk in place.
Now that the rose is transplanted, I’m ready to build the DIY obelisk.
step 1- build the frame
Start by putting two of the 4′ 2×2 Lumber boards on the ground. At the top, have the boards touch. At the bottom, have the boards spaced out the width of the planter the obelisk will go in. For my Planter, that’s 16 1/2″ wide. Use a screw to attach the boards at the top. Repeat this three more times (each obelisk needs 2 of these).
Note, because these obelisks are 4′ tall, the boards for the frame don’t need to be cut!
Next, mark with a pencil on each piece of the frame every 12″ up. This is where the rungs for the trellis will be.
step 2- cut the trellis pieces
Now that the frame is built, cut the Lattice Boards with a miter saw.
- 4 pieces cut to 6″ long
- 4 pieces cut to 6.5″ long
- 4 pieces cut to 9.5″ long
- 4 pieces cut to 10″ long
- 4 pieces cut to 13″ long
- 4 pieces cut to 13.5″ long
step 3- put the obelisk together
And now, screw the cut lattice boards onto the obelisk frame. Start with the smaller board of each size and screw those onto the frame where the pencil marks are (every 12″ up). Repeat three more times. This makes up the front and back of both of the obelisks.
Note, make sure to pre-drill the holes for the screws. Doing this will help prevent the wood from splitting.
Then, put the the two pieces of the frame into each of the planters and lean the top pieces against each other.
Next, use the bigger lattice board of each size and screw those onto the frame. This connects the frame together and creates the sides of the obelisk. It’s helpful to have someone hold the frame in place while the other person does the construction.
The second set of boards is cut 1/2″ longer so that it covers the edge of the boards that were first installed.
Repeat for the second obelisk.
On the top of the frame where the four 2″x2″ boards touch on each obelisk is angled. Use a sander to flatten those boards out on each of the DIY obelisks. These need to be flattened to connect the top.
Take the post cap and mark where the finial will cover the wood on the middle of the post cap.
Then, use screws to attach the post cap onto the obelisk frame where they will be hidden.
Screw the finial in place to create the top of the obelisk. Now the four sides of the frame are all built!
step 4- paint
Finally, complete the project by painting the wood on the obelisk. Make sure to use exterior paint or stain so it can withstand the elements. I’m using the color Frosted Sage on my obelisk. I think it’s a nice subtle color.
It’s a bit of a pain to paint all sides of each piece of wood, but it polishes it up nicely!
Ever since I thought of this project, I’ve pictured the planters in front of my she shed. This gave me the excuse to add Running Trim onto the eaves of the roof.
Any excuse to add more ginger breading to my house!
I’m super happy with how the DIY Obelisk turned out! It’s beautiful- I especially love the finial!
Another thing I really enjoy is how the obelisk takes advantage of the vertical space. With the sky being the limit in a garden, bringing the eye up creates more visual interest.
I hope my roses will be really happy with having the obelisk to climb. I can’t wait to see it full of pink roses- it’ll be so pretty!
Starting this project was tricky, but once we realized we didn’t have to make any angled cuts, it became really easy. The obelisk still tapers to the top, but we just sanded that section flat to get the perfect angle. This made the build really simple!
For this project I spent $60 on the 2 Planters. $24 on the 2×2 Lumber. I already had the 3 Lattice Boards on hand or those would’ve cost $26. The 2 Post Caps came to $10 and the 2 Finials were $25. I had the Frosted Sage paint on hand. Last, I spent $70 on the 2 Roses.
My total in building supplies comes to $59.
With the planters, that subtotal is now $119.
Adding the roses brings everything to a grand total of $189.
I figure lots of people have plants and containers they want to work with, so that’s why I kept the building supplies total separate. This is a look I’ve wanted for a while in my yard. So I’m happy with the price for this diy obelisk.
what to use an obelisk for in a garden
If you like the look of an obelisk, but aren’t sure what to use it for, it’s great for any climbing plant. It works for flowers like roses, clematis, or morning glory. It also works for vegetables like sweet peas, squash, peppers, or tomatoes. I love that they’re both functional and beautiful in a garden. Plus they make use of vertical space.
In conclusion, I’m really happy with how the DIY obelisk turned out. I think it looks beautiful and will only look better as the rose matures. It was pretty easy to build and paint and I’d absolutely make another. Do you have any questions on this project? How do you think it came together? Let me know in the comments!
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