The vast majority of my blog posts and projects don’t have extensive stories behind them- I had an object, I had an idea, I did the project, I posted it here. That’s *normally* how things work around here and it’s not all that exciting.
This project, however, is truly an exception! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.
It all started out when I thrifted several old garden shovels for a Halloween project. Well, try as I might, the spooky project was a failure. I let the dust of my frustration settle before going back to the drawing board- I had the old tools after all- I just needed a new idea!
So, I “tooled” around on Pinterest (pun TOTALLY intended) and fell in l-o-v-e with this Pin and its similar friend. Building a vintage yard tool trellis was a great idea and was right up my alley…but when I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole for each one, I couldn’t find a tutorial on either of them. Heck, I couldn’t even determine the originator of the first Pin!
But it looked so simple, right? Something I/we could definitely do. So my next stop was Habitat ReStore for some scrap/salvaged wood trim.
Building a Trellis
First, we determined that our trellis would go into the ground far more easily if the ends were tapered like a stake. So we used our vintage drawknife that I bought on Etsy to shave off the ends of each handle- just enough to be more stake-like (a chisel would work, too).
Now, all we needed to do was attach our wood trim to the backs of our tool handles like lattice. Easy-peasy, right? So we laid out the tools and sawed the trim down to size- three pieces, progressively shorter in length.
First, we tried screws with the drill…but the drill (no matter the setting AND using pilot holes) torqued the screws in half. Those garden tool handles are dense as all get out.
Then we tried hammer and nails- which worked, but we nearly split the wood trim pieces with the force needed to get the nails into the tool handles.
Successful, but with a hefty side of aggravation, we hammered in three nails through the back of the top (longest) piece of wood trim. To add insurance, I wrapped jute twine around each connection/joint, as tightly as possible.
But we still had 6 nails to pound in! And the wood trim pieces just didn’t look like they could handle it. So, shhhh…I used wood glue for the middle and lower pieces of trim. I clamped the trim to the handles, let the glue set for 24 hours, and then I wound the twine around each connection again. Maybe the easy way out, but I’m building a trellis…not a ladder to climb on or something!
And there it is- all frustrations are in our rearview mirror now, so I can enjoy that our trellis turned out beautifully! You’ll notice that unlike the inspirational Pinterest pictures, our center tool “stake” is much longer- on purpose. It will act like a tap root on a tree, and the side “stakes” will act like training wheels. I highly recommend this tip!
But Will It Stand?
The big test- sticking it in the ground! But ta-da, it worked like a charm (at least in our rain-drenched soil).
I love the “harvest” feel it has…and it was fun to squeeze in one more outdoor project this year before winter comes charging in.