DIY Garden Trellis from Vintage Garden Tools

DIY Garden Trellis from Vintage Garden Tools

This project started out when I thrifted some vintage garden tools 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. With the old garden tools already in hand, I just needed a new idea! Eventually, I settled on the idea of building a DIY garden trellis that would be both decorative and functional.

First, I found this old garden spade.

Old garden tool at a thrift store

And then I found several more vintage garden tools at another thrift. Talk about a thrift store thrift score!

Vintage garden tools

My garden trellis idea seemed simple enough. I had the old tools and I just needed to connect them together and stick in the ground, right? 

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Prepping the Vintage Garden Tools

Now that I had the vintage garden tools in hand, I needed some scrap wood. The scrap would become the cross slats that would both connect the tools and provide more surface area for plants to climb onto.

First, I headed to Habitat ReStore for some wood trim that would do the job and cost me very little.

Scrap wood at Habitat ReStore

Then, before actually building the garden trellis, I needed to taper the handles of the garden tools first.

Tapered like a stake, which would make them easier to insert into the soil. So, we used our vintage draw knife to achieve this.

Vintage draw knife or draw shave

We used it to shave off the ends of each handle, just enough to be more stake-like (a chisel would work, too).

Using a draw knife on vintage garden tools

Now, all we needed to do was attach our wood trim to the backs of our farm tools like to create the DIY garden trellis!

Building a DIY Garden Trellis

First, we laid everything on the ground and arranged the garden tools in the V-shape of a trellis. We then laid the scrap wood over the handles and determined that three cross slats would be ideal.

From there, we then cut down the scrap would to size and sanded off the ends. I also sprayed the handles and cross slats with a matte top coat to waterproof everything. Now we could begin attaching everything!

First, we attached the longest cross slat to the back of our “center” garden tool by slowly drilling pilot holes before securing with a screw.

Building a DIY garden trellis

After doing the same thing to the other two vintage garden tools, I wrapped jute twine around each connection/joint, as tightly as possible. I also liked how it looked on my DIY garden trellis.

Building a decorative trellis

From there, I simply screwed in the remaining slats, working my way down the handles of the vintage garden tools. And I finished each connection with the jute twine, just for fun!

DIY garden trellis with antique garden tools

And that was that! My decorative trellis made from old garden tools was done and ready to be placed outside!

DIY Garden Trellis from Vintage Garden Tools

Isn’t that great? What a fun way to repurpose those vintage garden tools.

And yes, the tool “stake” in the center is much longer than the others, which was done 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!

Garden tool trellis

The big test- sticking the garden trellis in the ground! But ta-da, it worked like a charm (at least in our rain-drenched soil).

DIY garden trellis from vintage garden tools

I love that it acts as primitive decor and garden art, but still functions as a DIY garden trellis for whatever plant we place it by. And the farm tools that we used like a garden spade and garden fork were really perfect for it.

And you can almost ALWAYS find those lurking in the corners of thrift stores.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a DIY garden trellis as garden decor, then you may also be interested in something else that is both decorative and functional. Such as this mosaic stepping stone that has a wonderful secret beneath it!

DIY mosaic stepping stone with key hider

Craft on!


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Vintage garden tools as a decorative trellis

How to make a DIY garden trellis

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. I have some garden tools that were my grandfather’s that I was considering getting rid of since I didn’t need them. I guess I will be keeping them for now. . .

  2. You are too creative. I can’t handle it! 😀

  3. That is really awesome. Wonderful and cute. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Such a great trellis idea! Might make one for my garden.

  5. Your so creative! Love it! Will have to keep my eyes open for some old garden tools, I have just the place for one of these. Thanks for sharing! Pinning!

  6. Such a clever idea and what a feature for your garden! Have pinned and shared and will be having a go in making one out of some of my dad’s old garden tools 🙂

  7. Oh, I love this idea! You did such a great job and its so fun and unique.

  8. Oh my gosh what a great use of garden tools! And perfect for repurposing old ones. I think I could actually do this. Thank you so much for sharing

  9. SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!! Many thanks for linking up at Vintage Charm!

  10. I love this! It is too cute!! I was just wondering how I am going to fix my broken down trellis that got destroyed by this crazy wind storm and weather we are having. It has about 3 years worth of a clematis on it so I think I will just tie a garden tool to it to hold it all up! I see those vintage tools all the time but pass them by, not knowing what to do with them. Now I do! Thanks for a great idea.

  11. What a fun idea and a nice way to upcycle! It looks great!

  12. Such a clever idea! I think I may do a mini version of this for a table setting. Pinning this to one of my boards.

  13. This is the cutest idea ever, and I think I may need to use this idea for my rose bush out front this spring. Love it!

    • It looks so cute, right? Someone else commented that they’re going to make miniature versions as placecard holders- now THAT might be the cutest version…just far less practical for me (since I never entertain). 🙂

  14. What a great idea for a trellis! Pinned it.

  15. This project was well worth the frustration. I love your vintage tool trellis. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  16. Oh my gosh…this is such a cute idea! 🙂

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J. Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. So cool!!! I’ve pinned! 🙂

  18. Oh I love this. What a great creative idea! I’m glad you linked at Share a Cup.
    Today I featured Jan’s party at my blog. Come over and comment on her feature post to enter Jan in a giveaway!
    It’s nice meeting you!

  19. What a fun and unique way to use old garden/farm tools. Definitely a conversation starter.

  20. What a clever idea! I love giving new life to items that might otherwise end up in the trash.

  21. Jennifer Thompson says

    Oh my goodness! This is so clever and creative — I love it!!!

  22. Great Idea but I would ad a 2 foot piece of Re-bar at the base (one foot connected to the handle the other foot to stick into the ground ) so the Handles just barely hit the ground since Wood Rots fast in the ground.

  23. Naomie Moore says

    Too cool! Great idea, I have some extra tools and am going to gibe this a try. Will be great for my green beans! And will last longer too. Thanks for sharing!

  24. That is one awesome idea……..kudos! !!

  25. A crafter’s dream: Create something new from something old, inexpensive, functional, fantastic, and beautiful. You’ve hit all the marks.

    I’ve always said, “I’m not an artist”. However, I am very good at playgerism. You can bet I will be playing with this idea.

  26. Leslie George says

    LOVE this, what a great idea 🙂 I have a thing for old pitchforks for some reason lol maybe they remind me of the horses I used to have. Thank you for sharing

  27. Hi
    this is not related to your post but can you please tell me in the second picture from the top (the picture labeled ” This is the shovel that started it all! “) , infront of the shovel , what is that metal rack with 4 small wood balls ?, I received one but i do not what it is , its looks to me like somekind of cd rack . Thank you for your help ad time

  28. Sandra Crosbie says

    That is so clever and cool. Great idea.

  29. The very first picture made me smile. That is so cute! What a great idea. And the trellises in the stores are so cheaply made and flimsy. Your creativity is a true gift from God! Thanks for sharing!

  30. I had to laugh. In your very 1st picture, there is a cd holder. I bought exactly like that one at a yard sale and it is now a trellis for a small vine on my front porch.

  31. Thank you so much! I figured I needed to share my failures and discoveries along the way. 🙂

  32. That is adorable!! I always find broken tools and now I know what I can do with them! Pinned to try! 🙂

  33. This is so cool! You’re a smart girl.

    Happy Thoughts of Home. We appreciate you sharing your time and talent with us. 🙂

  34. This is so cool and so creative. I love anything repurposed so this really got my attention.

  35. Very clever idea and has way more character than the store bought variety! Pinned

  36. Such a cute trellis! Your thrifted tools became yard art. I really like the decorative effect of the added jute twine, too.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  37. That is adorable! What a fun idea and great way to reuse things that can’t be used for their normal purpose any more. I love it!

  38. acraftymix says

    I love, love, love this idea Sarah. We have tons of old rusty garden tools in the shed that would be just perfect for this.

  39. what a truly unique idea! you don’t see that everyday in blogland!

  40. Very clever, excellent repurposed trellis idea!! #MerryMonday

  41. What a fabulous repurposed trellis! Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm!

  42. Sarah, you know that I lo-ooove this trellis. Not only does it use repurposed items, but it’s so stinkin’ cute and practical, too. That’s a win-win-win. Thanks for sharing at the This Is How We Roll Link Party.

  43. Oh you know I love this!!!!!!!!!!!!

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