Make It! An Eames-Inspired Trellis

Make It! An Eames-Inspired Trellis

Okay my fellow Curblians, today we embark on a month-long how-to extravaganza of the outdoor decor variety! First up is my original design for an Eames-inspired trellis. It's super easy to make, which means you don't have to be an experienced carpenter to get fantastic results. So, without further ado....let's get started!



  • 5 - 4' long 3/4" wood doweling
  • 1' long 3/16" doweling
  • 1 - 6' long 1" x 2" select pine
  • 10 - wooden knobs/dolls heads with a 3/16" hole at the bottom that are 1-1/4" in diameter (I found mine at my local craft store)
  • saw (hand, miter...whatever you have on hand will do)
  • drill
  • 3/4" and 3/16" drill bits
  • hammer
  • 20 - 1" brad nails
  • tape measure
  • sand paper - 120 grit OR an electric sander
  • pencil
  • water-proof glue
  • latex primer
  • white exterior paint
  • weather resistant acrylic gloss in red, pink, black, yellow and navy blue (I used craft acrylic gloss craft paint found at the craft store)
  • paint brush(es) etc.


Step 1: Cut the 3/4" doweling into the following lengths:

  • 4 at 24" long
  • 2 at 36" long
  • 1 at 48" long

Step 2: Cut the 1" x 2" select pine into four 18" long pieces. (These will be the horizontals of your trellis.)

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Step 3: Drill five 3/4" holes four inches apart, equally spaced along the 2" side of EACH 18" piece you just cut and sanded.

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Step 4: Round-over the 1" ends with sand paper or electric sander. 

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Step 5: Prime the trellis and wooden knobs; then paint the trellis with the white exterior paint and the knobs with the acrylic gloss. (3 red, 3 blue, 2 pink, 2 yellow and 2 black)

Step 6: Slip the 3/4" doweling into the holes you drilled in the last step. (You can refer to the final picture to estimate spacing. No need to get all OCD here; just make them even.)

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....And then nail each into place using the 1" brads.

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Step 7: Mark the centers of the dowels and drill a 3/16" hole into the marked spots 1/2" deep. NOTE: Do not drill holes in the bottom two dowels as they will be touching the ground. 

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Step 8: Cut the 3/16" dowel into 10 - 1 inch pieces. Apply water-proof glue to one end of each and insert into each knob.

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Step 9: When completely dry, apply glue to the dowels protruding from each knob and insert into the holes drilled into the ends of the verticals. 

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And there you have it. An Eames-inspired trellis just waiting to be climbed upon!

Any questions, just post to comments and I'll do my best to help you through.


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DIY Maven on Jun 11, 2011:

midcentfan--That sounds fab! Post pics when you're done, please!!!! 

midcentfan on Jun 11, 2011:

Love this project!!  I have been searching for somthing to use to hold jewelry and think this project on a somewhat smaller scale would be fabulous!!  I could hang this on the bathroom wall and hang necklaces, bracelets and watches on the arms.  I'll be going to the craft store tomorrow!

jet on Jun 06, 2011:

this is a great awesome idea, it's fun to watch during the wintertime when all the plants are gone.
thank you for this great tute and your sharing of course;-D

DIY Maven on Jun 02, 2011:

Craftstore on the Apple Barrel brand. (I'm sure it was just your excitement over the trellis's awesomeness.) 

Chris Gardner on Jun 02, 2011:

Hmm... I'm not sure if we have that here. Craft store or hardware store purchase?

Also, let it be known that my earlier comment is riddled with errors, and I'm ashamed of myself.

DIY Maven on Jun 01, 2011:

Thanks, Chris. Nothing climbing on it yet.

I used Apple Barrel Gloss, which is suggested for use indoors as well as outdoors. And a good primer underneath, of course.

Chris Gardner on Jun 01, 2011:

Brilliant. Awesome in concept and execution.

Are the colors are outdoor approved? What did you use? I have a hardtime finding exterior paint in colors other than neutral.

Any plants a-climbing yet?

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