Mid Century Trellis DIY

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Have you ever had a house with a carport? I've lived in so many different houses over the course of my life, but this is actually the first time I've had a house with a carport. The upside about ours is that during the warm months, I can use the shade of the carport as a work area for outdoor projects, but the downside is that the carport is located directly next to our backyard patio area. I have to say that from the start, it was one of my least favorite things about the house. I mean, who wants to be having a beautiful backyard Saturday brunch four feet from their automobiles? Not exactly the backyard ambience I was going for…

I thought about building a wall where the carport and deck meet up, but our house backs up against some woods, and my husband loves the panoramic view of the trees from the porch. So he nixed that idea pretty quickly. The next best idea was some sort of trellis that would create the feeling of a barrier without blocking the view of the trees on that side of the yard. I actually found a clipping from a mid century magazine that had this pattern for the same type of situation. So I knew it would be perfect for the spot and fit with our mid century theme. HOORAY!

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)                 There were already existing hooks hanging down across the roofline (probably had hanging planters there before), and I figured I could build a trellis panel that could hang down from those hooks and bury the bottom of the trellis into the ground below for extra security (so not all the weight would be hanging from the hooks above). I used Photoshop to make a mockup of the pattern I wanted to make sure the dimensions were right, and once I had my pattern, I was ready to start building!

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           I knew I would need two 14" and two 11.25" length boards to make each square, and the pieces that connected the squares would be 6" long. I used my pattern to determine how many of each board I would need, and then I used my chop saw to cut all the pieces from 2"x 2" x 8' outdoor treated boards. When cutting a lot of the same length board, it's helpful to use the same original piece over and over again to measure each cut so that the boards don't get slightly bigger and bigger or smaller and smaller each time. 

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           As I cut the pieces, I laid them out in the carport so I could make sure the sizing was right and I was cutting all the pieces I needed.

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Once the whole thing was filled in, I put long boards across the top and down the sides and cut them to fit the right width and height for the opening.

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)
Now that all the pieces were there and my pattern was complete, I used a nail gun to put together each square first and then attached them together with all the 6" connecting pieces. I ended up also putting in a long wood screw in almost every place I put a nail as well, so if you don't have a nail gun, I actually think a drill and wood screws will work fine (although nailing them first is helpful to keep the whole thing together while you put the screws in).

Once the trellis was assembled, I put heavy-duty screw eye hooks on the top bar of the trellis (in the same location of the hooks that were already installed in the roofline) and dug down into the planter directly under the roofline so that we could bury the bottom of the trellis into the ground when we installed it. Now it was time to put it up!

While the trellis wasn't necessarily that heavy for something so large, it was very delicate. So trying to just pick it up seemed impossible without harming it. I decided that the best way to go would be to clamp five long boards across the trellis so that it would have some support when lifted from the sides. Once we could lift it up vertically, we carefully walked it over to the porch, set it down into the trench we had dug out, and hung it onto the hooks that hung from above. You can bet we did a major happy dance that it didn't break in the process! We probably should have had more people helping us to make sure it was adequately supported, but we were so excited we couldn't wait! Patience is not my strong suit… 

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Now that the trellis was installed, it was time to paint the wood with exterior paint (a small thin roller worked best for all the crevices) and fill all the joints with an outdoor caulk. Filling all the joints is a bit of a pain, but it really made a big difference in having the trellis look like one unit rather than a ton of small pieces, and it will help weatherize the trellis so it will last longer.

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Once all the painting and filling was complete, I planted some fan palms and a Peruvian cactus in the planter bed and sat back on the porch to take it all in! The cactus will have to come inside when it gets cold, but the fan palms should be able to live through the winter here in Tennessee…

Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           Mid Century Trellis DIY! (click through for tutorial)           I LOVE how this trellis came out! It was definitely quite a bit of work with such an intricate design, but the final product is so worth it! It's great to feel like we have a bit of separation from the cars now and we could even train vines to grow up the trellis if we wanted more privacy too. So glad this project turned out so well! On to the next one! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

  • Laura! This is one of my favorite DIYs ABM has ever done!! 🙂 I love carports for function, but this adds to much class and style to the area. Thank you!!!

  • Woodwork is daunting to me but, lawwwd yes! I have a carpet, an unsightly yard, and a penchant for EXACTLY this style. Looks like exactly what we need. 🙂

  • What a great project, it really looks fantastic! I have to say, not wanting to see your cars while you are outside made me laugh. Talk about first world problems, right! 😉

  • Please oh please tell me that’s your corvette? Hotness! oh and your DIY pots have been rocking lately.

  • I love this trellis, I can’t believe it turned out as good as it did! You mentioned you would bring in the cactus in the winter, how do you plan on doing that? Did you plant it in its pot?
    Thanks

  • Love love love this. I promptly jumped up to decide where I will be building one.

  • This is definitely something I don’t have the tools or patience for, but holy moly, what a beautiful piece! I can’t wait to see what else you do to the outdoor space!

    I’ve been following for a long time, but I can’t recall; was it you that built that amazing pergola? Do y’all plan on doing the same here?

  • This is sooo very beautiful! And no, I’ve never lived in a house with a carport. :-/ I’ve lived tons of places too…

  • Oh la la, Laura, you are a genius!! I am impressed by this trellis!! Tu es la quintessence de la femme du 21e siècle: belle, intelligente, astucieuse et débrouillarde! Who run the World? … Gros bisous de France!!

  • I absolutely love this! I love the mid-century look of it – anything mid-century wins in my book haha! I’m dying over those plants too!
    xo April | April Everyday

  • My stepdad just finished making metal security doors for their house using this pattern, and they are gorgeous. Nice to see it on a larger scale.

  • What a great inspiration–and executed so beautifully!
    Maybe Phase 2 would be hanging a flat fabric panel behind it. Sew a pocket (like a curtain rod would go through) at the top and bottom. Slide a flat piece of wood trim through each, and put hooks up top to hang it. Unless there’s a lot of wind, the weight should keep it in place without flapping around.
    You could have different fabric options, with everything from a semi-sheer panel (lit from behind), to something glittery, to (my favorite) a piece of vintage barkcloth. What a fun piece to work with!

  • Hi Laura!

    I live in Atlanta; in a MCM house with a carport 🙂

    We have a pool; so we built a fence as to not be four feet from the cars whilst swimming but yes; it can be an issue.

    Wanted to tell you that you’ll have to keep an eye on those palms…not sure if they will be OK through the winter; I tried one here and it didn’t make it 🙁 Something similar that’s more hardy that you can look into is called Fatsia Japonica – it will grow quite large and add additional screening behind the trellis-but the leaves are similarly tropical.

    The Corvette is, I’m guessing, a 78-82 ? and it’s totally badass and now I want one…thanks…HAHA

  • What a gorgeous final product! I admire the amount of thought and time you put into projects like this.

  • That is really adorable! I’m impressed with your patience in all that cutting and nailing. But the result looks so high end that it is really justified.

    One thing, though. I nearly always paint before I cut the wood. It would have made the painting much much easier to just paint the wood while it was a few long pieces. Then, you just have to do touchups when it’s all assembled and thats easier than painting the whole thing from scratch.

  • I love this project and it looks like it fits right in with Laura’s mid-century modern home! But I’m also in love with proper spelling so the crevasses mistake is making me cringe😬 ➡️ Try crevices instead 🙃

  • This is a brilliant DIY; it’s made such a huge difference! We have a car port to the front of our home. It doesn’t impact the garden, but it IS ugly. You’ve given me food for thought for sprucing up the space. Thank you! Sue – The World of Suzy Homemaker

  • A brilliant DIY; it’s made such a difference! We have a car port to the front of our home. It doesn’t impact the garden, but it IS ugly. You’ve given me food for thought for sprucing up the space. Thank you! Sue – The World of Suzy Homemaker

  • Looks great. I bookmarked this post for future reference.

    Thank you for the tutorial.

    Agnes
    findinglifebalancewithagnes.blogspot.com

  • Wow fab trellis. Hey are your concrete blocks painted white, or is that the colour of the concrete? I have concrete blocks in their natural aged look and am tossing up whether to paint them white……