Pinterest Shares A Beautifully Unique Way To Trellis Outdoor Plants

Climbing plants are a great addition to any garden. Their height adds new dimension, and because they mostly grow upward, they pack a visual punch in a very small footprint. They'll also climb virtually anything you give them, so there's a lot of room for creativity when choosing (or making) a trellis. If your local home improvement store's selection of plain rectangular trellises leaves you uninspired, Pinterest has the antidote: a trellis made from a wire dress form. This DIY trellis is simple to make and will turn your climbing plant into a living sculpture — and the focal point of your garden.

Before building your trellis, choose an attractive climbing plant that will flourish in your garden. Consider the climate in your region, the type of soil, and the amount of sun where you plan to put the trellis. Examples of vigorous climbers include petunias (make sure they're climbing petunias), clematis, honeysuckle, bougainvillea, mandevilla, and wisteria. You can also opt for foliage instead of flowers. Boston ivy, Virginia creeper, and kiwi vine all make up for their lack of flowers with gorgeous, colorful leaves that will make a statement on your dress form trellis.

What you'll need

The first item you'll need is a dress form, and not just any dress form will do — it needs to be made of metal wire to allow your plants to climb. This may sound like a difficult thing to find, but luckily, the internet has plenty to choose from. Be sure to choose a dress form that comes with a stand to raise it off the ground. There are several options available online, but you might be able to find something at an antique store if you're lucky.

You'll also need two hanging baskets made of metal wire (with the inserts and hangers removed), a wire plant cage (better known as a tomato cage), landscape pins, some large-gauge metal wire, spray paint in black (or the color of your choice), pliers, wire cutters, and work gloves. You should be able to get everything you need in one trip to your local home improvement store. And, of course, you'll need plenty of vining plants! The more you start with, the faster your beautiful living sculpture will come together.

How to do it

Start with the dress form separated from its stand. Affix one of the wire baskets to the bottom of the stand by turning it upside down and sliding it over the pole. This will make it easier to anchor your trellis to the ground. If the stand's feet curl upward, you can simply snap the basket into place; if not, secure it by twisting on pieces of wire. Next, put the tomato cage over the pole of the stand to provide more climbing opportunities for your plants. Cut the cage to size using wire cutters, flip it upside down, and slide it over the pole. Screw the dress form into place on top of the pole, then use small pieces of wire to attach the cage. If you're using a dress form with an opening in the middle for a plant, use more wires to attach the second hanging basket over the back of the hole. Then spray paint the whole thing black (or your preferred color).

Now your trellis is ready for garden duty. Once you've decided where to put it, anchor it to the ground by inserting several landscape pins at intervals over the base basket. Then start planting. Place one plant in a decorative pot in the dress form's center opening, then plant a few smaller plants in the ground at intervals around the base. Water and fertilize as you usually would, and wait for your plants to grow over your unique trellis.