The Rustic Trellis Planter




This is my first ever instructable and entry into the Planter Challenge. I designed an element of the planter in Tinkercad as well, and I'm thrilled to combine my hobbies of woodworking and 3d printing into one project!

When I was thinking about the goal of accentuating the natural climbing tendency of the plant I chose (a clematis), this idea came to me, so I jumped right in!

Step 1: Trellis Design

I wanted to support a number of small tree branches in a bit of a spiraled cylinder, so I used Tinkercad to design this feature. I started out with a simple 180mm tube shape with a wall thickness of 1. I placed a number of tubes evenly spaced around the large central tube, then angled each one to 10 degrees to facilitate the spiral effect I planned on making with the branches.

I manipulated the slicer settings for the size of my printer and adjusted the Z height to 10mm and printed the first trellis ring at 180mm diameter. I changed the scale in the slicer to 160mm for the second trellis ring so that my trellis would have a slight taper at the top.

If you wish to print your own, here's the link to the STL:

Here's the link to the tinkercad file:

Step 2: Making a Suitable Base

I had a tree in my back yard that was hollowed out and in danger of falling, so I had it cut down a couple years ago. I thought this would make an excellent rustic base for my planter, so I grabbed a section from the firewood pile.

My father taught me that every natural object has a personality, and it's our job to put its best face forward. In this case, I needed my planter to sit flat, so I rolled the log around on the ground to find its best natural resting point. Once I found that spot, I cut the log in half and headed to the workshop to build the sides.

Step 3: Scrapwood Sides

Once I was in the wood shop, I went to the scrap pile to find some material for the sides of the planter. I scribed the underside of the scrap and cut to the line on the band saw. Then I pre-drilled countersunk holes for the screws that I used to fasten the side to the base. I repeated the process for the other side.

Step 4: Gather Trellis Supports

I cut some sticks from some wild shrubs growing in the back yard and whittled them where necessary to fit into the 3d printed trellis supports. I tried to cut each stick between 3 and 4 feet long.

Step 5: Anchoring the Trellis

I used the larger trellis support to drill a few holes that would accept the trellis branches. I drilled the holes on a bit of an angle, trying to match up with the 10 degree angle in the trellis support. I went around the ring and drilled for every support branch and fed them into the ring. Once this was done, I fit the top ring to the branches to tie them all together.

Step 6: The Finished Product!

I did have to take one trellis branch out to be able to plant the clematis. I also didn't get quite the twist that I intended with the support angles, but I think it still turned out spectacularly! I'm really happy with the overall look and theme of the planter, and I hope that you enjoyed reading about it and try to make one as well!

If you enjoyed this article, please consider voting for me in the Planter Challenge! Thank you!



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    6 Discussions

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    10 months ago

    I always like these better than commercial cut wood ones. These look more natural and they always weather better.

    1 reply
    deemon328DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Reply 10 months ago

    Thank you very much for the comment! I was really pleased that the cost was nearly zero on this project...just a few screws and the PLA for the 3d printed part. Most of the time, I manage to spend a fortune to make something that's inexpensive, lol!


    10 months ago

    Super cool, I wonder how hard it would be to hollow out a normal log with chisels to create natural side peices.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 months ago

    Thank you, I wouldn't say it would be hard, but maybe time consuming. I'd probably drill out a half log with forstner bits first, then go to the chisel work.