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Friday, October 30, 2009

Bamboo Trellis

Every time I do some sort of crafty-ish thing, I think, I should do a tutorial for my blog!, but then I start taking photos, and planning steps and wonder who else on earth would even want to make the odd random things I do? Plus, nothing I've done is all that complicated. As if someone couldn't figure it out for themselves...but, I have come across pillow cover tutorials too, and it can't get much simpler than covering a, this may be completely ridiculous and silly and pointless and random, but here ya go...

This tutorial is for those who plant plants in small containers that need some structure in order to grow up, and not out.

Bamboo rods (about $6 for 6, I think, here in Oz)
Twine (about $10.00 for a million times more than you need)
Hand saw/power saw, whatever you feel more comfortable with
PVA glue or similar, optional
nails or screws, optional.

1. Mark & cut the bamboo horizontals to size. I have a 9" planter, and I allowed 2" overhang on either side of the verticals.

2. Optional step: Mark the profile of bamboo verticals onto the horizontals. I just did a rough half circle, the diameter of the verticals, which was about 1". No need to learn how to scribe anything properly. In fact, you don't even need to do this. I then used a belt sander to roughly round out those marks. You could use a hack saw, and roughly cut chunks out, maybe using sandpaper to smooth everything, but really, I only made these to fit tight because I had access to a huge mother belt sander, and it was easier than trying to clamp down a round rod of bamboo and use a jig saw (but you could also do that...but don't blame me when you cut your hand off)

3. Optional step: To secure the bamboo horizontals, you could easily nail or screw them to the verticals. I didn't do this, as my plant will surely not get that heavy. But, the twine will cover up a nail or screw nicely, so you might want to do this to make the twine wrapping that much easier. If you round out the horizontals, you could also place a nail or screw into the verticals to hang the horizontals on. That could be the easiest and quickest way to secure it.

4. Tie up your horizontals to the verticals with twine. I used a generous arm span length (like both arms outstretched from finger tips to finger tips +). I tried a few different ways to tie the horizontals, and I liked this way best: I started with a simple knot, and left a few inches excess. I held the knot to the back of the trellis, and began wrapping.

I wrapped 5 rounds on each sides of the intersections, and both diagonals.

On the last round, I tied a few more simple knots with the twine ends at the back of the trellis.

5. Once all intersections are wrapped in twine, cut off excess twine at the knots, and dab on a generous amount of glue to keep the knots secure, and to help keep the twine wrappings stay neatly in place. I used PVA wood glue and let it dry overnight.

6. Voila. Ram it into your planter, and then tie up your sorry little sprawling bougainvillea with some twine, and hope it starts to grow up, and not out :)

*Bamboo rods can be found at probably any home depot / canadian tire / bunnings type place, in the garden section.
*Twine is probably overkill in this instance (it came in a HUGE length, for 10 bucks, and when will I ever use twine again?). You might just be able to use any type of string, like the stuff to tie up old school parcels for the mail, depending on how strong you need it, and how much you want to spend. But twine found in the garden store will most likely last outside for a good length of time, and it looks good - nice and chunky.

** Edit: This thing is still going strong, and supporting a now large bougainvillea. It's now July 2011.