How to make a simple Ladder Trellis

Easy Decorative Ladder Trellis

Two years ago, I purchased a building, but I wasn’t in love with the exterior. Not only did it lack curb appeal, it was poorly insulated and the single pane glass windows leaked air and water.

L: The building when we purchased it
R: with the new front

We couldn’t center the new windows the way that I would have liked and I was limited on size due to structural supports. I thought a modern ladder trellis would be perfect to balance the negative space on each side of the windows.

Materials Needed:

  • (4) 2x2x8 pressure treated boards
  • (5) 1x2x8 pressure treated boards
  • wood glue
  • 2″ brad nails

Tools Needed:

  • Saw
  • Nail gun
  • Spacers
(4) 2x2x8 boards and (5) 2x1x8 boards


The trellis were super easy to make. It only took 20 minutes to make two of them.

I determined that they needed to be 7ft tall to fit the area where I wanted to place them. Then I cut my (4) 2x2s down to 7 ft and I decided to cut 18 cross pieces out of the 1x2s at a width 23.75″.

I wanted a more modern ladder look, so I decided to do three sections of three boards. I started by lining up my two uprights and putting spacer blocks between them to keep them square.

Use a spacer to keep spacing even

I then put the cross pieces over top of my uprights. I used a second set of spacer blocks to make sure they were evenly spaced.

Nailing the cross pieces in place

I added wood glue and then nailed the pieces in place using my brad nailer.

Finished Trellis

Once all 9 cross pieces were attached, I let the glue dry and then stained it with Briarsmoke stain and sealed it with spar urethane.

The trellis with the planter in front

I left a bigger space towards the bottom so that I could put a planter I front of the trellis.

The front of the building with the trellis

This project was super easy, but really helped to balance the negative space on each side of the windows and I can’t wait to add some solar lights and to vines to them!

Before & After

I hope you’ll try to make one too!

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