There was a time when copper pipe was in every home. It was a plumber’s nightmare. It seemed as though each time you fixed a water leak on a copper pipe, and you turned the water back on, you’d spring another leak. Thankfully, they’ve invented newer and better plumbing supplies for our homes these days. You can still purchase copper pipes and fittings at large home improvement retail stores or you might actually have some old pipe lying around in the garage or basement. Use it out in your garden or yard and you can create a trellis you’ll love.
A copper pipe trellis is unique and rustic. Don’t think that it will be difficult to build because it’s really not. If you can cut the pipe yourself, using a pipe cutter, and you already have the pipe and fittings, you can build a trellis without ever leaving your home or spending a dime. If you purchase copper pipes at a home improvement store they’ll generally cut it to the sizes you specify, free of charge.
Draw a ladder shape on a piece of paper. The top of your ladder, though, should have a bar that runs across it. Decide how tall and how wide you want the ladder to be. Each rung is one copper pipe, and each side piece of each rung is another pipe. So, for each section of the ladder you’ll need one rung piece and two side pieces. Use figures on the paper to see how wide to cut the rung pieces and how long to cut the side pieces. Each rung should be the exact same size as the others; each side piece should be the same as the other side pieces.
Use copper pipe elbows and “t” fittings to adjoin the ladder pieces. Start by laying the top rung on a flat surface. Connect an elbow joint at each end of it. Lay the second rung at an area below the first one, add “t” fittings at each end, then connect the two rungs with a pipe on each side of the ladder. Continue doing this until you add all the side pieces and all the rungs. It’s helpful to use glue made for pipes to hold the elbow and “t” fittings in place.
At the bottom of the ladder you’ll leave off a rung that would go at the very end. This leaves two pipe ends pointing downward so that you can push the trellis into the dirt.
The copper pipe trellis is unusual yet beautiful. Simply plant vine-type flowers or plants along the base of the trellis and let them climb. The weathering on the pipe ladder, after it’s been outside awhile, turns the color of the pipe and makes it even more beautiful than it originally was.
See a copper pipe ladder here.