Re-purposed Ladder Becomes Trellis

Carl G
by Carl G
4 Hours
We've had an old wooden ladder leaning up against a fence behind a row of trees in our back yard for several years. When we had the trees (diseased) cut down we found it and saw that It had some rot but was otherwise in good condition. My wife thought that it could be made into a unique trellis, sketched it, and appointed me the carpenter.
This is the ladder
This is the trellis. Process follows....
Getting set up - brought everything I would need (mostly) out through the bulkhead (which I rebuilt last year - brag)
The bulkhead - rebuilt last year
The future location of the trellis - view from backyard
The future location of the trellis - view from side yard to backyard
Ladder with hardware - some to be kept - other parts needed to be removed to separate the ladders
Removing bolts
rusted hardware
removing hardware
Drilling out screwheads
Removing rusted nails to remove rungs
Removing rusted nails to remove rungs
Cutting one ladder for the top piece of the trellis. The location of the worst rot was barely outside of the dimensions needed for the top cross piece.
First rough layout. Top piece had to have all rungs removed and shorter and shortened rungs inserted - inner sliding ladder was narrower than outer.
Ready for spindle brackets - other than screws and nails - the only new parts of the trellis.
Voila! View from side yard towards back yard.
Close-up finished trellis
Finished trellis.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Marcelle Dotson Marcelle Dotson on Jul 14, 2017

    What did you have to do to make sure it would stay standing up?

  • Venia5578 Venia5578 on Dec 21, 2018

    Your trellis looks nice so does your rebuilted bulkhead. Did you stray anything on the trellis to prevent termites damage?

Join the conversation
2 of 29 comments
  • Carol in VT Carol in VT on Mar 07, 2016
    Thank you for showing all the steps...I have 2 ladders that I want to separate and am thankful that you showed the steps. The trellis is lovely and looks fantastic.
  • Collene Heeg Collene Heeg on Apr 07, 2017

    what a great idea...ive been wanting to make a treliis and add a gate,,,this is a winner