How to make a wire espalier trellis

errol samuels
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How to make a wire espalier trellis

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Project Overview

A wire trellis can help transform a garden or courtyard into an attractive, lush and modern outdoor space. Find out how easy it is to bring your garden to life in a few simple steps.  

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Pre-cut your timber at Bunnings
2 Measure and mark for the saddle clips
3 Mark the centre point on the timber
4 Pre-drill holes for the clips
5 Pre-drill holes and fix the outer frame
6 Paint the frame
7 Attach-the-clips
8 Thread the wire
9 Tighten the wire
10 Install the wire trellis
  • Step 1. Pre-cut your timber at Bunnings

    You can tailor the size of your wire trellis to suit your space. Ours measured 920mm x 1825mm. To make your project easier you can have your timber pre-cut at Bunnings.

  • Step 2. Measure and mark for the saddle clips

    Measure and mark one of the long pieces of timber for the saddle clips to hold the wire. Ours were spaced 150mm apart. Use the set square to transfer the marks onto the other long piece of timber. This will ensure the clips are in the same place.

  • Step 3. Mark the centre point on the timber

    Find the centre point of the timber and mark where you want to fix each of the saddle clips.

  • Step 4. Pre-drill holes for the clips

    Place a saddle clip, so it’s centred on the line where it will be attached. Use the 3mm drill bit to pre-drill the holes. Repeat this step where the saddle clips will be attached.

  • Step 5. Pre-drill holes and fix the outer frame

    Assemble the rectangular frame, so the shorter pieces of timber are between the longer pieces. Make sure the edges of the timber are flush. Pre-drill two holes into each corner with the 4.5mm drill bit. Use the drill and 75mm batten screws to join the frame together. Use two screws in each corner.

  • Step 6. Paint the frame

    You can paint the frame any colour you choose. We spray painted ours black. When spray painting, try to use smooth, even strokes. Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area and wear a ventilator mask. Apply as many coats as needed. Leave the paint to dry between coats.

  • Step 7. Attach-the-clips

    Turn the frame onto its side and clamp it to your workbench. Use the drill and screws provided to attach all of the saddle clips to the frame.

  • Step 8. Thread the wire

    Starting at one end, loop the wire through the saddle clips. Attach a swage at one end and crimp it tight.

  • Step 9. Tighten the wire

    When one end of the wire is crimped, hand tighten the wire and crimp the other end. Trim the wire as close to the swage as possible. Hand tightening the wire is fine for the trellis we built, but for tighter wire, use a turnbuckle.
  • Step 10. Install the wire trellis

    Now the trellis is made, plant your favourite tree or vine and start training it upwards. Before long, you’ll have a lush green screen that will make a real feature of your garden or courtyard.

Tools and Materials


  • Combination square
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • 3mm drill bit
  • 4.5mm drill bit
  • Hex drill bit
  • Crimper
  • Drop sheet
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Pencil
  • Respirator
  • Safety glasses


  • 70mm x 35mm x 920mm treated pine x 2
  • 70mm x 35mm x 1825mm treated pine x 2
  • 75mm bugle batten screws
  • 3.2mm swages
  • 3mm stainless steel rope wire
  • Spray paint
  • Stainless steel cleats with screws
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