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DIY ~~ Recycling at Its Best ~~ How to Use Wood and a Wire Cage to Make Three Projects in One Weekend

Updated on May 3, 2021
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Ecards are easy to send but a snail mail handmade card is a special gift that arrives in our mailbox. Try making some to send.

My trellis covered with jasmine


My Very Own Lampshade, for my birthday, made by my daughter


This palette trellis is awesome....


Sock Monkey Lamp Shade

This is the lamp shade my daughter made for my grandson's play area.
This is the lamp shade my daughter made for my grandson's play area. | Source

A M a Z I N G Trellis


My daughter and son-in-law are both very creative. They make creating new things look effortless. The two projects shared here are simple but truthfully I am not sure that I could make mine look quite as finished as these.

You are given examples of a repurposed tomato cage that has been turned from a metal cage into a clever little lamp shade for a toddler's play area.

You will also see an awesome trellis on which your climbing plants will eagerly draped their vines.

A Little About the Materials

  • The tomato cage: This cage is traditionally used for growing tomatoes but can be used to grow other plants as well including peppers and squash. It is sturdy and can be used year after year if it can be stored out of the elements until the next growing season.

  • Wood : The wood used in this project is a 2x6. A 2x6's nominal size is 11/2x51/2 inches. When a board is rough cut from its mother log, it is the actual size. However it is dried and planed before being presented for sale to a customer. The drying and planning results in this reduction in size.

Source for information in the table: For a complete list of conversions, you can reference information in more detail that the link provided.

  • Pallet wood The wood for the sandwich board trellis made from discarded pallet wood, repurposed.

Sandwich Board Trellis, Repurposed Pallets

My son-in-law made this for me.
My son-in-law made this for me. | Source

Sandwich board easel made with pallet wood

The sandwich board pallet is made from discarded pallet wood.

The construction was very simple as you can see from the photographs.

I am so excited. It was just given to me yesterday. I am training the vine to climb up. Today I am looking for a winter vine to attach to it as these vines are not winter hearty.

So Much Room for Vines


Sandwich Board Easel Trellis

More wood projects

J.S. Matthew has written in great detail instructions for making a chess board.

Alexhouse has shared with us lovely wreaths made using a wire frame using wire coat hangers. How clever is that. She makes it seem so simple.

How to make & assemble your lampshade

  • Remove the vines or plant from the cage.
  • Cut the top approximately 10 inches of the cage to use for the frame.
  • Wash and dry well. Set aside.
  • Select fabric you wish to use or use a gently loved blanket from your collection of baby blankets.
  • Measure the wire cage to determine the size fabric you will need.
  • Cut the fabric to suit the metal form you are using.
  • Drape fabric on the cage to be certain it is in fact the correct size.
  • Once you have done so, you may wish to tack it down in a few places with a needle and thread so that it is not falling all over the place as you work.
  • Carefully apply glue from your glue gun to sections of the fabric until all fabric is in place and securely anchored.
  • Let it dry for a bit.
  • You are now ready to display your adorable lamp shade.

Turn something old into something new...

Tomatoes are all done for the year. The plant has turned brown and looks sad as it withers away.It is time to remove the metal cage and clear the land. As you know these cages can be used for support for other plants. The one shown was used for a squash plant that was prolific and grew well beyond the top of the cage. Its growing season has passed so it is time to store it.

But wait, you can turn this cage into a new creation for your home. A clever way to repurpose them is to make an adorable lampshade for your toddler.

Lumber sizes

actual metric
19x38 mm
19x140 mm
19x235 mm
11/2 "x10"
32x235 mm
38x89 mm
38x140 mm
38x184 mm

How to make your amazing trellis

For this project, pressure-treated wood was used and is recommended.

  • Select a 2x6. ( For this trellis a 2x6x8 was used; you can use a longer one if desired.)
  • Plane edges.
  • Cut slats down the 2x6 as shown in the photograph.
  • Secure the portion at the Y with a nut and bolt on each side.
  • About midway of the fan, attach a piece of wood on the front and back of the trellis to secure the fan.

Begin with a 2x6


Cut down sections in 2x6 as shown

Attach a brace on the front and back side of the fan portion of the trellis.
Attach a brace on the front and back side of the fan portion of the trellis. | Source

Attach a nut and bolt on each side at the base of the fan (as shown0


Attach wood to fan portion of trellis


Happy Plants Draped over Your New Trellis


step stool baby grandson's Daddy made


A few more projects...

Photographs are provided of several more projects my son-in-law as completed from reclaimed wood or discarded pallets

The step stool (made some my two year old grandson can watch the trains pass and look out at interesting happenings in the yard) was made from reclaimed wood.

The coffee table pictured is made from seventy five year old wood that was salvaged from a home that was torn down in his neighborhood.

Handmade coffee table


chair Daddy made for baby grandson


Daddy made this play table for his little boy.



My son-in-law made this adorable chair for my baby grandson. It is made from the slats of discarded wooden pallets. It was sanded and provides a lovely place for my grandboy to sit to eat and play.

Play Table

This play table was another project my son-in-law used to create a play space for my grandson.

The process to create the design in known as inlay. Maple and walnut woods were used to create the contrasting and stunning design.

The two projects, the lamp shade and the trellis, can be completed in a short amount of time.

They are functional and add character to the space in which they are placed.

Perhaps one weekend you will find you wish to make one of these.

copyright 2011-2013 pstraubie48 TM All Rights Reserved

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Patricia Scott


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