DIY French Tuteurs for the Garden

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

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 Tuteur is the french word for “trainer”, as in a place for vines, climbing roses, green beans etc. to grow on.

You may be more familiar with words like obelisk, teepee, trellis, tower and pyramid.

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

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At any rate, I wanted to share a fun project that my husband and I did together last summer. I saved the information for you because I thought it would make a good springtime post and an even more fantastic mother’s day gift idea!

 We built three tutuers for our green beans to grow on and they are just stunning in the middle of a garden.

And get this- each one only costs $25.00 worth of wood and 90 minutes to make!

That’s it.

So, if you love this idea, put a bug in someone’s ear to make you one- or three– for mother’s day!

Get Your Printable pdf copy of the building plans!

Supplies Needed

Note: adapted from this brilliant post from Sew What’s Next.

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

DIY French Tuteur Tutorial

For Vertical Supports- 

  • Cut each 8′ 1″x2″ in half and saw off all eight ends to make a point. These do not need to be exact, they are only for decoration.

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

For Legs-

  • Take four of the 8′  2″ x 2″ and cut off 1 foot to make four pieces that are 7′ long
  • Set the saw for a 7 degree bevel, 7 degree miter
  • One at a time, cut one end of each leg, then SLIDE, DO NOT ROLL, the leg to trim the other end off. See the pic below.

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

For Cross Member-

  • Set the saw for 7 degree bevel, 45 degree miter
  • Take the remaining 2″ x  2″ x 8′ s and cut using this method- cut the right end, roll 180 degrees (i.e. roll towards you twice), slide to the right, cut the left end
  • Measure along the top side, which is the shortest side
  • Cut four 10″ pieces, four 15″ pieces, four 20″ pieces and four 25″ pieces

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis


  • Fit the cross members into four frames and nail with the nail gun

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

  • Mark the outside edges of the four legs at 16″ from the bottom, this mark will show you where to place the bottom frame
  • Mark the three largest frames in the middle of each side so you will know where to attach the vertical supports
  • Mark the half way point on each vertical support
  • Mark the square top piece with a cross hair so you have four quadrants. Now draw 2 additional lines, 1 1/2″ on either side of each vertical and horizontal line.
  • Drill a pilot hole just inside each corner of the square that has formed from the lines and also a hole directly in the center for the finial.

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

  • Attach the upper end of each leg with a screw and wood glue. Fitting them into the drawn squares and turning them until each angle is lined up perfectly level on the square piece and the floor
  • Now, one by one, slide each frame down over the “teepee” frame you have created, starting by aligning the largest frame at the pencil mark you have drawn. The top of the frame should hit the pencil mark. Screw into place.
  • Continue adding the other three frames, largest to the smallest. Use the level to keep everything level and screw each frame into place as you go.
  • Align the vertical supports on the marks at the centers of the bottom three frames, screw into place
  • Finally, decide if you want to paint or stain them, we just left ours natural and they turned gray with time.

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

If you are on Instagram and you do make one or some of these tuteurs, please tag me and I will share you on my account!

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

Get your printable pdf of the building plans!!

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

I hope you get a chance to make these beautiful, functional focal points for your yard or garden,

Tutorial, Woodworking, Gardening Project, Pyramid, Obelisk, Trellis

but if you aren’t able to make them yourself, here are a few similar items from different stores.

The Home Depot




And if you haven’t heard  . . . we have a winner for the Gardening Giveaway!

Congratualtions to

Mary Kaiser

and thank you to everyone who entered the drawing,

I  loved, loved, LOVED reading your comments and all your enthusiasm!

Sharing at these parties!



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  1. Brenda
    April 23, 2017 / 1:45 PM

    How absolutely lovely these are! And I especially love that they add dimension to the garden, taking the eye upward. How clever you and your husband are. Practical in a veggie garden, but lovely with morning glories or a climbing flower, as well.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 12:59 PM

      Thank you so much, Brenda! You are always so encouraging.

  2. April 23, 2017 / 1:49 PM

    Very nice! I definitely need to have someone make these for me!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:00 PM

      Oh, I hope you do, you will just love them!

  3. April 23, 2017 / 6:47 PM

    These are beautiful! I’ve always loved nice garden trellises but the pre-made ones are so expensie. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:01 PM

      I know what you mean.:( It’s nice to have options.

  4. April 25, 2017 / 8:40 PM

    They are stunning! I have been looking for a cheap way to add a trellis or two to the garden! Thanks for the wonderful instructions. Stopping by from the Dishing & Digging It blog hop!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:02 PM

      What a sweet thing to say! xoxo

  5. April 26, 2017 / 11:29 AM

    I have always loved these things! And, I never knew what to call them. (Thanks, now I know). I think they look so absolutely classy in any garden — rather French and British at the same time. Thanks for the construction tutorial.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:03 PM

      You are so welcome, I love having DIY options in my back pocket for things I love.

  6. April 27, 2017 / 7:14 AM

    These tuteurs are just gorgeous. I am definitely going to con my husband to make some for my garden. I can envision them with morning glories on them. Thanks for the tutorial. I would love for you to share this with this week’s Share Your Style Party which is still open.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:04 PM

      Haha, I like the way you think!

  7. Tanya Hulbert
    April 27, 2017 / 9:51 PM

    I have put the bug in my husband’s ear about these beauties. I’m hoping with Mother’s Day around the corner I will receive one. Thank you for this great tutorial!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:04 PM

      Good idea, Tanya! You probably will!

  8. April 28, 2017 / 10:18 AM

    These are beautiful, functional accents! I am so happy you can make them. I know how much better things grow with support. I had a large rose garden in our last home. When they were secured they did so much better in the garden. Come by and follow my new blog too… ♥♥♥

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:05 PM

      Oh, climbing roses would be perfect on these!

  9. melin
    April 30, 2017 / 6:02 AM

    Fabulous idea~! Want several of these!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:06 PM

      I hear ya! wink!

  10. April 30, 2017 / 1:23 PM

    These are beautiful, what a terrific tutorial. Thank you for sharing, Pinning.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:09 PM

      Aww, you are so sweet, thanks, Leanna!

  11. Mara
    April 30, 2017 / 4:40 PM

    HI – I think there is a typo in the cross member measurements and the 4 should be 45 degrees. Not being much of a wood worker, it took the picture and some logic after a few minutes to realize something was off with my cuts 🙂

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 1, 2017 / 1:10 PM

      Yes, I doubled checked my notes and you are right! Thank you so much, Mara. I have corrected the post!

      • Mara
        May 2, 2017 / 5:00 PM

        No problem, Sarah. Although it took us much longer than 90 minutes to finish due to complete inexperience, we now proudly have a beautiful French tuteur for our cucumbers bed that looks almost as good as yours. Thank you for sharing!

        • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
          May 9, 2017 / 5:30 PM

          I’m sorry. 🙁 But, I am so proud of you for sticking with it, I love that you have already made one of your own.

  12. May 1, 2017 / 5:56 PM

    Beautiful tuteurs for the garden… Thank you for sharing your design plans.


    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 9, 2017 / 5:29 PM

      You are so welcome! I’m glad you liked them!

  13. May 1, 2017 / 8:12 PM

    These are lovely as well as functional. How pretty your garden looks.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 9, 2017 / 5:29 PM

      Aww, thank you for your kind words, Amalia.

  14. May 3, 2017 / 7:59 AM

    These turned out beautifully! I love how they add such beauty to your garden space and complement your already wonderful garden.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 9, 2017 / 5:31 PM

      Thank you, Lindsay, we are really loving them!

  15. May 6, 2017 / 1:29 AM

    Good morning Sarah, Structure is an important element in a garden and I just know your French tuteurs will look lovely covered with the new climbing roses I have just bought. I also grow runner beans and I normally use bamboo canes, but not anymore as I love your tuteurs. Your instructions are easy to follow, so I am going to attempt to make the tuteurs, with my husband’s help, as they would not be as lovely as yours if I made them on my own (haha)
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Best Wishes

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 9, 2017 / 5:35 PM

      Oh, I hope you do make some! They would look so pretty with your roses and beans.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 9, 2017 / 5:35 PM

      Haha, you are so sweet.

  16. Luana Carpenter
    May 9, 2017 / 5:56 AM

    My husband has built me 3 tuteurs for our garden, very similar design. Love them and have had so many people who visit our garden ask about them. He has just retired and plans to begin building them for others.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 9, 2017 / 5:36 PM

      Oh, how fun! You are one lucky girl, Luana!

  17. May 11, 2017 / 7:01 AM

    So charming- love them. Thanks for linking up at FNF!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 19, 2017 / 6:28 PM

      Thank you, Courtney! That means a lot coming from you!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 19, 2017 / 6:29 PM

      You are so welcome, Larissa. Thanks for stopping by!

  18. john
    May 15, 2017 / 5:18 AM

    Can you check the dimensions of the Square TOP Piece to put the finial on. You wrote “cut 5 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ by 5 1/4″ thick, edged routed”. Isn’t that too thick?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 15, 2017 / 6:12 AM


      You are so right, my apologies. I have updated the post, thank you for catching that!

  19. Julie
    May 19, 2017 / 9:05 AM

    These are beautiful. Thank you a million times over for sharing the angles. That’s always the most difficult part to calculate. I shall be making several for my gardens, and think of you kindly when I look at them. 🙂

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 19, 2017 / 6:32 PM

      OH, I am so glad! Have fun, Julie!!

  20. Kenny
    May 29, 2017 / 11:51 AM

    My husband just finished making 1 of 3 following your instructions. So excited to replace my sticks held together at the top with electrical wire. Lol. They will make a beautiful back bone in my garden.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 29, 2017 / 2:26 PM

      Oh, I just love hearing this from my readers!! I am so excitd for you!

  21. Rebecca S. Smith
    June 1, 2017 / 5:20 AM

    I was waiting all spring for this post. You mentioned in the fall you would write about how to build these, and I waited anxiously while my pea shoots got taller and taller. Finally, you posted just like you said you would. Unfortunately, building these was beyond my husband’s and my skill sets. Either way, the post solved my problems since you recommended some sources that I hadn’t seen online. We bought the tuteur you linked to from Home Depot, though we purchased it straight from the manufacturer. It is very dramatic in my garden, but I like it and we are ordering a second one! The peas are more than halfway up the trellis and blossoming beautifully!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 2, 2017 / 5:48 PM

      I’m sorry this was too difficult, but I am so pleased that you wer still able to get your tuteur. I love that you used the work “dramatic”, that is exactly how I feel about them, too. xoxo

  22. Kenny
    June 23, 2017 / 10:28 AM

    Little Wren’s story is very touching! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, thank you for sharing!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 29, 2017 / 8:42 PM

      Kenny, you are always such an encouragement to me, thank you for this.

  23. Mike
    July 13, 2017 / 1:36 PM

    Made this for my wife. We absolutely love it. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      July 25, 2017 / 7:15 PM

      Oh yay! I read your comment to my husband, you made our day!!

  24. Rebecca Watson
    September 1, 2017 / 5:36 PM

    I absolutely love these and they are so much nicer than metal cages or metal supports. We saw tuteurs at the Epcot FLower and Garden Festival this year and I wanted one so thank you for posting yours. Can you tell me what wood you used? We are in Florida so we need something that will hold up to heat and moisture but will not be toxic to our plants.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 6, 2017 / 3:40 PM

      I can’t remember what kind of wood we used. Pine, maybe? I know it was cheap and untreated.

  25. JJ Carney
    February 11, 2018 / 9:32 AM

    Love these and made one yesterday, the instructions are very good. However, I had a tough time assembling the cross members, since they do not sit flat on a surface because of the bevel. Does anyone have a suggestion how to hold the 45 degree bevels together in order to nail them? Also any tips on measuring and cutting the lengths of these….when you cut one end, rotate 180 degrees and cut the other end, it was hard to hit the measured distance on the short side (which is on the bottom once you rotate the board 180 degrees). Or did I misunderstand….the instructions said to measure the shortest side, and I assumed that meant the shortest inside length of the 7 degree bevel? Thank you, it turned out lovely but I want to make more of them!

    • Lauren Malec
      July 13, 2020 / 1:40 PM

      Did you ever find out if you should measure from the top outside of the cross members or top inside?

      I measured from the top outside plane and now I’m worried I may have cut them all too small 🙁

      • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
        July 18, 2020 / 4:22 PM

        Lauren! I apologize for taking so long in getting back to you. You need to measure from the top INSIDE, if I am understanding you correctly, you cut them too large. You should be able to trim them down and still use them. xoxo

  26. Kat C
    July 7, 2018 / 7:41 PM

    Hi Sarah can you somehow condense the instructions to building your own tuteur, from you line DIY French Tuteurs for the garden? We’d love the instructions and then can refer back to the photos if needed. Hopefully its not something really time consuming if so i understand…thank you…Kat

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      July 28, 2018 / 4:12 PM

      Such a great idea, Kat!! I have added in printable building plans now.

  27. Patty McMahon
    June 26, 2019 / 8:25 PM

    Well, howdy, Sarah! When I signed up for my double green thumb, projects like these became my kryptonite. Do you want to come over a help make my sad yard purdy? 😁
    Many thanks,
    The Project Challenged,

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      October 31, 2019 / 9:59 PM

      Hopefully, the tutorial was clear enough! Good luck, thanks for stopping by.

  28. November 18, 2019 / 11:13 AM

    Reading this has me all excited because I think this is something I could actually build myself… but now I have to wait until winter is over 🙁

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      November 20, 2019 / 9:08 PM

      Something to look forward to for spring.;)

  29. February 29, 2020 / 6:17 AM

    FYI, The French word tuteur is spelled this way… not the way here. Letters reversed in your text.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      April 1, 2020 / 3:03 AM

      Oh, thank you!

  30. Kate Bowers
    April 19, 2020 / 7:16 AM

    May I ask what is the paint color you used?

  31. May 11, 2020 / 5:43 PM

    My husband and I just completed one of these. I have wanted one for years and WOW! I’m in love with it. The plans were a bit hard to follow at first, but, we just kept going and it all came together. Lovely!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 23, 2020 / 10:14 PM

      Oh good! I agree, it does feel a little intimidating the first time around. If you are on Instagram, tag me and I will share your tuteurs in my stories!!

  32. July 15, 2020 / 9:19 AM

    Hello Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this post! I downloaded your tuteur plans and I look forward to making some soon for our new Texas garden. I will be writing a post when I get them finished and will share your post as inspiration, thank you. <3

    Happy summer to you,
    Stay safe and cool!

    Barb 🙂

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      July 17, 2020 / 3:31 PM

      I love that, thank you! I hope you enjoy them as much as we’ve enjoyed ours.

  33. Marie
    July 18, 2020 / 5:16 PM

    Hi, my husband (who is a skilled woodworker) and I are almost finished building the tutuer with your plans- we used cedar (almost 60 dollars) and it has taken a lot longer than 90 minutes. This project while gorgeous is not for the fainthearted or novice attempting a woodworking project. Compound angles are tricky to master for newbies! For future reference please include additional photos to illustrate your directions, this would make your design more accessible to more people.

  34. Sally
    February 27, 2021 / 6:25 PM

    Was there a reason you cut the 2x2s length down to 7′? I wasn’t sure if you used that one foot length for anything. I was thinking at 8′ I could push into the ground a foot.

  35. March 3, 2022 / 9:28 AM

    So glad you enjoyed my tuteur plans! I originally posted them on my sewing blog…
    I still have ONE tuteur in my yard from 1997, (I think) and although it has some rot on the lower legs, it is still going strong. We plan to make 4 more this Spring to place over some floppy limelight hydrangeas in our back beds (we have moved to a different house since the original plans were posted on the blog). Trish.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 6, 2022 / 10:28 PM

      Trish, I still love my Tuteurs, and they’ve been very popular here as well! Thank you so much for sharing your instructions for them!

  36. April 11, 2022 / 5:55 PM

    Hi love these Tuteurs and Thank you for posting the instructions. I do have a question that I don’t see here unless I missed it and that is very important. How are the secured in the ground?


    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 9, 2022 / 11:22 AM

      Hi Diane, These aren’t secured any way other than just having the legs pressed a little down into the soil. We’re not in a really windy area, so I don’t worry about them toppling over!

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