Looking for a functional AND beautiful way to give your garden plants some support: French Tuteurs are the way to go, and they’re easy and quick to DIY with a tutorial like I’ve got for you here today!
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.
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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!
So, if you love this idea, put a bug in someone’s ear to make you one- or three– of these DIY French Tuteurs for mother’s day!
Note: adapted from this brilliant post from Sew What’s Next.
- Purchased Finial
- sometimes you can find these on Craigslist, too
- Square TOP Piece to put the finial on
- you can buy a piece like this in the fence building section of a hardware store or cut 5 1/2″ piece of a 2 x 6, which will give you a 5 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ by 1 1/2″ thick block for the finial to sit on. We routered the top edge with a 1/4″ bit to give it a finished look.
- 8 Pieces of Wood 2″x 2″x 8′
- 2 Pieces of Wood 1″x 2″x 8‘
- 2 1/2 Deck Screws
- Wood Glue
- 16 Gauge Nail Gun and Galvanized Finish Nails
- Compound Miter Saw
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.
- 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.
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
- Fit the cross members into four frames and nail with the nail gun
- 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.
- 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.
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!
I hope you get a chance to make these beautiful, functional focal points for your yard or garden,
but if you aren’t able to make them yourself, here are a few similar items from different stores.