A Garden Obelisk adds beauty and height to your garden and landscape, in addition to being plant support. I have been swooning over them for years and since we had a little extra time on our hands this summer I thought why not make a few. A friend gave me an ivy plant with a small powder-coated wrought iron trellis and I have enjoyed it for years.
We enjoy our garden and yard all year since we live in Florida. I decided to top my obelisk with solar lights since it starts getting dark too early in the fall. Last year we build a garden trellis and we made DIY wooden lanterns with solar lights.
I have enjoyed them every day of the year. You can find how to make a garden trellis in this earlier post.
You will find a ton of DIY outdoor projects at the end of the post from some amazing blogger so don’t miss any of their inspiration.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase from one of these links I will make a small commission, but rest assured you will not pay more for any products.
How to Build Obelisks
My first consideration was making the obelisk so it would coordinate with the other items in the garden such as our trellis, lanterns, and the flowerbox and shutters. We built the gorgeous brackets from a leftover fence post. We build a floating deck and garden hose holder that all coordinate as well.
Building the obelisk with the same type of wood and in the same style was my goal. So I set to work trying to find the same solar lights as I used in the lanterns for last year. The globe is crackled glass and they cast an amazing dreamy patterned glow.
To begin building your own super easy obelisk gather your tools and materials.
Materials to Build an Obelisk
- 5/4″ (5.5″ by 5.5″) Deck board PT (Pressure Treated Lumber)
- 2 each of 1 x 2 x 8 PT
- 2 each of 2 x 2 x 8 PT
- 4 each of 2.5″ Deck Screws
- 1 3/4″ Galvanized Nails
- Outdoor Wood Glue
- Sandpaper 120 Grit
- Solar Light
- Measuring Tape
You can find some other great outdoor finds in my Amazon shop.
Cut top to make a square.
Router edges top and bottom.
Mark the center for installing the solar light.
Mark corner ½” from the outer edges for leg placement.
Drill pilot holes ¾” from outer edges at the corners and countersink.
Drill a ⅞” hole for the solar light.
Cutting the Legs (this will make an obelisk approximately 48′” tall)
Cut legs at a 7-degree angle and 7-degree bevel at both ends
Make the first cut and slide the piece through; do not turn the board and make a second cut to length.
Use the first leg as your template to cut the other 3 legs.
Clamp the top facing down to a steady surface with access to a pre-drilled hole.
Position a leg on the bottom side of the top wooden square lining it with the marks you made ½’” from the corner.
Hold the leg in place, and drill through the pilot hole into the leg about ⅛ to ¼” for the alignment hole
Repeat this process for the other three legs.
The leg is just over 47” so I divided it into 4 equal spaces to determine the rung placement and marked those places with a pencil.
Tip: Cut a scrap board as a guide for marking the rung placement.
Building the Rungs
Measure across the legs at the marks to determine the length of the rung at the miter.
Set the compound miter to 45 degrees and a 7-degree bevel and make your first cut.
Turn board 180 degrees and mark the length for the second cut
Make the cut and check it against the marks on the legs to ensure it is the correct length
Place the rung back on the miter saw using it as a guide to set the length stop.
Cut the remaining three rungs.
Assembling the Rungs
Tip: Use clamps to hold the rungs on the legs to check for fit.
Once you are happy with the fit you are ready to assemble the rungs.
Add wood glue to both corner pieces to be joined and nail the corners forming an angle. Continue this process until you have a square frame.
Repeat for the remaining rungs by measuring at each rung mark.
Use sandpaper to sand the corners until smooth.
Install rungs at your pencil marks and clamp in place then nail the rungs to legs.
Repeat for each rung.
Finish with a water seal.
Place solar light in the opening at the top.
I could not have just one so I ended up making three. They are so pretty just the way they are, but I really want to grow some climbing roses, flowering vines, and or green climbing vines. Another idea for display is to incorporate the obelisk into my fall outdoor decorations. The adorable handmade pillow and mini fabric pumpkin I made and you can easily make some too see how in this earlier post about fall decorating.
More Outdoor DIY Projects
My friend Chas from Chas’s Crazy Creations shows how to make an outdoor candelabra that is solar-powered. It will be so nice to enjoy some wine and cheese on her porch at night.
Since we have so much extra time on our hands we have been dreaming about refinishing our dining room chairs. I am inspired by Andrea, from Design Morsels teak furniture makeover.
I have been thinking about adding a water fountain since they are so relaxing. You are going to enjoy Mary’s from Life at Bella Terra’s water fountain I am green with envy. Mary shares how to renovate a water fountain so you don’t want to miss it.
For a bonus, I wanted to share this amazing outdoor space perfect for the fall. Kristin, from White Arrows Home, shares how she and her family enjoy their lakeside home and glorious yard.
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope you found some easy and quick fall inspiration. Please join the Fall Newsletter to get all the inspiration delivered to your inbox. I love keeping in touch so please say hello in the comments below.
See you soon,