© Stephie McCarthy

DIY garden obelisk,
wicker-style plant support
from a tomato cage …

© Stephie McCarthy

Charming, sturdy and perfect for a garden that looks
like something out of a fairy tale.
And it started with an old tomato cage!

Tomato Cage obelisk plant support

We photographed our obelisk in an English garden in
town for the sweet atmosphere.

Tomato Cage obelisk basket support

This plant support is fairly easy to make …
allow about a day to put it together.

Woven wicker plant support tomato cage

Can you believe this started as an old tomato cage?

Materials:

• a tomato cage (ours was 42" tall)
• some 1/8th" wooden rods for the ribs/staves ( we used 36")
• and material for the weaving
… we used fiber rush which we were
able to purchase from Amazon.
• We also used a bit of fabric glue. See tools below:

Fiber Rush for Garden Obelisk

This fiber is easy to work with and does a great job, although we
don't recommend leaving it outdoors year round. Bring it in
for winter storage or display it in a sheltered area.

Tools you may need:
A bucket of water, bolt cutters, fabric glue,
clothes pins, twist ties, scissors, and a rubber band.

Here we go, ready to begin …

Tomato cage craft rustic garden support

Our tomato cage had 3 staves (vertical ribs) and 4
horizontal rings. We used a bolt cutter to remove the
upper most ring so that the cage would be a more
perfect cone. However, your cage may be enough
of a cone to skip this step.

Tomato cage wicker plant support

We used thin wooden rods for the sides staves. We bought these
at Hobby Lobby for 30¢ each. Here they are in our
Amazon shop if you can't find similar in your region:

Wooden Dowels 1/8th inch wicker obelisk

Since our tomato cage was rusty, we rubbed some brown
chalk paint onto the rods so that they would match.
You need not do this … it's optional. If working
with a rusty cage, you may want to wear gloves to protect your
hands from scrapes. A new cage would work just as well.

Chalk paint woven garden obelisk support

Baby wipes and a little brown chalk paint will make these
wooden rods mach the rust.

You'll need an odd number of staves or ribs on your
cone. We added 10 wooden to the 3 metal, to make a total of 13.
You can also add nine or fifteen staves, if you like, spaced evenly.
Our 13 were asymetrical, uneven, and rustic.
Tomato cages vary in sizes, so you can be flexible in the design.

soaking rush fiber for weaving plant support

Soak the fiber for about 30 minutes before weaving.
When dry it will make a nice firm basket surface. It only
needs to be damp while weaving.

Weaving a rustic obelisk by Stephie McCarthy

(1) We held our staves in place with a large rubber band at the
top, wove them in and out through the rings, and used
(2 and 3) twist ties along the horizontals to secure them
as we worked. (4) We worked with 10 foot lengths of the fiber.
Soon the basket weaving will hold everything in place
and you can remove the rubber band and twist ties.

Weaving a wicker obelisk with rush fiber

We haven't woven anything since potholders in first grade,
so this is a rather informal endeavor. We started on the center
ring, made a simple slip knot to attach the fiber and around
and around we went for about 18 rows, alternating around
the staves for a basket weave. Tuck in the loose ends
of the fiber as you start each length of fiber.

Fiber rush plant support DIY

Here we were going around the bottom ring, around and around
for another 20 rows or so. This was the hardest ring to do.
The staves are free floating so we had to be extra careful
they didn't pop out of place until all the weaving was done.
Let them overhang at the bottom a bit, and they will
stay in place better as you work.

Fabric glue wicker plant support

If you're an expert weaver you can probably skip this
step, but beginners that we are, we used a few dabs
of Aleene's fabric glue here and there to keep our
weaving tight. Clothes pins kept the weaving together
temporarily until the glue dries … which is pretty quick.

Woven garden tomato cage

See how the clothes pin holds the weaving in place until
our glue dries? Extra wrapping around the bottom
ring and the 2nd ring adds nice detail. And look at the top!

Wicker obelisk DIY tomato cage

We wove the cone top with 3-4 foot
long pieces of fiber, until we could not get between the
staves … then we wrapped the remainer and added
a bow. We shortened the tall metal staves with our
bolt cutter so that all the vertical supports protruded
evenly at the top.

DIY garden obelisk country garden

Ready for charm! This craft can be displayed outdoors, but
for long life give it lots of care: put the base on a paver, put
it on a covered porch or sunroom, or bring it indoors for part
of the year!

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