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DIY Garden Obelisk, Wicker-Style Plant Support from a Tomato Cage …

© Stephie McCarthy

Our garden obelisk is 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

Is it winter in your region? This is an easy project to work on indoors. It can be made with waterproof rope for longer-life outdoors, or rush fiber for a softer look.

Tomato Cage obelisk basket support

Allow about a day to put this together.

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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:

buy fiber rush

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, or do your weaving with waterproof rope.

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:

buy wooden dowels for weaving

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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

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.

buy Aleene's Fabric Glue

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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