How to build your own wood garden arbor

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to build your own wood garden arbor
Plant vine plants such as grapes that will grow over the arbor. (raisin image by pat fauve from

Wooden garden arbors are often placed along garden entrances and pathways, with vining plants growing up the sides. A basic arbor consists of four vertical posts and an open roof structure. Latticework is often added to a trellis for decorative and functional purposes. Make an arbor for your garden in your home workshop as a weekend do-it-yourself project. Plant vine plants such as grapes that will grow over the arbor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4-by-4-by-96-inch cedar boards, 4
  • Corner brackets with screws, 8
  • Screw gun
  • 4-by-4-by-48-inch cedar boards, 2
  • 4-by-4-by-24-inch cedar boards, 2
  • 24-by-48-inch latticework panels, 3
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Place the four 4-by-4-by-48-inch cedar boards in a work area. These are the arbor's legs. Place one 4-by-4-by-48-inch cedar board between the end of each pair of legs. These are the cross pieces. This will form two three-sided structures.

  2. 2

    Align a brace in the corner of each joint where the legs meet the cross pieces. Screw the brackets in place at each joint.

  3. 3

    Place the leg assemblies horizontally so that the cross pieces are vertical. Position the assemblies parallel to each other approximately 24 inches apart. Align the 4-by-4-by-24-inch cedar boards between assemblies at the top of the legs to connect them together. This will form a 24-by-48-inch structure. Position a brace where each joint forms and screw it to the boards.

  4. 4

    Ask someone to help you raise the structure upright. Align one latticework panel so that it covers the top portion of each side of the arbor. Nail the latticework to the legs. Space the nails approximately six inches apart.

  5. 5

    Align the remaining latticework panel with the top roof area of the arbor. Nail the panel in place in the same manner as the sides.

Tips and warnings

  • Position the arbor along a walkway either at an entrance or at a transition point.
  • Wear eye protection when working with wood.

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