How to build your own wood garden arbor

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


Position the arbor along a walkway either at an entrance or at a transition point.


Wear eye protection when working with wood.

Things You'll 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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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.