Plans for a Garden Arbor

Updated February 21, 2017

Building an arbor for a garden creates an attractive structure on which to grow and display vines, grapes or ivy. Making a homemade arbor saves you money, can be completed over a weekend, and then can be used for many seasons in your garden. You can build an arbor if you have basic carpentry skills.

Dig six holes with the posthole digger. Make two rows of holes, 4 feet apart. Dig the holes in each rows 3 to 4 feet apart. Ensure that the holes in all the rows are parallel to each other.

Place each of the 6 foot posts in the plastic buckets and fill them with quick-dry cement before putting them in the holes. Ensure that the posts are standing straight while the cement is drying to prevent the arbor posts from tilting.

Drill three holes in each of the posts to create a place for the eye screws. Place each hole roughly 2 feet apart down the arbor posts. The holes should be along the outside edge of the posts so that the vines of your plants can be trained to grow on the arbor.

Place eye screws in the holes you drilled. These will hold the wire for the plants to grow on by providing them with a sturdy support.

Create three rows of wire on each side of the arbor. Run the wires across all three posts, hooking them to the eye screws. Ensure that the wire is taut. You should have six parallel rows of wire when you are finished. Use wire cutters to cut the ends of the wire.

Gather the remaining posts to place them along the arbor sides and finish up the project. Set up a ladder between two posts so that the lumber can be carried up and placed evenly on the arbor.

Place the lumber across two of the side posts to create an upside-down U shape. Use screws to hold the lumber in place on top of the arbor. Repeat this process with the remaining pieces of lumber.


Add more posts to create a larger arbor. Drill more holes and add more wire to make a thicker arbor as plants grow up and over the wire. Attach growing vines to the wire and arbor top and sides with twine. Lumber can be used in place of wire to create a sturdier structure, if desired.


Ensure that no gas or power lines are buried where you intend to build your arbor. Check with local authorities before beginning to dig.

Things You'll Need

  • Posthole digger
  • Cement mix
  • 6 plastic buckets
  • 6, 4 inches by 4 inches by 6 feet pieces of lumber
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screw bits
  • Eye screws
  • Steel wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Ladder
  • 3, 2 inches by 4 inches by 4 feet pieces of lumber
  • Screws
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About the Author

Bailey Shoemaker Richards is a writer from Ohio. She has contributed to numerous online and print publications, including "The North Central Review." Shoemaker Richards also edits for several independent literary journals and the Pink Fish Press publishing company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Ohio University.