How to Build a Garden Arbor or Trellis


Enhance the appearance of your garden with an arbor or trellis. This inexpensive, decorative yet functional trellis is easy to assemble and does not require any special woodworking skills. Select rot-resistant, pressure-treated wood for outdoor projects that withstand harsh weather conditions and last many years whilst supporting climbing plants or vegetables. Use this sturdy trellis or arbor to lift heavy grapevines and support them so they grow upwards. This decorative trellis does not stand out like an eyesore, but blends well with the surrounding landscape.

Step 1

Lay both the 9-foot two-by-fours in front of you. Measure a height of 3 feet from one end of each lumber and mark the spot with masking tape. Extend the tape around all four sides of the lumber in a straight line.

Step 2

Dig a 3-foot-deep hole in the ground with a shovel. Level the base of the hole so it provides a stable and even footing for the lumber. Also dig a similar-size hole parallel to this one, spaced 10 feet apart. Collect the dirt in a wheelbarrow and set aside.

Step 3

Add concrete and water to a wheelbarrow or bucket, and mix well with a stick until an ice cream-like consistency.

Step 4

Lift a 9-foot lumber carefully and lower it into the hole with the 3-foot marked section buried underneath. Make sure the masking tape is in line with the surrounding soil level. Repeat the procedure with the second 9-foot two-by-four. Add concrete around the lumber until it is 1 foot from the top, and leave to cure overnight.

Step 5

Back-fill soil around the lumber into each hole until it is level with surrounding soil. Press it down to remove air pockets.

Step 6

Hold one end of a 12-foot lumber and ask a family member or friend to hold the other end. Position it horizontally over both vertical poles, with a foot protruding from each end. Lower it slightly so it lies 6 inches below the tops of the poles, and drill in place with wood screws.

Step 7

Measure a foot below the horizontal board and position the second 12-foot lumber over the point. Extend it so its other end rests on the second pole and a foot protrudes from each end. Secure it in place with wood screws. Repeat the procedure to attach the other two identical boards to the vertical poles.

Step 8

Position an end of your 10-foot lumber so it rests against the top of the left vertical pole, and drill three to five wood screws over it. Lay it diagonally so its other end rests against the lower edge of the right vertical pole, and drill it in place. Secure the other lumber over this to form an X, with one end secured to the top of the right pole and the other end to the base of the left pole.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 two-by-fours, 9 feet
  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Concrete
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Stick
  • Four lumber, 12 feet
  • Drilling machine
  • Wood screws


  • Chest of Books: How to Build a Grape Arbor
Keywords: garden arbor, garden trellis, arbor or trellis

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.