How to Build a Movable Garden Arbor


Arbors can guard the entrance to your garden or stand as a focal point on your property. You can build a movable garden arbor that you can reposition around the landscape as needed. A free-standing garden arbor may need to be anchored against heavy winds; u-shaped stakes inserted over the arbor stand and into the ground will help keep it in position. Paint the movable garden arbor with exterior spray paint to camouflage the building material.

Step 1

Cut four lengths of 1-inch PVC pipe equal to the desired height of the garden arbor. Cut each of the four pipes into four equal lengths. You will have 16 shorter sections of pipe for the side rails of the arbor.

Step 2

Reconnect the four pieces of one side together with the straight openings of PVC T connectors. To connect PVC pipe, apply PVC primer inside the fitting and outside the rim of the pipe, wait 10 seconds, then apply PVC cement to the same sections. Fit the T over the pipe and hold it for another 15 seconds. As you are reconnecting each section of a side rail, make sure that the open ends of the T connectors are all facing the same direction.

Step 3

Repeat Step 2 three more times to reconstruct the four side rails.

Step 4

Add a 3-way fitting to each end of each side rail. Position one of the openings on each 3-way fitting to face the same direction as the open ends of the T connectors. Position the remaining open end of the 3-way connectors to be facing opposite each other on each end or the pipe. One 3-way connector will fit the cross pipe that joins the two sides and one 3-way will fit the stand at the base of the arbor. Follow the instructions in Step 2 for connecting the pipe to the fitting.

Step 5

Cut 12 1-foot sections of 1-inch PVC pipe. Place the four side rails in pairs of two with the open ends of the connectors facing each other. Make sure that the 3-way openings on either end of the pipes are facing the same direction. Attach two side rails together by gluing a 1-foot section between each connector openings. You will have two complete vertical side frames for the garden arbor, each with five 1-foot pipes running horizontally between them. You will have two 1-foot sections left over for the stand construction.

Step 6

Cut four 2-foot lengths of 1-inch PVC pipe. Attach one 2-foot pipe to each of the open ends of the 3-way at the base of the side rails. You are building the stand for the arbor.

Step 7

Attach a 90-degree elbow to the ends of each 2-foot long pipe. The openings should face each other. Attach a 1-foot length of pipe between the openings to complete the stand.

Step 8

Cut two 4-foot lengths of 1-inch PVC pipe. Join the two side frames together by attaching the 4-foot pipes to the 3-way connectors at the top of the pipes. The garden arbor is complete, free-standing and movable.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1-inch PVC pipe
  • PVC pipe cutter
  • 12 1-inch PVC T connectors
  • PVC primer
  • PVC cement
  • 8 1-inch PVC 3-way fittings
  • 4 1-inch PVC 90-degree elbow fittings


  • Reader's Digest: How to Glue and Join PVC Pipe

Who Can Help

  • PVC Workshop: How to Measure, Cut and Glue PVC Pipe
Keywords: PVC arbor, PVC pipe arbor, free standing arbor

About this Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost effective decorating solutions. As a content creator for Demand Studios and private clientele, Kat's work is featured on sites across the web. Kally holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.