How to Build a Garden Arbor


An arbor can create an entrance to a garden or yard space. It can be used as a trellis for vining plants, such as grapes. And if a bench is added to an arbor, it can be used as a place to sit and contemplate life or watch nature. Building an arbor is fairly easy as long as the planning is done beforehand. Think also about what the arbor may be used for in the future. Doing so before planning the project will allow for alterations later.


Step 1

Decide where the arbor will go, and what purpose it will have. Measure the area to determine how much lumber of each size, as well as how much lattice, will be needed.

Step 2

Draw out the plan for the arbor on graph paper. Use a pencil for easy erasing. Determine the exact dimensions of the arbor and make a list of tools and materials that will be needed to finish the project. Estimate how much these items will cost and set a budget.

Step 3

Shop for the tools and materials that are necessary for the project. Be sure to buy quality materials.

Step 4

Lay out all of the materials and cut the lumber and lattice to the dimensions desired. Keep in mind that the 2x4s are the base, and the 2x2s attach everything at the top.


Step 1

Create the top of the arbor by nailing the 2x2s together in the shape of a rectangle. Be sure that this frame is the correct width and length for the desired arbor dimensions. Use four 2x2s for this purpose.

Step 2

Put together the sides of the arbor. Cut the 2x2s and place between each of the two sides, two per side. Nail one 2x2 to the top of each set of 2x4s to create the sides. Nail another 2x2 about two-thirds of the way down on either side. Use the level to be sure that each side is level.

Step 3

Nail the top of the arbor to the two sides. Use the lever to make sure that the arbor is still level.

Step 4

Nail a sheet of lattice to one side of the arbor, then nail another sheet of to the other side. Attach the lattice to the top as well, if desired.

Step 5

Set the arbor up in the desired location. Be sure that the arbor is level once more by using the lever, and make any adjustments necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • Safety goggles should be used when cutting wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Graph paper
  • Calculator
  • Safety goggles
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • 2x2 lumber
  • Lattice
  • 2x4 lumber
  • Level


  • Information and Tips on Building Garden Arbors

Who Can Help

  • Bluegrass Gardens: Garden Arbor Plans
Keywords: garden structures, arbor plans, build arbor

About this Author

Shannon Buck is a freelance writer residing in the small town of Milford, Maine. Her work has appeared on several sites including, where she writes The Green Mom column. She has written on many subjects, including home improvement, gardening, low-income living, writing and homeschooling.