How to Build an Arched DIY Garden Arbor and Plant Trellis – Woodworking Plans
Need to add an ARCH in your garden this year to grow your plants on? How about building your own with a wire plant trellis following these DIY garden arbor woodworking plans.
Arched DIY Garden Arbor + Plant Trellis
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We love a good vegetable garden! We spent a lot of time getting the raised beds and concrete patio in place last year in our back yard!! You can see all our current backyard projects we’ve worked on here if you are interested. Now that all the main layout and structural elements of the yard are in place, we can start working on some of the fun *extra* stuff.
One thing we wanted last year is a bit more height in our garden. So, we decided to build a DIY garden arbor first thing this year. We are so excited to let the cucumbers, grape tomatoes and another few great vine plants grow up the arbor! It will be awesome to walk under it and pick dinner! I tell you – it’ll be magical!!
The best news is that, it was pretty simple to make and it only took a day to build it.
The total cost was just over $100.
That sounds good to me considering similar arbors cost anywhere from $250 bucks and they are not customized to my space…
Other Uses for the Arch?
Also, it may just be me, but I think this might be a fun arbor to build for a wedding or a reception, like we did for our portable wood wedding arch! The Gothic arch on the arbor is so pretty and with a climbing flowering vine on it… again magical! Don’t ya think?
DIY Garden Arbor Plans
The printable woodworking plan contains the full material and cut list, templates for the horizontal support details and arch pieces, and assembly and installation instructions. The plan also includes tips for adjusting the size of the arbor.
The finished garden arch measures
8’ 5 1/2″ (101.5”) total height, with 3’ 6” (42”) width between the posts.
You might also like: Portable Wood Arbor Wedding Arch Woodworking Plans
- Miter Saw
- Circular Saw
- Jig Saw
- Orbital Sander
- 1/2″ Drill Bit
- Measuring Tape
- Pocket Hole Jig (We love the Kreg Jig!)
- Bar Clamps
- L Square
- Printable Woodworking Plan
(rough lumber and hardware)
Redwood or cedar are the best wood choices for outdoors.
- (4) 2×6 – 10′
- (4) 2×6 – 8′
- (2) 2×12 – 8′
- (2) 2×4 – 4′
- (1) 2×4 – 4′
- (2) 4’x8′ sheets of 4″ o.c. concrete reinforcement mesh
- (4) 1/2″ – 6″ galvanized bolts
- (8) 1/2″ galvanized washers
- (4) 1/2″ galvanized nuts
- (1) box 2 1/2″ deck screws
- (4) 1 1/2″ pocket screws (for connecting the top brace)
- (15) 12″ plastic zip ties (or staples)
Bundle and Save 15% with the 2x Garden Arbor Woodworking Plan Bundle
5 Construction Tips
As with all of our woodworking plans, read over the entire plan before making the first cut! This can save a lot of time (and a trip back to the lumber store).
1. Make The Wood Arch Fit Your Existing Yard
When adding to an already designed back yard, mimicking some of the design elements already in place, either on your home or other structures, can help to pull things together to look very professional and cohesive.
For the ends of the garden arbor horizontal supports, I matched a design feature already existing in our backyard on the stairs that we fixed last year. With a piece of cardboard, I made a template to trace on the ends of the new horizontal supports.
This template is included in the printable woodworking plan (you’re welcome!) — but keep in mind that this particular design element can easily be changed to something that fits your yard better if desired.
|matching existing curve detail||cutting out curve detail on horizontal supports|
2. How to Make Your Wood Garden Arch Last Longer
A common problem with outdoor woodworking is dealing with wood rot. You can help minimize this by using redwood (like we used for the wedding arbor) which is naturally more rot-resistant. The stain/finish you use can also help reduce warping, aging, and rotting — be sure to select a stain and finish meant for outdoor use.
Here is our favorite tip for extending the life of a wood garden arbor. Angle the tops of the posts to help reduce standing water on top. Whether the water is from good old rainwater or a sprinkling system, standing water on a post significantly contributes to wood rotting. For this gothic arch arbor, we used a small 5 degree angle to keep the angle less noticeable.
3. How to Level and Anchor
We decided to install the garden arbor over the path that entered into our box garden area, right off the patio. This allowed us to anchor the arbor to the raised garden beds. That way we didn’t need footings.
It all depends on where you what to install yours on how it needs to be anchored. You could anchor it to a patio, concrete footings in the ground, a fence, or garden boxes like ours. Whatever you choose to do, you must anchor your arbor, so you are safe from it blowing over in the wind or getting knocked over by climbing kiddos and hurting someone.
Before cutting the wood corner posts to the final length, check for level. Our patio slants at a 2% grade, which made one side of the arbor 1″ taller, in order to make it level across the top. Pictured below, is an easy way to check. By spanning a board across with a level on top, I was able to measure the difference from the top of the leveled board to the ground. And add the difference to the longer side. Once the corner posts were cut to length and angled on top, screw to the side of the boxes (or secure to the other anchor options).
4. How to Cut Out Wood Arches
We designed this gothic arch to be cut in two pieces, which come together at the top. To draw the arches, you’ll set up a good old-fashioned compass using a screw in a piece of scrap wood, string, and a pencil. Then you’ll use a simple L square to add the end lines where the arches will meet in the middle and attach to the side posts.
The full details, as well as a full-size template, are included in the printable woodworking plan. We’ve also included tips for adjusting the size of the arch if your walkway is narrower or wider than ours.
5. Tips for Assembling
After sanding (and staining, if you’d like) all the arch pieces, assembly is pretty simple. Assemble the front, then the back, and then use the supports to attach the front and back together — then attach the wire plant trellis piece. Full instructions are included in the printable woodworking plan. Here are some of our best tips.
Clamps will be your best friend! A few high-quality bar clamps make assembly on this wooden arch (and so many other projects) so much easier — especially on a piece like this arbor where we are hiding as many of the screws as possible as we sandwich the boards together.
To easy install an arch horizontal support: Measure the location, then clamp and level a spare 2×4 in position to hold the horizontal support in place.
To easily install a top cross brace: clamp a block of wood below it while it is screwed in place.
What are the final dimensions?
Following our woodworking plans, the finished garden arbor measures 8’ 5 1/2″ (101.5”) total height, with 3’ 6” (42”) width between the posts.
How to adjust the width of the garden arbor?
To adjust the width of the garden arch to a space wider or narrower than ours, adjust the width of each arch piece to be half the width of your desired opening. For your convenience, a full-sized printable arch template is included in the printable woodworking plan, with tips for adding or removing width from the arch using the template.
The depth of the garden trellis can also be adjusted if desired.
What do you think? We would love any pins or shares!
And when you build one, please send us some pictures!
Reader Built Arched Garden Arbors
Please do not re post any images from this post on any other sites. Thanks.
Erin’s Raised Garden Box Enclosure Trellis & Gate
Erin at Hamilton Park Home built this gorgeous enclosure fence and gate for her raised garden beds, using our arched trellis with an added gate for the entrance. She says “The arched arbor is functional as it is beautiful— It’s perfect for growing grapes!”. Get more details about her amazing garden here.
Rae’s Gothic Arch Gate: Rae send us some pictures of her new gate that she and her hubby built, inspired by our Gothic arch here. They adapted it for their space (and for metric measurements!) and it looks great! See more over at Rae’s Nomady.
Shelly’s Garden Arbor with Metal and Wood Raised Garden Beds: Here are some pictures of the arbor that our reader, Shelly, built. What a beautiful garden, Shelly! Thanks for sharing
The arbor we made ended up being a whopping 10′ tall! Because I want to grow passion fruit on this arbor, I wanted it really tall. Also, I routed the edges of the arch and the uppermost horizontal supports. The arch is so tall that you can hardly see this detail but I know it’s there and it really put a nice finished detail on the arbor.
This arbor is the crowning feature of my new 26′ x 26′ raised bed garden, which is still in production at the moment, but soil will soon be delivered and seeds will be planted (we are subtropical zone 10a).
Chris’s Stage Arch: Chris used our tutorial to build a set piece for a school play. Note the added 4x4s across the bottom and wheels for portability–great adaptation, Chris! Thank you for sharing!
Mark’s Garden Arbor & Trellis: Mark recreated this beautiful garden arbor and attached it to 2 small raised beds, with cement paver “footings”. We love how it turned out. He is “very happy with the results.”
William’s Garden Entry Tunnel Trellis: William sent us these photos of his garden area, complete with a gothic arch trellis for his grape vines! “Get more compliments about this arbor. Concord grape vines make it a tunnel entry to the garden. Just love it.”
Click HERE to purchase this woodworking plan to build your own!
OR Bundle and Save 15% with the 2x Garden Arbor Woodworking Plan Bundle
I love it! I want the exact same thing over the beginning of my walkway.
Thanks! I’m showing this to hubby. Love the raised beds…Those are on my list too.
Wow, that looks awesome! I would love to have one of these in my garden! Oh, and I LOVE the Aggie shirt! True Blue Aggie Fans here!
Thanks for the comment! Go Aggies! We love Logan!
HA! I just was coming on here to comment on the Utah State shirt! My daughter just got a full ride to USU for Basketball and will be attending her freshman year this fall (actually summer). We love our Aggies!!!
What type of lumber did you use? Cedar? Pressure Treated?
We used Douglas Fir! Cedar was my next option.
Will doug fir stand up as well as cedar?
Cedar or redwood is a better option
Are the arches cut from the 2x12s?
Hi Virginia: Yes, the arches are cut from the 2×12 boards. The detailed dimensions are included in the woodworking plan (as well as a full-sized template if you prefer to print instead of measure and mark). The plans are in the shop: https://shop.remodelaholic.com/collections/outdoor-woodworking-plans
I love it! my husband and I just bought a new house and we have a bunch of paths and walkways that we want to clean up and “feature”. This would be a perfect addition at the beginning of one of the paths, thanks!!
Just this afternoon I was thinking how much I would love an arbor for a lipstick vine to climb, and tonight I happen upon your wonderful blog and this amazingly detailed post! I even have an ‘unloved’ Kreg Jig that needs to be christened! Thank you for sharing this project. Your garden is wonderful!
Wow! This is amazing. I am so sick and tired of those wire tomato hangers falling over from the wind or the weight of the tomatoes. This is a perfect answer to that, and beautiful as well. Great post!
Love the Arbor, and the garden beds! Looks like I’ll have to add this to the “maybe someday” laundry list of things I want to do in my back yard! I commented on another post already but not sure it went through – Love the Utah State shirt!! My daughter just got a full ride to USU for Basketball, WE LOVE OUR AGGIES!!! Love, Love this project! Great job! 😉
Thanks for commenting — and GO AGGIES!!
How do I adjust the arc radius if my width is 47″ instead of 40″?
Thanks for the question! I added some info about how I would adjust it to the end of the post, since we’ve had several others ask, too! Thanks!
can’t print out arbor instructions?
I just added a printer friendly button to the post to help — try it again and let me know if it works for you!
Hello. the arch is beautiful and possibly something I would like to do in the future. I was curious if you could expand on the PVC watering system that I see you have in the garden. Do you have instructions for it?
Aimee, great question about the irrigation. My mother-in-law has studied the Mittleider gardening method and implimented a watering system that he came up with I guess. Anyway I found a video online of one that was done similar. Ours is 3/4″ PVC with holes drilled in the bottom to let the water out. Check out this video it may help more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV2pK94dBt8
I was looking for an arbour to build for my daughters wedding next summer and I saw yours and absolutely love it! Not only did I find one I loved, it has detailed instructions to go with it! I am so excited about it and can’t wait to get started. I will have to make it wider and I will have to adjust the arch…crazy, you addressed that too 🙂 Thank you!!
Woohoo, so glad to be helpful! I would love to see pictures when you are finished and from the wedding! https://www.remodelaholic.com/share-brag-post/
Hi! I just purchased the plans and printed them out. Is there and error on the Arch instructions where you are taping 1-5 together…where 4 attaches to 5? I’m not for sure I’m getting them to line up correctly something looks a little off to me? ( I am blonde) Thanks.
Hi Cindy! I apologize I didn’t see your comment sooner. Can you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know more about the problem you’re having? A picture is really helpful and the arch is the tricky part of this plan, so we’re happy to help and better able to do that via email. Thanks!