Simple Arbor

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i am a homemaker added on 6/18/2017

A beautiful arbor without any fancy cuts. Perfect to train climbing flowers on and enjoy as a welcoming entry or transition space in your yard. This arbor is 7 1/2' tall, 67" wide at the bottom and 46.5" deep at the bottom.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


The most important!

A structure as big as an arbor should be secured in the ground. There are a couple of ways to do this and you can find some links to great resources here ‎. Before you start digging any holes or using any post anchors, you must call your local utility marking company. Here in the northeast we have Dig Safe. I called and had someone come out and check for any underground utilities. Safety first. I will always recommend that you measure each step of the way and be sure your measurements match mine before you cut. Wasting wood takes up time and money and I don't like to waste either.


Mark Your Post Location

Placing four posts so that they are square can be tricky. Use scrap wood laid out where you want your arbor. Sqaure the box using a speed square and measuring tape to be sure the diagonal measurements are the same. Using bright spray paint to mark the corners where the posts will go. This can be a very tricky step, but it is important to have this done correctly. Take your time.


Erect Posts

Raise your posts and brace them with scrap wood to keep them plumb. You can use a level or a post level to be sure your posts are straight.


Brace Posts

Temporarily attach all four posts together to be sure they maintain their position while you work.


Mark Side Support Placement

Pick one post and measure and mark 16" up from the ground. Using a level, transpose that measurement on the remaining posts. The ground is not always level, by marking one post and using that measurement, you ensure all your marks are the same height on your posts even thought they may be a different height off the ground.


Add Horizontal Side Supports

Using 2 of the 2x4x39.5" pieces, attach 16" high on either side of the arbor using pocket holes. The outside of the 2x4 will be flush with the outside of the 4x4 posts.


Mark Placement

Measure and mark 74" up from the 16" mark and transpose on all 4 posts using a level. Next, measure down 5.5", mark and transpose. These will serve as guides for the final height of the arbor and the top horizontal support height. Attach the top horizontal support at the height of the lower mark you just made, using pocket holes.


Check for Level

Be sure you have placed the side pieces even with each other by laying a piece of wood across both and checking with a level.


Measure and Attach Middle Piece

Measure 30 1/4" down from the bottom of the top horizontal support and transpose. This will be the position of the top of your middle piece. Attach using pocket holes.


Cut and Attach Beams

Using your 1x6s, cut a 45 degree angle on each end (not required.) You will want the bottom to be 71" after you cut the angle, or if you choose not to angle the ends the entire board will be 71". Attach the beams at the front and back of the arbor with screws. These will line up with the top marks you made on your posts and have a 2 inch overhang on either side.


Remove Braces

Your braces can all be removed at this point.


Attach Vertical Side Supports

Mark 10" in from each 4x4 post on the inside of the center 2x4 horizontal support. Attach 1 of the 2x4x71 1/2" at each of the 10" marks making sure to keep them even on the top and bottom with the horizontal supports. Using a level, keep them straight while you screw them in. This may require some help.


Cut Posts

Now that everything is even and you have a 7 1/2' tall arbor, you can use a hand saw to cut off the excess length of post.


Attach Runners

I chose to keep my runners even with my beams and not overhang them at all. This is a preference, so please feel free to make them as long as you want and place them as you like, evenly spacing them along the top of the beam. Nail with a nail gun into the beams using 2" nails. If you angled the edges of your beam and you bring your runners to the end of the beam, a 2" nail will shoot through it. You will want to use a 1" brad nail for those spots.



I love a touch of personality on an arbor. You could hang a wind chime or a basket of flowers, but I attached this old name plate holder that I have had on my house since I was a kid.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(2) 1x6, 96", Board  
(4) 4x4, 96", Board  
(7) 2x4, 96", Board  
(5) 1x2, 96", Board  


Parts/Cut List:

(6) Horizontal side pieces, 2x4 @ 39.5"  
(4) Vertical side pieces, 2x4 @71.5"  
(4) Posts, 4x4x8 these will be cut to the desired height while in place  
(2) Beams, 1x6x71" at the shortest part of the 45 degree angle  
(10) Runners, 1x2 @ 48"  


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