Create a pretty entryway to your yard or garden.

Create a courtyard entryway.
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Pick and shovel or spade
  • Level
  • Mortar trowel
  • Stakes
  • Circular saw
  • Posthole digger (optional; for arbor post footings)
  • Hammer drill with 3/4-inch bit (optional)
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Caulking gun
  • Paintbrush
  • Clamps
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Framing square
  • String line or chalk line

Notes: The 1x2, 2x4, 4x4, and 4x6 lumber may be pressure-treated pine or cedar as desired. The arbor posts may be set in concrete footings or supported on the surface of the slab. The brick, concrete, and lattice quantities shown are for a single section of wall 8 feet long and must be adjusted to fit your site. If desired, paint or stain the wood before assembly and let dry.


  • Four 4x6s, 8 feet long, for arbor posts (E)
  • One 50-pound bag of gravel (optional; for poured post footings only)
  • Twelve 60-pound sacks of concrete mix (optional; for poured post footings only)
  • Anchoring cement (optional)
  • 1/2-inch steel rod or rebar (optional)
  • Two 2x12s, 12 feet long, for arches (F)
  • Exterior glue or construction adhesive
  • 4d galvanized finishing nails
  • Four 2x6s, 9-1/2 inches long, for post caps (G)
  • Four 2x8s, 11-1/2 inches long, for top caps (H)
  • 3-inch-long deck screws
  • Paintable caulk
  • Paint in desired color
  • 40 feet of 3/4-inch cove molding
  • Ten 2x3s, 48 inches long, for roof slats (I)
  • Eight 1x4s, 15 inches long, for post shoes (J)
  • Two 2x6s, approximately 35 inches long, for gate rails (L) (See Diagram 2)
  • Two 2x4s, 42 inches long, for gate stiles (K)
  • Nine 1x2s, approximately 28 inches long, for gate slats (M)
  • Two 6-inch strap hinges with screws
  • One 4-inch barrel bolt with screws


1. Download the free plan for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Arched Arbor plan

Download Adobe Acrobat

Diagram 1: Arched Arbor plan.

2. Cut 4x6 arbor posts (E) to 78 inches if they are going to rest on a slab that's level with the wall footings. If you dig holes for post footings, leave posts 8 feet long and set them so they extend 78 inches above the top of the adjacent wall footings, then pour concrete, temporarily brace plumb, and let set two or three days.

3. To set the posts on an existing concrete slab, rent a hammer drill and 3/4-inch masonry bit to drill holes into the slab for the arbor-post pins. Use anchoring cement to secure 1/2-inch rebar or threaded rod as a locating pin in each hole (see Diagram 1), long enough to extend about 1 1/2 inches above the slab. Mark bottom end of posts with a corner-to-corner X to find the center point, then drill a mating hole to accept locating pin. Set posts in place and brace temporarily.

4. Cut 2x12s into four 6-foot lengths, and use the pattern, in Diagram 1, to lay out shape of the arches (F); trace pattern onto the wood with pencil. Cut the arch outlines separately with a jigsaw, then glue and nail each arch assembly together. When glue is dry, sand edges flush.

5. Nail the post caps (G) to the arbor posts, then temporarily tack top caps (H) to post caps. Position the arches (F) on the top caps and mark the location on both the arches and top caps. Remove top caps and drive 3-inch deck screws from the underside to fasten the top caps to the arches. Place the arch assemblies atop the posts and screw the top caps to the post caps.

6. Run a small bead of caulk along any joints between the arches, top caps, post caps, and posts. (When caulk is dry, dab with paint.) Wrap the top ends of the posts with 3/4-inch decorative molding as shown in Diagram 1.

7. Working from the center of the arch out, toenail roof slats (I) to the arches at about 6 inches on center. Nail the 1x4 post shoes (J) to the posts, caulk along the edges, then trim and fit 3/4-inch decorative molding along the sides and top of each shoe.

Diagram 2

8. To make the gate, cut the 2x6 rails (L) to length. (The distance between our arbor posts is 42 inches; adjust accordingly to yours.) Transfer the pattern in Diagram 2 to upper rail and use a jigsaw to cut upper rail to shape; sand edges smooth. Glue and clamp gate rails (L) and stiles (K) together and drive 3-inch deck screws to attach rails to stiles. Trim 1x2 gate slats (M) to fit and toenail them into place at 4 inches on center.

9. Mount the hinges and barrel bolt to the assembled gate. Screw the hinges to one arbor post and mount the latch portion of the barrel bolt on the opposite arbor post.



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