Define the entry to your garden with this charming structure.

Arch-top Arbor and Gate
Arch-Top Arbor
  • Posthole digger
  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter's square
  • Level
  • 2x4s for temporary supports
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw or power miter saw
  • Drill
  • Router or table saw
  • Jigsaw


Note: The 4x4, 2x4, 2x12, 1x4, and 1x2 lumber may be pressure-treated pine, cedar, or redwood, as desired.

Main Structure:

  • Crushed rock (enough for 6 inches in the bottom of each posthole)
  • Four bags of concrete mix
  • Four 4x4s, 8 feet long, for posts (A)
  • Two 4x4s, 28 inches long, for crossbeams (B)
  • Two 2x4s, 24 inches long, for crossbraces (C)
  • Two 2x12s, 8 feet long, for arches (D)
  • Two 1x4s, 7 inches long, for arch caps (E)
  • Fourteen 1x2s, 28 inches long, for roof braces (F)
  • Four 1/8 x 1-1/2-inch laths, 8 feet long, for roof slats (G)
  • Two 1x4s, 8 feet long, for fasciae (H)
  • 1-inch cove molding, 16 feet long
  • 3/4-inch cove molding, 16 feet long
  • 3-inch-long deck screws
  • 1-1/4-inch-long deck screws
  • 4d galvanized finishing nails
  • One tube of silicone caulk
  • Four 5-inch-long lag screws


  • Four 1x2s, 12 feet long, for stringers (I)
  • Two 1x2s, 14 feet long, for lattice slats (J)
  • 1-1/4-inch-long deck screws
  • 6d galvanized finishing nails


  • One 1x3, 8 feet long, for gate rails (K)
  • One 1x3, 11 feet long, for gate stiles (L)
  • Four 1x2s, 10 feet long, for pickets (M)
  • 3-1/2-inch-long deck screws or 16d finishing nails
  • Exterior-grade wood glue
  • 1-1/4-inch-long deck screws
  • 3x3-inch butt hinges with screws


Elevated View of Arbor Plan
Download detailed plans.

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

2. Dig postholes to below frost line; pour 6 inches of crushed rock in each hole. Position each 4x4 post (A) in its posthole, and brace each plumb with 2x4 temporary supports fastened to stakes in the ground. Mix concrete and pour into each hole to ground level. Let set two or three days.

3. Span posts with 4x4 crossbeams (B), positioning them 1 1/2 inches from outer edges of posts. Lag-screw them into place. Install the 2x4 crossbraces (C) between the posts and toenail them into place with 4d galvanized finishing nails.

Front View of Arbor Plan
Arbor Elevation

4. Lay out one arch (D) on a 2x12, four feet long as shown in the Arbor Elevation. Cut it to shape with a jigsaw. Use this arch as a pattern to make the other three arches.

5. Position two opposing arches atop the posts and attach them to the crossbeams with 3-inch-long deck screws. Then screw the arch cap (E) in place. Repeat with the other arches. Install the 1x2 roof braces (F) between the arches (about every 6 inches on center) with 1-1/4-inch deck screws. Screw one end of each roof slat (G) to one crossbeam (B), then bend each slat over the roof braces, driving a 1-1/4-inch deck screw at each brace location; space roof slats about 6 inches apart.

6. Bevel ends of the 1 x 4 fasciae (H), cutting them to fit around the crossbeams. Miter the ends of the 1-inch and 3/4-inch cove moldings to fit around the fascia boards, and nail the moldings in place with 4d finishing nails. Seal spaces with caulk.

7. To make lattice panels, cut 1x2 lumber for lattice stringers (I) and lattice slats (J). To assemble each panel, place four stringers about 6 inches apart (on center) on a flat surface. Use a carpenter's square to keep ends square. Screw a slat to the stringers 6 inches from the bottom, then every 6 inches along stringers' entire length. Position the panels between the posts and nail the outermost stringers to the posts.

8. Cut four gate rails (K) 24 inches long and four gate stiles (L) 33 inches long. Use router or table saw to cut half-lap joints at the ends of the gate rails and stiles. Glue and screw the rails and stiles together. Measure and cut the 1x2 pickets (M) as shown in the Arbor Elevation; screw them to the rail- and-stile assembly. Install the hinges on an outer stile, then screw the hinges to the post, so bottom of gate is 8 inches above ground level.


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