A well-placed arbor is your garden's ultimate multitasker: It can serve as an entryway to an outdoor spot; frame a focal point, like a flowering shrub or garden shed; and, of course, take your beloved climbers to new heights. The go-to material for this project is rot-resistant cedar, though you can also make it from treated lumber.

This design takes advantage of a few simple shortcuts: The premade lattice is cut to size, the arches are formed from a double layer of 1x6s, and the posts are made from doubled-up 2x4s, so you don't have to buy (and notch) pricey 4x4 posts.

Just remember to use exterior-grade glues, fillers, and hardware to keep water and rust from spoiling your work. Pick up all the materials you need at most home centers, or if you're buying an arbor instead, check out our picks on the next page for some of the options on the market. Whether left unfinished or given a coat of paint, you'll love how this piece adds personality to your outdoor space.

Adding a gate creates privacy and gives the arbor more of an "entry" feel.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • drill
    • jigsaw
    • adjustable clamp

    Shopping List

    1. 1x6 cedar Get five 8-foot boards

    2. 2x4 cedar Get six 8-foot boards

    3. 2x2 cedar Get two 8-foot boards

    4. 1x1 cedar Get seven 8-foot lengths

    5. Cedar lattice Get one 4x8 sheet

    6. 1x4 cedar trim Get one 8-foot board7. -inch cedar hole plugs

    8. 1 ¼-inch trim head screws

    9. 2 ½-inch trim-head screws

    10. 3-inch trim-head screws

    11. Exterior wood glue

    12. Ground screws for 4x4 posts