My fiancé and I really wanted a big wooden arch or arbor for our wedding in the fall – but looking around at pricing, we knew we were NOT going to spend $200 or more to have one when we could easily make it ourselves. We spent about $70 at Home Depot and this turned out so amazing! I can’t wait to have it up there at the altar for our big day 😉 And knowing that WE made it together will make it even more special! I mean, he did most of the work and I just took notes and asked questions and probably bugged him more than I helped, BUT we did make it together 😉
Finished measurements are –
Height: 88 inches
Width: 90 inches
Depth: 48 inches
For this project you will need:
- two 10-foot 2″ x 4″ boards
- two 10-foot 2″ x 6″ boards
- three 8-foot 2″ x 6″ boards
- screws (we used these)
- stain or paint (we used this)
- a circular saw or hand saw and/or a mitre saw
- tape measure
Start by laying out your wood so you can get a good idea of what you’re going to be doing.
The two 10-foot 2″ x 6″ boards are the horizontal top pieces.
On the two 10-foot 2″ x 6″ boards, mark 20″ in from each end.
Then, mark 10 1/2″ in from the ends.
Using a straight edge, draw a line from the end of the board to the opposite side of the board at the 10 1/2″ mark (as illustrated below).
*When you draw your lines for the angled edges of the top piece – make sure you draw your angles opposite of each other so the ends point out. You don’t want to end up with the angled ends both going the same way – you want them pointing out, opposite of each other. And remember to always double-check your lines before you cut 😉 As the saying goes – measure twice, cut once 😉
Now cut along the line to make the angled edges of the top boards.
Once you have cut all four angled ends, set those boards aside.
Now, we’re going to move on to the vertical side pieces.
Cut the two 8-foot 2″ x 6″ pieces down to 86″ tall.
Now, layer the boards to put together for the top part.
Start by laying down one of the top angle pieces.
Then, lay down the vertical pieces on top of the angled horizontal piece, lining them up with the 20″ line we made back at the beginning of this process, and squaring them up.
(Be sure to place them inside of the 20″ line so that the space between the angle and the vertical piece is about 4″).
Screw them into place, making sure not to inset the screws too much – you don’t want the sharp ends coming through the other side.
Screw in both vertical pieces onto the horizontal angled piece.
Now, place the other horizontal angled board atop the boards you just screwed together.
You’re going to screw these boards together.
*Here’s a tip to make sure you don’t screw into the other screws . . . if you screwed the last ones in at the corners, do these ones in a North, South, East, West pattern. Or vice versa if you screwed the first ones in at N, S, E, W pattern 😉
Since we layered our boards and screwed as we went, the front of the arbor won’t show any screwheads. I love that – I wanted my arbor to be rustic but I still didn’t want to see a bunch of shiny screwheads all over it. (My guy is so smart).
Now, moving on to the base pieces.
Using the remaining 8-foot 2″ x 6″ board, cut it in half for the base pieces of the arbor.
Mark the center of the base boards so you know where to screw it in to the vertical pieces.
Screw the base pieces to the bottom of the vertical boards. (This works best if you put your screws in the base piece before you screw them into the vertical board). Make sure you get the screws in all the way so your base pieces sit flat.
Once you have the base pieces screwed on, it’s time to move onto the angled brace pieces!
For these, you will need to cut 4 angled pieces (2 per side) from the 10-foot 2″ x 4″ board.
Start by cutting 4 pieces – each one 28″ long.
Then, using a mitre saw, cut in a 45 degree angle on each end on the flat side of the wood.
Now, toenail the screw into the base pieces so they’re nice and secure. If you don’t know how to do that, this video explains it quickly and easily (shoutout to my love for doing this for me!).
Both bases should now be complete!
Now we’re going to move on to the angled braces at the top of the arbor.
If you don’t want these pieces here, you could totally skip them. But, personally, I love the way they look up there and I think they’ll be perfect for when I wrap some fabric and greenery around the top of the arbor.
For these pieces, you’re going to use the 2″ x 4″ board and cut two pieces that are 28″ long.
Cut them at a 45 degree angle as pictured below. On the other end of the board, cut the angle the opposite way.
Then, measure 17 1/2″ down from the bottom of the horizontal piece on the top and mark it on your vertical board.
This brace piece is going to be flush with the vertical piece but pushed up snug between the top two pieces of the arbor.
Toenail the board in (from the back so no screwheads are visible). Add a screw at the top in the horizontal board (once again, make sure it’s from the back so no screwheads are seen).
Your arbor is completely constructed! Yay! Now step back and look it over 😉
If you’re going to paint or stain your arbor, now is the time.
We used this Minwax Espresso stain – we left it on for about 3-4 minutes before wiping it off. We were working in over 100 degree temperatures and barely any humidity so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t on there too long. (Make sure you follow the directions on the can).