How to Build A Rustic Arbor

1 Material
3 Days

Here are a few pictures of roughly how to build a rustic arbor . I can give you the over all measurements .Most of everything else is done by eye .
First step is figuring out where you want to place the arbor .I always try to place things where I can get the best pictures later , sun set and sunrise .
Secondly the size of your arbor .
I built this arbor to be 7 feet square . I made a frame using 2x2 lumber .Once the frame is built I square it up measuring from corner to corner .Then add a brace to keep it square .
One I have it in place where I want it I dig a 6 inch hole in each inside corner of the frame .This way I am starting off with a square frame .
Once I have the 4 corner post in I plumb them up as straight as I can . The height of them are all random so I use a straight edge and level to mark and cut then all off at 8 ft high .
I have built 3 of these arbors so far .This one I decided to add a tower on the top . The main tower is 2 feet tall then add the gable ends 45 degree angle . I also use 2x2 lumber to keep everything square and plumb . All of the main frame is predrilled then I use 6 inch galvanized nails to put it together . I use 3 1/2 inch screws for the smaller branches and then 3 inch 16 gauge finish nails for the small pieces . Much easier if you have a finish nailer .
Once the main frame is done then it is just a matter of filling everything in .
A lot of the cuts are done by holding the piece in place where you want it then marking where to cut it . Its hard to get exact measurements when you are dealing with logs .
I added a 5 foot set of wind chimes to bring it to life :-)
Here are some finished pictures of the 3 different arbors .
Arbor number Two
Arbor Number Three !

Suggested materials:

  • Spruce or Pine branches , cedar will work too.

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Have a question about this project?

17 questions
  • Stephanie Schostak Metzgar
    on Jul 13, 2017

    Awesome job ! what kind of tree do you use to cut your wood from ?
  • Where can I get the branches, and what is the diameter of the branches, do they all have to be the same diameter? I Love it....
  • Nancy dennis
    on Jul 13, 2017

    how long do the logs used last, are they treated in some way to prevent rot or bugs?

  • Mindy
    on Jul 13, 2017

    These are beautiful...but do I spy bee hives in one picture? I would love to see some plans for those!!!

  • Mindy
    on Jul 13, 2017

    These are beautiful...but do I spy bee hives in one picture? I would love to see some plans for those!!!
  • Carolyn
    on Jul 13, 2017

    Would you be able to transport this?
  • Barby
    on Jul 13, 2017

    Do you have the plans and or instruction as to how to build the arbors. What a great idea.
  • Lynn Berry
    on Jul 13, 2017

    This is stunningly beautiful, but what happened to the tower in the last 3 pictures?
    • Marcy Dailey
      on Jul 13, 2017

      It says in the captions, arbor #1, #2 and #3.
    • Patty
      on Jul 13, 2017

      He built three different arbors.
    • Lynn Berry
      on Jul 13, 2017

      My bad - sorry I didn't see that. Thank you both for answering the question for me - God Bless you both :)
  • Tim Orr
    on Jul 13, 2017

    Did you put anything on the pine to keep it from rotting away in a few years? If so, what did you use?
    • Jewellmartin
      on Jul 15, 2017

      I would imagine the branches are not treated. This would not be a permanent structure, although, with the artistry involved, you might wish it were. When I was younger, several of our country churches would build rather large arbors for revival. They didn't have air conditioning in the summer, so the benches and songbooks and cardboard hand fans were taken to the arbor where some shade and a few breezes made daytime services possible. These three arbors look as if they are ready for a wedding. Best wishes 😇
  • Richard Jacobs Reiser
    on Jul 13, 2017

    where does one buy the pine logs?
    • John Looser
      on Jul 15, 2017

      I had a neighbour who cleared a bush and left all the tree tops behind so I cleaned up his mess and reused them for the arbors .
  • Diane Taylor Noel
    on Jul 13, 2017

    Do you need to anchor this anywhere to prevent it from blowing over with the strong winds or is it heavy enough by itself?
    • John Looser
      on Jul 15, 2017

      No anchors at all . They are in the ground 6 inches .They have never moved in 10 years .The wind blows right through them .
    • Diane Taylor Noel
      on Jul 15, 2017

      Great to know..thanks for sharing.
  • Brenda
    on Jul 14, 2017

    Molly said it all! You are an artist. Could you be commissioned to make more?
  • Mic24660445
    on Jul 15, 2017

    I love these but where do you get the tree branches to make them?
  • Susie
    on Jul 28, 2017

    Is that a tiny house I see in the background? Like it?
  • Lori Johnson
    on Aug 28, 2018

    where can you get tree branches that are so straight? I love the looks of all of them and the Border Collie gave it a homey feel, and my area of the country, (North Dakota), the snow does too.

  • Emmybel
    on Apr 10, 2019

    Wow! This is breathtakingly beautiful! Do you have to seal it or treat it with anything after finishing it?

  • Joanna
    on Jun 29, 2019

    Absolutely love them! So beautiful.

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