Turn An Old Ladder Into A Garden Arbor

What You'll Need
Two old eight foot ladders
2 by 4 lumber
1 by 2 slats
Galvanized wood screws
Sander with 80 grit sandpaper
Quick dry cement

A garden arbor is a beautiful addition to any landscaping project. If you want to provide your garden with a picturesque entryway, or a way to shade your seating area, a garden arbor is the perfect choice.

This is a great do-it-yourself project and can be completed in a weekend. One of the greatest things about building a garden arbor is that you are not locked into any set rules, design or material. If it fits into your landscaping, you can build your arbor out of anything. An old ladder is something that can be used very quickly to build your arbor.

Step One - Clean up Old Ladders

Using old ladders is a great way to have half of your garden arbor already built for you. However, the ladders will need to be cleaned up and fixed a little before you can put them to use.

Give the ladders a light sanding with the 80 grit sandpaper to clean off the dirt and grime. You will also be removing a layer of the discoloration and smoothing it out to keep it clear of any slivers.

Step Two - Set Ladders in Ground

The two ladders are going to serve as the sides of your arbor. They will need to be set in the ground to give them a firm foundation. Dig a small hole for each side of the ladder to a depth of the first rung. Set the holes 6 feet away from each other on each side of your arbor. Set the ladders in the hole and attach 2 by 4s to them as braces to keep them vertical. Use a level to make sure they are straight and pour enough quick dry cement to cover the ground to just below the first rung. Trowel it off until it is smooth and let dry.

Step Three - Build Top of Arbor

Once the cement has dried, usually in a few hours to a day, you can then take the braces off and build the top of the arbor. Cut one 2 by 4 to a length of 6 feet and span it across the top of one ladder to the other. Predrill a hole into the top of the ladder to accept the screw and attach the 2 by 4 beam. Do the same with the other side.

Step Four - Add Cross Slats

Cut the 1 by 2 slats to the size in between the two 2 by 4 beams. Attach with wood screws every 10 inches across to the other side.

Step Five - Paint New Arbor

Once you have everything attached and secure, you can add two coats of exterior grade paint to protect your new garden arbor from the weather conditions.