When it comes to wedding planning, a lot of brides are taking the DIY approach. If you are planning a wedding, designing your own décor can help save a lot of money. For example, consider constructing your own arbor for some added personality and flair.

Approximately 29% of all weddings take place outdoors, thus proving the popularity of the idea. Considering that the majority of weddings take place in June, it makes sense that outdoor weddings are all the rage.

Arbors often serve as a great focal point, particularly for you and your sweetheart to stand under while you exchange your vows. And what better way to add some flair than to create an arbor out of repurposed French doors? The good news is that constructing an arbor is easier than it seems.

Materials Needed

In order to construct your arbor, you will need the following materials:

  • 2 sturdy French doors
  • Tools: circular saw, jigsaw, chisel, nail gun or hammer, 1/8" drill bit, 1/2" drill bit
  • Paint supplies (optional): exterior paint, primer, paint roller, paint pan, paint brush
  • Florals or greenery (optional)
  • 2 1/2" wood screws
  • Measuring tape
  • Four 2' x 6' wood planks
  • Four 12" long pieces of rebar
  • Wood glue
  • Pencil
  • One box of finishing nails or wood nails

Once you have all of your materials in hand, you are ready to begin working on your French door arbor.

Step 1: Prepare Your Door

If your French doors are fairly intact, decide if you would like to leave the window panes in place or remove them. If the doors are missing any of the window panes, it is highly recommended that you remove them. Make sure you measure your door panels to determine exactly how wide they are as part of your prep work.

Step 2: Add Reinforcement

Drill holes at the bottom of each door panel using the 1/2" drill bit. Measure 4" in from each end of the door and drill the holes approximately 6" deep. Add a piece of rebar to each hole. Hammer the rebar so that it fits securely in the holes for additional reinforcement.

Step 3: Measure Width

Figure out the width of your arbor by standing each door panel up across from one another. Have friends or relatives assist you in holding the door panels up so you can step back and eyeball the width of the arbor. Once you have the width in place, write down your measurement and tuck it away for future reference. You will also need to measure the thickness of each door panel.

Step 4: Notch Your Planks

On the 2' x 6' planks you have, use a tape measure and a pencil to mark the thickness of your door. Make sure you leave at least an inch of overhang on each side of the plank when you pencil in your markings. Using the jigsaw, cut the notches you have marked. Use your hammer and wood chisel to remove as much of the wood as necessary.

Step 5: Attach the Top

Attach your notched planks to the top of your door and make sure you space them out evenly for a more pleasing look. Secure the planks in place using wood glue and a hammer. Once you have you have placed your strip of wood glue, use the hammer to gently tap the planks down onto the door. Use finishing nails or wood nails to ensure the the arbor tops stay in place.

Step 6: (Optional) Add Decorative Features

Using your jig saw, cut half circles out of the ends of each of your 2' x 6' arbor tops. Although this step is not necessary, the angled ends of the tops will add more visual appeal to your DIY arbor. Decide whether you want to leave your arbor as is of if you would rather paint or stain it. Finally, add greenery and other fake florals to your arbor in order to create a more dramatic appearance for your big day.

If you are having trouble tracking down French doors to use for your DIY arbor, contact French door retailers near you. Ask if they have any defective or broken doors that you might be able to purchase at a fraction of the price to use for your wedding arbor project. Look at this web-site for more information. 

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