Steps to build a bridge for your garden

The footbridge is a small wooden structure that connects two pieces of land. It can be used to increase the flow of water or to navigate your garden. While the curve of the bridge and angles may seem like you need a professional, our instructions make it easy to build your own bridge. These are the steps that will create a lovely garden bridge just beyond the gate.

how to build a garden bridge

Garden bridge Tools and  Materials: 


  • 2×12 hardwood for support stringer (for 2x12s)
  • Use (13) 2x6s hardwood for floor planks
  • Handrails: (1) 8′ treated pine post (4×4), cut into 6 32″ posts
  • To make an arch guide for stringer, bendable conduit measuring 25 inches in length
  • Any brand of exterior paint and stain
  • Stainless Steel Screws
  • Wood nails
  • A pencil


  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • An electric screwdriver
  • 1/4″ drill bit (drill), 1/2″ drill bit (drill)
  • Hammer
  • Planar wood
  • Brushes
  • Wood vices and clamps

1. Draw Arches on the 1st Support Board (Stringer).

To make pencil guides for the top and bottom arch forms, lay one of the 2×12 boards flat.

It is easy to make an archway that is straight. Place a guide nail at each end of the board. Next, attach the jars together using a plastic pipe. You can use the conduit as a template to draw the arch on your paper.

You should poke the log’s lower side with two nails. One 18 inches from its end. Next bend the conduit between the nails and then draw the lower arch onto wood.

First, you will need to cut the first archway. Next, use it as a guide. The 2nd archway is next.

Tip: Leave 18 inches between boards at the bottom. This will ensure that stringers can support bridge’ weight.

2. The Stringers are being cut, sanded and polished

You can create the top arch using a circular saw, followed by a series of straight cuts. A jigsaw works well for the bottom arch. Be careful not to damage the blade when you move slowly.

Place the stringer on top of the 2×12-board. Then, place the stringer on top of the second 2×12-board. Next, draw the arches using the guide. You can also cut the other board.

Next, clamp the stringers together. Then, use a wood plane or a sandpaper to smoothen any edges on your archway cuts.

White paint can be used on the stringer boards. We recommend using a paint that is meant for exterior surfaces. 

3. Drilling and cutting planks

Your hardwood 2x6s should be cut into 36-inch planks. Stringer boards should also be placed parallel to ground in order to allow for 2 inches of plank overhang.

Place a hardwood plank onto the frame. Use a cordless or hand drill to pre-drill 2 holes in each plank (all of the way to stringers below). To secure the frame, drive 2 stainless steel screws.

Place the second plank over the stringers. With a pencil from a carpenter, measure the space between each plank. To secure the plank, follow the same steps as before.

Continue to attach the boards to stringers until they are all in their place.

4. Attaching posts and handrails

You can use the two halves of the thicker posts to make rails or posts for your garden bridge. Again, we recommend using a paint and stain made for exterior products and built to stand weather. 

Let dry

Place the three third planks at the ends of the bridge.

Place one rail post at the time on the stringer board. Attach one rail post at a time to the stringer boards using a T Square. Finally, drill holes in the stringer board and attach them with wood screws.

Next, measure and cut the planks around rail posts. The planks should be returned to the bridge.

Install handrails that match the planks of the bridge. Two wood screws are used to attach the handrails on each post.

You’re done! Have lots of fun with your garden bridge. You can place it on any small creek, water feature or unevenly sloping area of your land. If you can take on a deck project you can do this too! 




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