Your average store-bought baby gate might be functional, but it’s probably not particularly attractive. This DIY baby gate, on the other hand, looks great while it keeps the little ones safe.
Courtney West of Our Alabama Life built the rustic, barn door style baby gate using fencing boards. She shows us how she made it in this step-by-step tutorial.
Rustic Saloon Door Style Baby Gate
When we moved into our new home, we knew we had a problem– our baby boy liked to play on the stairs.
We were in desperate need of a baby gate, but our experience with the pre-made plastic ones wasn’t too great. Add to that the fact that the plastic never matched our decor, and we decided to build our own.
The result was something that would both add value to our home and (hopefully) prevent a few broken bones from stair accidents.
Here’s how we built this DIY baby gate.
Step 1: Cut all your boards to size
Our stair width is 46⅞ in., so we used eight fence boards cut to 35 in. height. The hinges will need 1½ inches of space for the gate to swing.
Before cutting your wood, be sure to check your own stair measurements and adjust accordingly!
Step 2: Lay out the back boards
Make sure all the ends match up and are level.
Tip: If your measurements from corner to corner are equal, you know the baby gate is perfectly square!
Step 3: Secure your header and footer pieces
Secure the corner pieces first and then go back and place screws into each individual board.
We were gifted a Ryobi cordless drill from The Home Depot to use on this project. The Ryobi drill was extremely powerful, and the battery held up throughout the entire project.
Step 4: Build your X
Cut and secure the long board first, then the two shorter boards.
Step 5: Attach entire baby gate to the wall
Be sure that you are hitting studs in your wall—the drywall alone won’t hold the weight of the gate.
Note: We decided to put the whole, one-piece gate on the wall when we were adding our hinges. This turned out to be easier than it would have been if we had already cut the gate into two pieces and had to try to line everything up!
Step 6: Cut the gate in half
Remove the gate (leaving the hinges) and cut down the middle. Our middle hit right at 22-11/16 in. from each side.
Step 7: Stain the gate
Stain that baby!
Tip: Never shake wood stain with polyurethane. It causes bubbles to form in the stain, which would transfer to the wood. Use a stir stick to combine stain evenly before applying.
Step 8: Attach gate lock to the rear of the gate
We used three boards cut to 10¼ in. height and 2½ in. width for the support pieces.
The slide piece is 19 in. long and fence board width.
Step 9: Rehang the gate on the wall
Use the same hinge holes from Step 5.
Check to make sure both sides are level so that the gate will swing and lock correctly.
And that’s our DIY baby gate. We can relax now, knowing that our stairway is safe and secure for our little guy.