DIY Baby Gate

Made by Mitch
by Made by Mitch
11 Materials
4 Hours
This is an extremely simple baby gate that can be made in a day! So my son has just recently started to crawl. We have a split level entry home and he has started to find interest in the stairs. This means it was time to put up a baby gate. I wanted to make one instead of buy one for a few reasons. 1) It is cheaper 2) It looks way better 3) I love having an excuse to make something. The gate we chose to make was extremely simple. We only needed a few pieces of lumber, screws, a couple hinges, and a latch and we were in business.
Measuring where the gate would go.
This is a simple gate that you could change and customize to work for your space. The first thing I needed to do was measure the space that the gate would be installed. I wanted it to fit a certain way. Determine how tall you want it, how wide the space is, and which way you want the gate to swing. I will say that if you have a gate at the top of a set of stairs, you may not want the gate to swing towards the steps, especially with kids. If the gate would swing open over the steps and it was a baby, it would be bad. Think through all of this and give yourself a bit of a plan to know how to make your cuts.

After you have the overall size of the gate established, you can cut all your boards. This is very easy for this project. You will just need two horizontal boards and six vertical boards. My gate was 32” wide and 29” tall. For the repeat cuts, I used one of the boards as a template so all the boards would be cut the same size and I didn't have to keep measuring each one.
You can now layout the gate for assembly. Depending on how wide your gate is will determine how far apart your boards need to be spaced. Mine were spaced roughly 2.5 inches apart. What i did to find the spacing is find the centerline of the horizontal board and measure out from the center each way so I knew it was even. After everything is spaced, pre drill and add screws at where the boards overlap. I screwed in from each side of the gate with 1 ¼ inch screws. Make sure when you do this you are using a square so your boards don’t start to get out of alignment.
Once the gate was assembled, I took it to the steps where I would be hanging it just to be sure all my measurements were correct, then I sanded the gate with a random orbital sander but to 220 grit. I then applied one coat of Dark Walnut stain from Minwax. After that dried I applied two coats of spray shellac.One thing I did that I did not mention was I cut and finished two extra boards to hand the gate with.
I am sure each situation might be a little different when it comes to installing the gate. It depends on where, what you have to fasted to, and the size of your particular gate. For mine, I attached the two extra boards to the wall. On these boards I would attach the hinges to hang the gate. The first board I attached, I had to cut off to account for the trim. To do this I just set the board where it would be and marked what I needed to cut off.
After the boards were up, I used a straight edge to hang the hinges making sure they were level and spaced how I wanted them. I attached the hinges to the wall first. I then added a board under the gate to lift it off the ground ¾” and then attached the hinges to the gate.

Once the gate was hanging I could install the latch for the gate. I added a small piece of board to the gate where I attached part of the latch to. I did this so the gate would be in the correct position and close properly. Again, this is something you have to consider for your situation.
I attached the other part of the latch to the corner post of the stair rail. After doing this the gate was complete.
Thank you very much for checking this out. I hope it is useful for you. Check out the video to see me during this whole process. You can also follow me around the web!
Twitter - @made_by_mitch
Instagram - @made_by_mitch

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Made by Mitch
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Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Melinda Boyd Melinda Boyd on May 21, 2018

    This is beautiful! Great job! I have a quick question though. Wouldn't it be a good idea to add a cross brace to keep your gate from sagging over time?

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on May 10, 2019

    It's beautiful, functional and matches the space. That's terrific! But - wouldn't it be much safer to have the latch only be accessible on the backside of the gate? My youngest would have figured out how to open the gate in about 2 days.

  • Debra Debra on May 18, 2019

    Not going to criticize you. I think you did a wonderful job and not many Dads would take the time to do this so his son is protected. Great job Daddy.

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