Installing a safety gate is important if you have an energized little crawler at home.
But instead of buying an expensive one, you can easily learn how to DIY a baby gate for stairs following my tutorial. Even if you have basic woodworking skills, this plan for kids is an easy task for you.
You can save a lot of money and your little one too in this way.
This wood project is perfect for the stairs’ bottom, but you can assemble it anywhere, depending on the area to restrict for your joy bundle. So, follow along my easy stair gate plan!
Why Do You Need to DIY Baby Gate?
These two reasons are enough to convince anybody to start making their own baby gate:
- Safety: Baby gates can prevent troubles by blocking entry for babies to various home locations. These may be dangerous areas like the top and bottom of stairs, porches, rooms with delicate items, or kitchens and garages. When you make your own, it is right for any location you want.
- Setting Boundaries: Baby gates set safe zones where babies can play or move around freely. It gives you peace of mind even when not regularly supervising. When you learn how to DIY baby gates, it is in your hands to make as many as possible.
Features Of Our DIY Baby Gate
You shall learn to make a painted wooden baby gate that folds flat against the side wall of the stairs when we open it. It will be completed with two sections with a beautiful dowel railing design, one mounted to the wall. The black-and-white color scheme looks adorable. It is easy and quick, and even basic skills are great to start working on.
How To Make Baby Gate For Stairs?
Everybody can DIY a baby gate following the below instructions:
Step 1: Gather Supplies & Tools
Before you go to the market or look to scrap and toolbox, don’t forget to check this list of materials and tools needed:
- 1 x 2 pine – We used two 8-foot pieces.
- 3/8 inch wood dowels – Cut to the height of the gate you want to make (we used 13 per section dowel makes 2 pieces)
- 4 hinges – 2 decorative/heavy hinges to hold the gate to the wall & 2 smaller hinges to hold 2 gate sections together.
- Wood Paint
- Wood Glue
- 1×6 piece of fir wood
- Drill Bit & Drill – We used 3/8 inches.
- Screw Driver
- Stud finder
Step 2: Measure & Cut The Wood & Drill
Below are the guidelines for taking the right dimensions:
- You can keep the gate as tall as possible, but correct width measurement is necessary. For this, have a tape and measure from the side wall to the stair railing and note this reading. I found it 4 feet long.
- Since you will need two sections of baby gate, the width of each one will be half of the total stair space width. So, 2 feet for each in our case.
- I decided to keep my gate as tall as the width (2 feet).
How to Get the Right dowel spacing for a Homemade Baby Gate?
You will need some math for this. Just Divide the length of the top or bottom piece by the number of dowels to get the correct spacing value between each dowel. I made a small formula for you:
Dowel spacing = Length of bar / Number of dowels needed.
- For example, I needed 13 dowels for the top and bottom of each section, so,
- Dowel Spacing = 2 / 13
- 0.15 feet or 1.8 inches
But I shall leave some space for the thickness of the dowel and for attaching the side pieces. So, I modified it to 1.5 inches.
Spend time planning for appropriate measurements; when everything is done, this is the time to start cutting the boards. Below are instructions for cutting, drilling, and gluing:
For the repeat cuttings, you can use the previous borads as a template for the other.
- Take the saw and cut four pieces of 1 x 2 pine wood from each 8-foot bar (out of 2!) for each section. So, a total of 8 pieces will be needed for both sections.
- Attach the 3/8 inch drill bit to the electric drill and make holes (at least 1/4 inch deep) in the marked points of the upper and lower pieces of your 1 x 2 pieces at the desired distance for dowels.
- Cut dowels to the height you want, leaving 1/4 inch on top & bottom to glue into upper and lower rails.
Step 3: Assemble The Gate
It’s time to make the proper frame for the gate; here is how:
- On the bottom rail, fill holes with 1/8 inch of wood glue (don’t overfill)
- Insert dowels in the bottom rail -twisting tight.
- Put 1/8 inch wood glue in the holes of the upper rail.
- Lay everything down flat and carefully insert the dowels into the upper rail.
- Drill and screw 1×2 side pieces to the ends of the upper and bottom to make the sides to the top and bottom to complete the frame.
- Do the same for the other section.
Step 4: Paint The Gate & Hinges
Before you paint the gate sections, it is better to sand using the sand paper or orbital snader and clean the dirt.
- I painted my gate in the shade of my side wall and the hinges in black. However, you can choose your favorite ones.
- After the first coat, let the sections dry for 6-8 hours. If you want another coat, you must wait 24 hours if you use the oil paint. For the latex paints, you can try a second coat in only 4 hours.
Step 5: Attach Sections Together
At that time, everything should be dried; nobody wants their hands to stick to the paint. Because the DIY baby gate folds in on itself and is flat against the wall, it’s mounted a few stairs up, which works fine for us, but if you’d rather have one on the bottom step, you’d need to adjust the plan.
Use small hinges to connect the two gate sections in the center. For this,
- Place the two sections together.
- Take the hinge and place one leaf on the first and the second one on the side of the second section.
- Mark all four holes with a pencil and drill the holes.
- Again place the hinge and screw on the sections.
- Do the same for the bottom place to attach one more hinge.
Step 6: Install The Gate
Where Should I Install The DIY Baby Gates?
We are designing this DIY baby gate for stairs (use either for top & bottom!). It shall prevent my baby from climbing or falling down the stairs. It is a common cause of accidents in homes. However, you can install it anywhere with precise measurements depending on the need. Like,
- The kitchen area to prevent possible threats like hot stoves, knives, and chemicals.
- Bathrooms are used to keep infants away from water hazards and cleaning supplies.
- Fireplaces to avoid burns.
- Home Workspace where small office items a baby could swallow.
- You can also use a baby gate in outdoor areas like a doorway, stairs, hallway, etc.
Below are the instructions to install the baby gate you made:
- Take the fir wood 1 x 6 and cut your app. 20 inches long. It may need to be cut at an angle to fit the stairs.
- Locate the stud using the stud locator and anchor the 1×6 to the stud
- Paint the 1×6 the wall color
- Use the decorative hinges on one end of the completed gate section
Now mount the other side of the decorative hinges to the 1×6 on the wall.
You can try on for size before paint it and then took off the hinges and paint the gate – then install again when the paint is dried!
Step 7: Secure the Gate
You can use a long lock that passes through the gate and the railing of the stairs.
A quick project that works great!
Have a productive day.
Which Way Should the Baby Gate Open?
The baby gate should swing or open backward or opposite to the baby’s movement. For example, if you install the baby gate at the top of the stairs, the gate should not open towards the stairs. Otherwise, the baby may fall.
Do baby gates damage walls?
They actually do not if you attach fir wood using a stud locator and then the door’s hinges on the wood.