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10 DIY Baby Gates You Can Construct Today (With Pictures)

little boy trying to climb a baby gate

A baby gate is a must-have as soon as your little one becomes mobile, whether crawling or taking wobbly steps. As much as you try, it’s sometimes difficult to keep a watchful eye on your child. Any parent with a toddler understands how quickly he or she can get into mischief. After all, there’s a good reason why all those safety products exist.

You’ll find plenty of manufactured baby gates that also act as double duty for pets. However, given its critical purpose, we understand why you may prefer a DIY item. It’s an option if you have a place to protect that doesn’t fit the standard sizes. We also get it if you want something that doesn’t look as stark and harsh as a store-bought gate. Let’s explore some baby-friendly options with a gentler approach.

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The 10 DIY Baby Gates You Can Construct Today

1. Fabric Baby Gate

Materials: Fabric, matching bias tape, heat-activated tape, sticky command strips, cord bundlers
Tools: Scissors, tape measure, iron
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This fabric baby gate scores high marks with us on several fronts. First, it’s softer than metal or wooden models. Children sometimes can fall against a barrier, hurting themselves in the process. The material removes that risk. It’s also more decorative. After all, you can use whatever fabric you want. You can make a gate to match your decor and make it seem less hostile. It’s also removable.


2. Simple Wooden Gate

Materials: Door latch, hinges, repurposed crib, spray paint, sandpaper
Tools: Drill, saw, tape measure, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Moderate

The simple design of this baby/pet gate stands out for that very reason. It looks good without screaming its purpose. You can paint it to match your room’s color scheme. It’s also a secure option if you use it to keep your dog out of certain places, although cats can scale it without a problem. The best things about it are being able to repurpose an unused item and adjust its height and width for your needs.


3. DIY Pallet Baby Gate

Materials: Palette, gate latch, handle, sandpaper, drywall screws, hinge, stain
Tools: Drill, miter saw, table saw, framing square, tape measure, foam brush
Difficulty Level: Moderate

We’re big fans of projects using old palettes. It’s an affordable material source that lends itself well to many items, including this DIY pallet baby gate. It works well in homes with farmhouse or country decor. While you must have some tools for the job, the wood is inexpensive. You can invest as much as you want in the hardware. It’s something for the experienced DIYer that won’t take too long to make.


4. Vertical Baby Gate

Materials: Pine boards, sandpaper, hinges, latch, paint
Tools: Drill, miter saw, tape measure, roller or paintbrush
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This DIY baby gate takes a vertical twist on this project. It eliminates concerns about a child or pet climbing over it. Some may also find the design more pleasing. You have some flexibility with it to make it a pleasing addition to your home. You can also paint it to match your color scheme. You can add a locking mechanism to make it even more secure.


5. Slatted Baby Gate

Materials: Wood, drywall anchors, drywall screws, hinge, latch, structural screws
Tools: Drill, miter saw, table saw, hammer, framers square, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This project is another riff on the horizontal plan with narrower spacing to eliminate a climbing risk, making it appropriate for keeping your pup in its place. It’s an attractive design that succeeds because it’s functional, too. We like it! You can paint or stain it to fit your decor. We prefer a light, warm stain that makes it a more welcome feature in a home.


6. Saloon Door Baby Gate

Materials: Screws, wood slats, stain, sandpaper, nails, hinges, lock
Tools: Miter saw, tape measure, nail gun or hammer, clamps
Difficulty Level: Advanced

If you really want to make your baby gate fancy, you’ll have to check out this saloon-style model. It gets the job done while making an attractive addition to your home. Functional doesn’t mean boring, which this project shows. Accuracy is a must-have trait to pull off this DIY gate. You can add more locks to keep the doors securely closed.


7. Solid Panel Baby Gate

Materials: Screws, latch, hinges, plywood, nails, drywall anchors, molding. paint
Tools: Miter saw, tape measure, circular saw, brad nailer, caulk, paintbrush or roller
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This DIY panel gate will secure the top and bottom with an adjustable height for optimal safety. It’s versatile since you can decorate it to match your decor and color scheme. It’s heavy duty, too, making it harder for pets or the little ones to push it open. You can take it to the next level by painting a design on the panel, which works well as a blank canvas.


8. Repurposed Headboard Gate

Materials: Headboard, screws, hook-and-eye latch, tube straps, sandpaper, hinges
Tools: Hacksaw, drill, tape measure, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Moderate

We love projects that repurpose unused items, like this headboard gate. It gives you a finished piece to use, making it a decorative option. Your work is limited to fitting it to size and installing the necessary hardware. If you have the rustic, farmhouse, or shabby chic decor, it will fit in well. You can cut it to size to fit your space.


9. DIY Sliding Gate

Materials: Slats, hinges, latch, drawer slide, wood glue
Tools: Tape measure, sandpaper, table saw, drill
Difficulty Level: Advanced

The problem with baby gates is them being in the way when you don’t need them. This DIY sliding gate solves that issue with a design that serves its purpose yet can push out of the way when you don’t want it. It’s still aesthetically pleasing while being functional. The project is more involved than many on our list. It’s more appropriate for the experienced DIYer.


10. Closing Baby Gate

Materials: Wood slats, hinges, latch, screws, sandpaper, hinges, latch, stain
Tools: Tape measure, sandpaper, table saw, drill, Kreg jig, paintbrush or roller
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This DIY project offers another take on a gate you can tuck out of the way when you don’t need it. That makes it more useful if it works for your space. It looks attractive even when pushed against a wall when not in use. You can use lumber or repurpose a pallet. Despite its functional purpose, decorative hardware and a good stain will make it a feature in your home.

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Final Thoughts

We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that no design is infallible. We suggest adding locking mechanisms to make them more secure. After all, sometimes pets and babies can figure out how to open a latch and defeat its purpose. However, we like the alternatives they offer to the old-fashioned pressure-mounted gates. We suggest checking the installation often to ensure it will keep your little one safe.


Featured Image Credit: Jep Gambardella, Pexels

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