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10 Free DIY Stair Railings You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

indoor wooden staircase railings

Stair railings are effective safety devices, but that doesn’t mean they have to be drab or expensive. There are tons of ways to craft your own stair railings from widely available materials. You’ll need some tools too, of course. Let’s dive into how you can make your own stylish stair railings below.

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The 10 DIY Stair Railings

1. Cable Railing by Buy Railings

Cable Railing
Image By: Buy Railings
Difficulty: Beginner
What you’ll need: Cable, metal posts, drill, hammer, cable cutters, adjustable wrench

Cable railing is one of the most affordable ways to guard an elevated area, but it can be used to great effect for stairs too. Expensive load-bearing cables are available if you want to emulate a big-city loft, but you can find basic kits online for reasonable prices. You’ll only need a few basic hand tools to get the job done, which makes it one of the easiest DIY railings you can install.

2. Modern Farmhouse Railing by Ana White

Modern Farmhouse Railing
Image By: Ana White
Difficulty: Intermediate
What you’ll need: 2x4s, lag screws, drill, saw, tape measure

One of the easiest ways to add a railing to a stairway is to simply take some wood and make your own. You cut regular 2x4s into long, thin 48-inch boards to form the balusters, posts, and railing for your stairs. It’s deceptively straightforward but does require some power tools and woodworking. Adapt this plan for nearly any open stairway that could use a handrail. It’s classic and safe.

3. Galvanized Pipe Handrail by Smiedendipity

Galvanized Pipe Handrail
Image Credit: Smiedendipity
Difficulty: Intermediate
What you’ll need: Galvanized steel pipe, floor flanges, fittings, spray paint, construction screws, drill

This unique handrail is cobbled together from industrial-looking galvanized steel pipe, flanges, and a handful of fittings. The fittings help the pipe secure to the flanges, requiring no metal cutting. The plan was specifically designed for tall, narrow stairways, but it could be adapted to fit any type of stairs. As for the spray paint, use any color that states it’s good for galvanized steel.

4. Wrought Iron Spindles by The Lady DIY

Wrought Iron Spindles
Image Credit: The Lady DIY
Difficulty: Intermediate
What you’ll need: Wrought iron spindles, wrought iron baluster shoes, hot glue gun with glue, saw with metal cutting blade

If you don’t mind cutting metal and want to add a Victorian touch to your existing stairway, try updating the railing with wrought iron spindles. They’re typically compatible with wood or metal railings, and you can find spindles in various styles and colors. There are also hollow, twisting, curving, and tons of other aesthetic choices. Once you’ve decided on the style and design of your spindles, the work itself to update the railing is doable in an afternoon.

5. Rebar Railing by Old World Garden Farms

Rebar Railing
Image Credit: Old World Garden Farms
Difficulty: Expert
What you’ll need: Metal rebar, 2×6 pine boards, circular saw, drill, impact wrench, wood screws, spade drill bit

For a rustic look, take some pine boards and rebar and make this wood-and-metal railing today. It uses inexpensive 2×6 pine wood and widely available rebar. You’ll need to hollow out spaces for the rebar balusters to fit in the railing, and while the plan has wide gaps, you can customize your baluster spacing as desired. This plan is the most involved on our list, requiring a wide range of tools.

6. Modern Horizontal DIY Stair Railings by Clark and Aldine

DIY stair railings
Image Credit: Clark and Aldine
Difficulty: Intermediate
What you’ll need: Miter saw, drill, level, tape measure, rotary sander, lumber, wood glue, construction screws, wood filler

If you have stairs in your home, you may be thinking about spicing things up and changing the railing. Consider building this modern horizontal DIY stair railing. This intermediate project will require you to have various tools, such as a miter saw, drill, and rotary sander. The creator has provided detailed explanations on how to make this stair railing, so as long as you stick to the plan, you shouldn’t have issues executing it.

This project is quite affordable, so your finished stair railing will look beautiful and modern, and you won’t break the bank.

7. DIY Customizable Stair Railing by The DIY Plan

DIY stair railings
Image Credit: The DIY Plan
Difficulty: Advanced
What you’ll need: Tape measure, drill, miter saw, table saw, nail gun, Kreg jig, sander, wood router, lumber of choice, pocket hole screws, wood glue, brad nails, wood screws

An affordable way to create a stunning stair railing is to get creative and make it yourself. If you want to improve your home aesthetics and make your staircase more beautiful and functional, be sure to check out this DIY customizable stair railing plan.

This is a customizable plan, so you can create a different configuration for your railing than the one given, but you’ll still need to follow the overall concept of the original plan.

This project is advanced, so you’ll need to have excellent woodworking skills. It may also take a couple of days to complete, so get help if you want the project done quicker.

8. Affordable & Stylish DIY Stair Railing by April Colleen

DIY stair railings
Image Credit: April Colleen
Difficulty: Advanced
What you’ll need: Table saw/circular saw/jig saw, router, wood boards, drill, angler, screws

If you are on a budget but want to make the stairs in your home more beautiful, consider building this affordable and stylish DIY stair railing. Although this is an advanced plan, the creator of this plan went above and beyond to explain even the smallest details to make the building easier.

This project might take several days to complete, but the finished stair railing shouldn’t cost you more than a couple hundred dollars.

9. Trendy DIY Stair Railing by I Like To Make Stuff

Difficulty: Advanced
What you’ll need: Wood boards, miter saw, circular saw, table saw, pencil, tape measure, angler, drill, hammer, screws

Stairs can be a big part of home décor, which is why it’s important for them to look nice and have stylish railings. However, modern-looking stair railings typically cost a great deal of money. But if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a staircase railing, you can still build yourself one.

Check out this fantastic trendy DIY stair railing plan. The creator explains how to make this stylish railing from scratch, so all you have to do is follow their instructions.

10. Funky & Modern DIY Stair Railing by Mech Master

Difficulty: Intermediate
What you’ll need: Angler, drill, hammer, level, nail gun, wood screws, welding machine, steel pipes

If you want to touch up your home and make it more aesthetically pleasing, you may want to replace your stair railing. Buying a new railing can be expensive, so people with woodworking skills can choose to build an affordable yet beautiful stair railing themselves.

The creator of this plan took the time to thoroughly explain how to make this funky and modern DIY stair railing. This intermediate project doesn’t require too many tools and materials, though you’ll need to know how to weld or have someone weld the steel pipes for you.

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The railing on a stairway can completely change its appearance while helping guide you up and down the steps. From relatively simple cable railings to more complex galvanized pipe railings, there’s a plan on this list for nearly anyone.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay, Pexels


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