Make Your Own Barn Door-Style Stair Gate

Believe it or not, this safe baby or pet gate is a DIY project. With our helpful tips, you can build one, too!

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All parents know about the inevitable, but unsightly, baby gate. Crucial when toddlers are taking their first steps, safety gates reassure that little feet won't go tumbling down the stairs or wandering into the wrong rooms. But just because they're a safety necessity doesn't mean they can't be stylish. This DIY baby gate actually looks like a statement feature in your home. The unique barn door facade keeps baby safe without disrupting your decor. These are great for keeping pets wrangled, too! 

Note: This gate is designed for a stair base with posts on both sides. This project can accommodate any hallway or staircase opening up to 48 inches.

This project is part of our home safety series Safe & Sound Home, hosted by style expert Emily Henderson. Check out all the videos for more stylish safety ideas for every room in your home.

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Tools

  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Framing square
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Sander block
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint and paintbrush

Materials

  • 1x3x48-inch pine board (actual width is 3-1/2 inches)
  • (4) 1x6x72-inch pine boards  (actual width is 5-1/2 inches)
  • 1x4x72-inch pine lumbers (actual width is 3-1/2 inches)
  • 48x96-inch bead board
  • (1 box) 1-1/4-inch drywall screws
  • Wood glue
  • 2 extra-heavy gate hinges
  • Gate latch
  • Extra long zip ties (20 inches)

Cut List

We reccommend cutting as you go to ensure the right fit. Sand rough edges as you cut. 

  • 1 cap — 1x3x35 inches
  • 2 short cross braces — 1x6x14-3/4 inches
  • 1 full cross brace — 1x6x33-1/2 inches
  • 2 front stiles — 1x6x24 inches
  • 2 back stiles — 1x4x35 inches
  • 2 front rails — 1x6x35 inches
  • 2 bead board panels — 35x28 inches
  • 2 mounting braces — 1x6x35-3/4 inches

Step 1

Attach back stiles to front rails. Glue and screw through back stiles. 

Step 2

Flip over and attach front stiles. Glue and screw through back stiles. 

Step 3

Flip over again so that front rails and stiles are facing downward. Set long brace under assembly with one edge in one corner and the opposite edge in the opposite corner. Mark with pencil where they overlap. This will be your cut line. Line up miter saw to match angle of line. 

Step 4

Leaving long brace in place, repeat Step 3 to cut short braces to fit. 

Step 5

Make sure back stiles are facing up and angle braces are in place. Cut bead board panels to fit inside the back stiles. Place the first panel face down and cover with glue. Place second in place face up. Screw from panels in place. Make sure to screw into the front rails, stiles, and all angle braces. 

Step 6

Attach top cap with glue and screws.

Step 7

Attach mounting braces to door jam. Attach hinges and latch. Drill two 1/4-inch holes in the top and bottom of each mounting brace. Thread zip ties through holes to attach gate to stair posts. 

Step 8

Before setting the assembly up to the wall, prime and paint with a color of your choice. 

3 DIY Ways to Make Your Home Pet-Safe

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