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10 Minute DIY Baby/Pet Gate

DIY Baby/Pet Gate

Goodness, where is the time going these days?! I’ve been meaning to get this post out for at least a week now…Christmas festivities keep taking priority, and of course I wouldn’t have it any other way.  But, without further ado, one of the easiest projects we’ve DIY’ed in a while…a baby/pet (pet in our case!) gate.

Since our darling babies are now 6 and 4 years old, I thought we were LONG past the need for baby gates.  It was a glorious feeling to move so freely from one room of the house to another, without the hazard of stepping over a gate.  Alas, that short window of time has ended.  I had a brief period of losing my mind, and agreed to get a dog.  (In all honesty, we have the sweetest dog on the planet so I really should not complain.)  But, we are back to needing gates in our house.

Let me just say, baby gates are expensive!  At least, if you are looking for the kind that can open and close easily and look halfway decent.  We purchased two from Babies R Us…and I think on sale we probably paid around $50 each.  Yuck.

About a month or so ago, we swapped a couple rooms on the first floor of our house (former playroom became office, former wasted space room became playroom).  The new playroom was off the front entry, and had a large opening that we needed to barricade.  French doors would have been a great solution EXCEPT they are pricey, and I didn’t really want to close the room off entirely.  And to buy a gate for that width??  Forget it!  So expensive, and I really didn’t even like the smaller ones we already had.

Enter my genius hubby.  I used to tease him about not being very handy, but I have to say…he’s really coming around.  He fabricated this DIY GATE (Baby or Pet…take your choice!) and it has worked out perfectly!  Best part?  It took a matter of minutes to build.  It’s also inexpensive to build.  And it looks nice.  Triple score!

Here is what you will need to complete this project:
1×4 pineboards (number of these will be based on size of the gate you are making!)
deck screws
hinges (I used these)
latch of choice
stain or paint- I used General Finishes Gel Stain in Java

We decided that we wanted our gates to be 36 inches tall, and measured the door opening to get the widths.  We have now built 3 custom gates for three spaces in our house.

We used our miter saw to cut the pine boards to size.  Then we laid everything out and determined the spacing for our slats.  (TIP- we used a board length in between because it made for simple measuring…just use a spare to space them out!)  I pre-drilled holes for the screws, then used the deck screws to connect.  We added hinges and stepped back to admire:

DIY Baby/Pet Gate

I opted to stain the gates for a more cohesive look with the rest of our house.  I had General Finishes Gel Stain left over from staining the pantry door, so that’s what I used.  

DIY Baby/Pet Gate

We built the initial gate and loved it so much that we have now replaced all those old white plastic gates in our home.  Even though I don’t love the idea of having gated rooms, the style of these gates make them much more tolerable! 

DIY Baby/Pet Gate

Moment of truth:  I still have to stain the two smaller gates.  It’s been on my to-do list for a couple of weeks now.  It keeps getting bumped by things like looking at Christmas lights, baking cookies, watching Frosty or Rudolph, or crafting with the kids.  There is always tomorrow, right?!

UPDATE June 2016:
I’ve had some questions about the hinge and how to install the gate.  I’ve taken a couple of close up pictures of the way I attached the hinges.  Hope this helps!  Please let me know if you have other questions!

DIY Baby/Pet GateDIY Baby/Pet Gate


Check out some of my other DIY builds:

Closet Turned Mudroom for Under $200!
DIY Closet to Mudroom for Under $200

DIY Headboard PlansDIY Headboard

How to DIY a Hall Storage Bench
DIY Hall Storage Bench

DIY Artwork Display Clips
DIY Artwork Display Clips


  1. Pam S says

    What a wonderful idea. You’re right, baby gates are expensive and for the most part ugly! Yours are so very attractive. Sort of gives one the impression that you’re entering a garden!

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  3. Linda says

    I love this! And I can make it, which is awesome…. I’m not seeing screws though. Are they on the back side?

  4. Great idea! Thanks for the inspiration!! It’s on the top of the “honey do list”!

  5. Lisa H says

    I am guessing the bottom pictured gate opens flush with the wall–is this so?

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  7. Jaime says

    I have been looking for a less complicated and inexpensive way to build my own gates. I have very large openings in my mobile home that these will work great in and also because of my disabled parents we have a ramp going to our front porch and no gate that will keep a toddler in the yard. These are perfect, safe, and cost effective. the best thing too is I can do it or even my 15 year old son who loves these types of wood working projects. Just one question what size screws did you use?

  8. Jessie says

    Hi! I love this gate- super cute!
    My husband and I have an open staircase (one side is a wall but the other side has no railing. We are looking for a temporary solution for while our baby is little. Got any suggestions? Thanks so much. Jessie

  9. Patty says

    Great, easy project! Please let readers know about safely spacing the slats, however. Kids turn into Houdini when they set their mind to it, and a space even a fraction of an inch too big could be tragic. Here is a great article that outlines the specifications.

    The stained look is a great touch, so the house doesn’t scream, “Toddler Zone!!”

  10. Diane says

    THANK YOU for this WONDERFUL IDEA!!!!! I used pressure treated lumber and screws for outside use and made a WONDERFUL deck gate for my dogs so they would not escape from me! I also put some decorations on the front so it would be more appealing for outside use!!!! GREAT IDEA! I had a Cheaper gate and it cost me $65 from a local store! I made 2 of these w/pressure treated lumber and a bit heavier screws and a deck latch for LESS then $80 for BOTH! And they Won’t rot out and are permanent gates! I’ve had LOTS of admirers along the way!!!! AWESOME!!!! IF you use it for permanent year round outside use, BE SURE YOU USE PRESSURE TREATED LUMBER AND THE RIGHT SCREWS!

  11. Diane says

    I made this for my outside but used pressure treated lumber! And the screws for outside stuff. It came out Awesome! I would like to thank you for this EASY gate to do!!!! I used a gate latch that I found has some give in it b/c the pressure treated lumber does shrink some…………..

  12. Lana says

    I’m having trouble figuring out how to hang the gate so it will lie flat against the wall when open. Any help would be appreciated!

  13. Diane S. says

    Try going to your local hardware store and speaking to someone in that dept. about the proper way to put the hinges on. I did ask someone in the store, which I don’t choose to mention, where I work. They gave me several suggestions as to how to do that so the gate will keep flat against the wall. On the one I made for the outside, I used a hook and eye to keep it open when I wanted it opened.
    I LOVE this gate soooo MUCH!!! and have had SEVERAL compliments on it!!!
    THANKS again for the MOST WONDERFUL idea and instructions on how to make it!

  14. Sarah A. says

    Question. There are so many different hinges to choose from. Some super expensive for gates, fences etc… Im wondering can you use Cabinet hinges? They are the ones that look the most similar to the type you used… Any idea what kind you used?

  15. DIANA says

    Love it!!!
    Just love it
    Just a quick question. What is the size of the screws?

  16. Ashley says

    How much space did you leave for clearance with opening? I figured taking an inch off the total width would give enough. What did you guys end up doing?

  17. Judy Blauer says

    We installed a similar gate at the top of our stairs when we were expecting a great grandbaby to visit frequently. As he learned to pull himself up, we used a carabiner in the locking hole on the latch. Works great. Now we don’t worry about the latch coming open and it is easy for adults to lock and unlock. Great Grandpa built a second gate for the baby’s new home, they love it.

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  19. Brandy Allbritton says

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have been trying to find an easy gate to make for the dogs. Regular baby gates are just an eye sore.

  20. CarolAnn says

    YOU ARE GENIUS! I plan on making this for the outside with appropriate wood. The barn door is good but, if you have a dog they want to look out. Thank you ever so much:)

  21. I have built a gate more or less exactly like these for my deck. I think it blends in really well there.
    You have to be careful not make the gate too heavy, as that will be hard for the hinges to support.
    Great post btw. 🙂

    • Amy Hefner says

      Agree. Made two of these (LOVE them) but the wood is a little heavy. So far the anchors in the wall to support has worked great, but unsure what the outcome will be when LO gets bigger and starts pulling on it. Great project, thank you for posting!!!

  22. Ashley says

    I can’t wait to make one of these but what size screws did you use to attach the hinges?
    Thank you

  23. Nikki says

    This works great as a pet gate! We used a magnetic latch. Discreet and hands free.

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  25. Kimberly Maykish says

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I need three gates for my granddaughter. I wanted attractive walk through so I can easily block the stairs with one hand. I was just about to buy the expensive, but ugly ones and saw your post. Can’t wait to get started. She will be crawling any day now.

  26. Valerie Mason Davis says

    Thanks Pam…we are in the process of adopting a mama dog & her puppy.
    Your blog came just in time! I had been checking on the prices for pet/ baby gates & got quite dismayed at the prices for the 4 we would need.
    Thanks again,

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  28. Eunice says

    Really love this and want to make one for our conservatory doorway to keep our great Dane in!! Only problem I’ve had with baby gate is that we don’t have a door frame, just boarded wall through an old chimney breast. Any suggestions for fixings that will hold the gates weight.?

  29. Jenafer says

    Thank you so much for sharing this! My fiancé is making this for our kitchen to keep the dog from eating the cats food while were out. And were adding a little kitty hole for her to get in and out 🙂 Its so annoying to take the gate in and out, sometimes multiple times a day. This is much easier and much prettier!

  30. Patty says

    Thank you for this simple idea. I currently use store bought gates that use tension to mount to the wall. My dog can bust through them at will, which has torn up the wall. This looks pretty inexpensive too!

  31. Eunice says

    This looks perfect for what I need, but, I have a problem! Mine is an opening between two rooms so no woodwork to attach! The wall is not very special either(more plaster board than anything I think!!!). Any suggestions?

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