We have two flights of stairs in our house, and when our son started crawling, he quickly figured out how to scale them. So, we knew we needed to get some baby gates up ASAP.
I had previously hoarded a stack of old pallets just for projects like these. You never know when you need some old reclaimed wood, right? I researched a bit online and found that you need to make sure to use clean pallets marked with an “H” (for heat-treated), instead of pallets that have been chemically treated for health and safety reasons.
We cut across the top and bottom boards of the pallets at each end with a circular saw (it was easier than trying to pry them off at every nail), and then pryed out the boards that were left attached in the middle. Once we had the boards cut, we sanded down each one on every side until they were smooth. No splinters!
We measured the width of our staircase, so we would know how wide our gates needed to be. Then we laid out a top and bottom board horizontally for a header and footer (cut to our staircase width), and attached each vertical board to them with a nail gun. According to safety guidelines, they should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Then, we attached another header and footer board on the other side, sandwiching the vertical boards in between.
To finish it off, we covered the gate with a good coat of Minwax Water Based Polycrylic.
After it dried, we hung it up with black hinges and screws we bought at our local hardware store similar to these.
We chose a black latch that is super easy to use like this one.
We had to mount it to a small piece of wood on our wall because of our fireplace, but you can skip this step if you have a wall to mount it on.
The most important thing to remember when hanging a gate up is to be sure and mount it in a stud. Also, it should be no more than 2-3 inches off of the ground, so your little one doesn’t slide underneath.
We’ve been using our DIY gates for a while now, and they are life-savers for sure. We love the way they look, how easy they are to use, and how inexpensive they were to make. This is one project I’m very happy that we decided to do ourselves.
Thanks for stopping by!