DIY Barn Door Baby Gate


Today I wanted to share with you our plans that we can up with for a safety issue we currently have in our new place.  We have a set of steep stairs that we wanted the keep our girls from playing on, so they wouldn’t fall and get hurt.

The other day I thought that It would be awesome to build our own baby gate for stairs.  Baby gates are not cheap and it’s hard to find one that would fit our exact needs.  So, I decide that I would just design and build one.

I sketched a plan to show Cassity and she immediately fell in love (like the first time she saw me! ha. ha).  I love it when she falls in love with my designs.  I am really excited too, because I know that many other people would benefit from having a way to build their own baby gate for stairs and any other place you would want to keep kids out.

Thanks to True Value we were able to get all the supplies that we needed for the job.  The design of the gate plays off of the rustic look.  We wanted it to be like a barn door and have a really rustic feel with some country charm.  The hardware that we purchased is hardware that you would use on an exterior gate, but (NOW)you can use it indoors as well.

Everyone likes free money right?  I’m sure that your list is as big as mine and you could use some extra cash to get some of those projects done.  So True Value wants to give you a chance to win a $100 True Value Gift certificate.  How cool is that?! Enter Below!

And here are the gate plans so that you can build you own barn door baby gate for stairs.  Keep those kiddos safe and have fun building!

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate

(And learn to turn this baby gate in to a full Dutch door following this tutorial)

Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs 5

List of Tools:

  • table saw (for ripping cap to 2 1/4”, you could use a 1×3 if you don’t have a table saw)
  • miter saw (for cutting the lumber to length and the angles)
  • drill
  • utility knife (for shaving edges of pine boards)
  • framing square
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • sander block
  • sand paper
  • 4” foam brush
  • old rag

Important Notes:

  • This gate was designed for a 35 1/4” opening.  The width of the opening where the gate is needed will determine the width of the gate.  Generally you want your gate to be 1/2” to 3/4” less wide than the door opening. This will allow it to swing freely and give room for hinges.
  • I used pine boards with lots of character for a good rustic look. But you can use any material you like
  • After all the pieces were cut the length, I used a utility knife to shave off the factory edge on all corners.  By doing this it will give the wood a more hand carved look.  After shaving off the edge use a sanding block to soften the edges from any slivers.
  • All pine wood used is 3/4” thick.
  • All dimensions are finished dimensions .
  • All screws in this gate were drilled in through the back stiles.  This made it look better on the side with the cross x to not show any screws.
  • For additional support, wood glue can be applied in-between all the wood joints where screws are used.
  • The angles listed on the cut list are for quick reference only and are approximate.  You will need to make proper measurements to ensure the proper angles especially if your gate is not the exact same size.

List of Materials:

    • (2) 1x6x96 pine boards (actual width is 5 1/2”)
    • (6) 1x4x96 pine lumbers (actual width is 3 1/2”)
    • (1 box) 1 1/4” drywall screws (I decided to use screws, because it pulled the two pieces together nice and tight.)
    • Wood glue
    • Wood stain of your choice (I used Minwax water based staina nd had it mixed to a gray color)
    • Extra Heavy Gate Hinge
  • Gate latch (the gate latch that I used requires a hole drilled in the door frame.)
  • Handel (pull)

Cut List:

  • (1) Cap – 35” x 2 1/4” x 3/4”
  • (2) Short Cross Braces  –~14 13/16” x 5 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (1) Full Cross Brace – 33 5/8” x 5 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (2) Front Stiles – ~24 3/16” x 5 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (10) Back Stiles – 35” x 3 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (2) Front Rails – 35” x 3 1/2” x 3/4”

Exploded Assembly View

Step-By-Step Instructions


1. Cut the front bottom rail to length on the miter saw.

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 1

2. Cut the front top rail to the same length on the miter saw.

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 2

3. Cut a back stile to length on the miter saw. Use a framing square to square up the corners. Drill in one screw on each corner to attach the back stile to the front rails.  Before assembling any of the pieces, shave off the factory edge for a more rustic look.


4. Cut a second back stile to length on the miter saw. Use a framing square to square up the corners. Screw in one screw on each corner to attach the back stile to the front rails.  Be sure that the back stiles are aligned with the front rails at 35” apart from outside edge to outside edge.  After all four screws are in place, check the frame that is is square.  Do this by using your tape measure and measuring from one corner to another on a diagonal (see image below).  If the two measurements are the same, drill in an additional screw by the first one, to lock the frame into square position.  If they are not the same make small adjustments by pushing or pulling the the opposite corners together or apart.

5. Cut front stiles to length.  Now that you know your exact spacing for the stiles between the front rails you can cut them to the right length.  Now screw the stiles in place through the back stiles.

6. Cut the full cross brace to length.  The opening for the cross brace has now been determined and can now be measured.  Place the board under the frame at an angle.  Overlap the ends lightly to provide part of the board to be cut off.  Take a pencil and mark where the frame crosses over the cross brace.   Be sure the make the piece on the wood that will be discarded.  The angles are listed below but it might be slightly different.   That is why you should just trace the angle from the frame.  Cut the length and shave of the edges.  Sand and get ready for assembly.DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 6

7. Cut the short cross braces.  Follow the same instructions as above, but this time mark along the full cross brace where the short cross braces will stop.  Cut to length, shave off the corners and sand.

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 7

8. Cut (8 more) back stiles.  Screw the stiles in place one at a time.  As you screw in the back stiles make sure that you are on top of the front boards: the front stiles, rails and cross braces.  This is so the screws hold the pieces in front.

9. Cut the cap.  Screw or nail on the cap.  I used brad nails and clue so they wouldn’t show.

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 9

10.Now that everything is assembled and sanded, all you need to to is stain it.  After you stain it you can brush a layer of clear varnish to protect the stain finish.

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 10

Final Baby Gate For Stairs

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs final

Exploded Assembly View

Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs 2

I will show you in another post the pictures of me making the gate and show it installed at the bottom of the stairs.

UPDATE: See how to build a matching top half of the door for a full Dutch door here

Now its time for a $100 gift card to True Value, good for participating stores and online purchases. You have the chance to enter below by following the instructions on the widget!


Giveaway Time!


true value shopping (13)

Now its time for a giveaway of another $100 gift card to True Value, good for participating stores and online purchases.  You have the chance to enter below by following the instructions on the widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out True Value on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and You tube!

“I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”

Here you can find the last True Value project that we tackled with the bathroom sink faucet.


Meet the Author: Justin

Check back soon to learn more about this author. Read More


  1. says

    Justin, that looks AMAZING (no wonder she feel in love!) I tried to enter the contest and it says “contest is not open yet” Just thought I’d let you know! Beautiful work and if I still had a baby (youngest is 5) I would be building that gate.

    • says

      Devon! It is so good to hear from you! If you guys are hoping to have kids yeah! Do it they are a lot of work but so worth it! Hope you are well, we miss our good old Asheville days!

    • says

      Around 50 – 60 dollars. We are actually building an upper portion of the door as well, so it becomes a Dutch door, so we spent closer to $100 total. But that includes hardware and stain!

  2. says

    Your baby gate looks awesome and I absolutely love the greyish stain!!!! Would you happen to have a formula or anything you can share? I’d love to know what to ask for at the store to get the same color. Thanks!! :)

  3. Sandra says

    This is exactly what I need, not for human babies, but for my four-legged ones! Going to True Value right now to get the supplies, will make it a little taller, as I have large pets, but it will be perfect. Thanks!!

  4. Heidi says

    I love your baby gate design and it’s just what I was looking for to put in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. Can you explain what kind of hinges or other hardware you used and how to attach this gate to the wall?

    • says

      I will be explaining that in another post soon. That is a good question though. This situation of ours it a little bit custom and not a typical door frame. Stay tuned for more hopefully next week.

  5. says

    Looks gorgeous!! I just made a similar wood baby gate, although my pattern is a bit simpler and I used distressed wood leftover from our fence that blew over in a tornado. I think these wood baby gates are so much prettier than ugly plastic ones! And they have the added benefit of having a smooth side, so my kittens cannot climb it:

    Although perhaps you should also post some sort of warning that kids shouldn’t chew on the stained wood? I was thinking that if I had progeny I would look for a safer stain perhaps?

  6. Eileen says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful step by step tutorial! We have a utility entry into the basement and side entry – this would make a perfect dog gate to keep our girl from running off during salt deliveries. My husband is going to want to know what the other (completed) side looks like. Is there any chance of seeing a picture from that perspective? It’s really lovely. Well done!!

    • says

      I am setting up another post about it soon, that will show that back side finished. I am glad that you liked the tutorial. We are pleased how it turned out for us.

  7. Jessica N says

    I stumbled on this on pinterest I think its awesome. Really wanting my husband to make one for our pups as we dont have kids yet but I was wondering how it is held in place. Is it really just a half door or completely moveable? Would love to know. Thanks in advance

    • says

      Jessica, this door is hinged in place with gate hinges on the back side. I wrote about it and have pictures in this post about turning it into a Dutch door. here. Thanks for liking it.

  8. Melissa M says

    Love this. We do not have little ones, but we do have dogs. This would look a lot better than what we have been using to keep them in a central location. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Tanya says

    I love this! I have dogs and use baby gates to keep them off the stairs and out of the laundry room. I am going to make the gate for the stair way and the Dutch Door for the laundry room! Thanks for the info I needed to make this a reality!

  10. says

    Love this! We are actually going to make it for our Great Dane “baby” and add a sign with her name hanging from the front and then also add a sign that says “Stables” over the top of the door. She has her own room under the stairs that currently houses her crate. This is much better and open. Thank you!

    • Erin says

      Love the gates! When you cut yours in half to do a “saloon” style, did you have to alter your measurements at all or did you just simply cut everything in half? thinking of doing that saloon swing style and putting a center latch to open/close and then hinges on both walls.

  11. Leah says

    Wow! I love it! I need to make a couple of these before my newest starts crawling, way sturdier than the sore bought plastic ones!!! Cutie too.

  12. says

    How did you do the hinges? We have a similar issue, and figuring out what kind of hinges/latch to use, and how to install them, given the way it’s flush with the wall on the sides, is the part that has me stumped.

  13. Jason says

    Great idea and plan. Do you have instructions or pics of how you attached the gate to the wall?

    • says

      Jason we don’t because our situation was a little abnormal since there wasn’t a door or even a door casing where we put the door. But it is basically like any old door hinge, there might be some good you tube tutorials that you could watch. Or I could talk to my hubby about doing a tutorial but it might take some time. Sorry for not being more help!

  14. Farryn DesBouillons says

    I was wondering if you can send me a picture of the type of hinges you used please.. This is a great gate and we are using the idea for keeping our dogs out of the basement.
    Thank you Farryn

  15. Jacque SJ says

    How do you mount it to the door jam or wall? is it swinging or stationary? is it spring loaded to tension on wall or is it mounted to the wall? Thank you for such an awesome project.

  16. Josie says

    I have just found this blog thru Pinterest and I love the design of this gate but I was just wondering…how does it open? It appears to be flush with the wall. Is there enough room for it to swing open or do yall just unlatch it and pick it up when yall need to go up the stairs.

  17. stephanie says

    hi there! love the baby gate idea! quick question, what stain did you use on the gate? ive been looking for this color for some time now. please let me know if you remember! thanks!

  18. Sherry says

    LOVE IT !!!! Redoing my bedroom & bath would love this. Not able to print off theh instruction only get on page. Try to copy & paste you don’t get teh pictures. Can you send me the whole thing to my e-mail Please I love this idea.

  19. Carissa Nelson says

  20. Aaron says

    Thanks so much for the well made gate and the well made plans! I’m going to be making the gate tomorrow for the top of our staircase. This post makes me realize how much i need to give back to the internet and to people like you who are willing to take the time to post your good work.

  21. April says

    We made one! Absolutely love it! Thanks for the plans. Wish we could post a picture to show how cute it is! Easy to follow directions. We had to make slight measurement changes for our space.

  22. says

    You really need to make your plans printable! I can’t read the directions in my shop lol :) I love this design, we recently got a puppy and need to hinder his activity on the carpeted area of the house!

    • Cass says

      We do! Consider it on our list… although I can’t even tell you how long our list is right now! I’ll do my best to bump it to the top for ya 😉 Thanks for the comment, Jill!

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