DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate
Build your own DIY barn door baby gate to keep your children and pets safe. This rustic wooden baby gate is a stylish indoor gate that can be used as a half door gate or as a full-height Dutch door baby gate.
For more barn door DIY tutorials, build a sliding barn door console, upgrade an existing door to look like wood barn door, and see our favorite DIY barn doors and hardware.
Our DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate
In our new place, we have two young girls and a set of steep stairs, which is a bit of a safety issue. So, we decided to build our own wooden baby gate for stairs, so they wouldn’t fall and get hurt.
I designed this DIY baby gate to look like a rustic wood barn door (since we love barn doors!), so we get added safety *and* style in our living room with a barn door baby gate!
This indoor gate looks amazing, whether you pair it with the matching Dutch door or build just the half door gate.
And if you have pets, this makes a great DIY pet gate or dog gate, too! Build it for a staircase, hallway, or door to a room where you want to keep your little ones or fur babies from having access.
When I first sketched a plan back in 2011 to show Cassity, she immediately fell in love (like the first time she saw me! ha. ha).
There was nothing else like it that we had seen and we loved the unique look of our original barn door baby gate.
This split barn door baby gate really adds character to the finished room!
See the full Dutch door here, build the Swedish Mora clock here, install the thin floor-to-ceiling board and batten here, and build the console table here.
Over the years since we first built this half door gate (and Dutch door), we’ve heard that many of you love this DIY baby gate as well.
We love seeing photos, so if you’ve built our rustic barn door baby gate, please send us a photo here or tag #imaremodelaholic on Instagram.
DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate
Thanks to our partners at True Value, we were able to get all the supplies that we needed for the job. The design of the wooden baby 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, so read our tips below for the extra steps we used to achieve a more hand-carved look.
Ready to build you own barn door baby gate for stairs? Keep those kiddos safe and have fun building!
Click here to purchase the barn door baby gate woodworking plan.
The printable building plan includes additional instructions for adjusting the size of the gate, and for adding the top to make a full Dutch door, as shown here.
- 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)
- brad nailer (optional, for attaching cap)
- sander (we used the Dremel Multi-Max MM20 to reach the corners)
- utility knife (for shaving edges of pine boards)
- framing square
- tape measure
- sander block
- sand paper
- 4” foam brush
- old rag
To build your own DIY wooden barn door baby gate you’ll need:
- barn door baby gate building plan
- (2) 1x6x96 pine boards (actual width is 5 1/2”)
- (6) 1x4x96 pine lumbers (actual width is 3 1/2”)
- (1) 1×3 pine board (actual width is 2 1/2″) – optional to use for top cap
- (1 box) 1 1/4” drywall screws (I decided to use screws because it pulls the two pieces together nice and tight.)
- Wood glue (optional)
- Wood stain or paint of your choice (I used Minwax water based stain in Charcoal Gray; we later adjusted the stain to match our painted doors by using this colorwashing technique)
- Extra Heavy Gate Hinge (see below for more details about hinge installation)
- Gate latch (the gate latch that I used requires a hole drilled in the door frame)
- Handle (pull)
Our wooden baby gate measures 35 3/4” tall and 35” wide, to fit a 35 1/4” opening.
The woodworking plan includes instructions for adjusting the baby gate size. Be sure to measure your space and take into account the type of hinges and latch you want to use.
The gate hinge and latch hardware that we purchased is hardware that you would use on an exterior gate, but you can use it on an indoor gate as well.
Total material cost was around $60, including the hardware and stain. Your costs will vary depending on the type of wood, hardware, and stain you choose.
Note: Even though the latch we used was quite tight, we added a locking carabiner (a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate) to make the gate latch toddler-proof and extra safe for our kids.
Important Notes About Building a Barn Door Baby Gate
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 3/4″ thick common 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. This gives the wood a more hand carved look.
After shaving off the edge use a sanding block to soften the edges from any slivers.
For more photos and building tips, see the DIY Wood Dutch Barn Door tutorial.
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 approximate. The printable plan includes instructions for measuring and adjusting the board lengths and angles to customize the wood baby gate to your door or opening.
For full instructions, including a cut list and assembly diagrams, please purchase the barn door baby gate woodworking plan HERE.
Click here for more building plans.
Customized Wooden Baby Gate or Pet Gate
We’ve heard from many readers who have loved this farmhouse rustic baby gate style and customized it to fit their doorway opening and needs. All it takes is a few tweaks of the building plans to have a custom sized wooden pet or baby gate!
See what our readers have shown us they’ve done to resize the gate and adapt it to their specific needs. (And if you’ve built one, please send us a photo here!)
Sliding Baby Gate for Hallway
Reader Brian built a double-wide barn door baby gate to make a wonderful sliding baby gate across a hallway in his home. He says:
“I doubled up everything to make it wide enough to go across my hallway. I added a wheel on each end and a track in between with a wheel upside down on the floor to ride in the track. This keeps the bottom from sliding out and keeps the gate straight while rolling back and forth.”
This makes a great adaptation for a hallway baby gate — wonderful year-round but I bet it’s especially helpful keeping kids and pets away from the Christmas tree!
Bifold Hinged Baby Gate
Jessica from Sew Homegrown had a small stair landing that wouldn’t allow for the full-sized gate to swing open, so she adapted our building plans to a bifold baby gate.
Wide Wooden Baby Gate with Caster Wheel
Reader Kurran built a wide version of the barn door baby gate for their nursery school and added a caster wheel to help support the added weight as it swings.
Tips for Installing an Indoor Wooden Baby Gate
Since every baby gate installation is unique, we’ve collected a few of our best tips from experience, readers, and comments here for your convenience. When installing this barn door baby gate, keep in mind that the strong wood construction makes it heavier than traditional plastic baby gates. You’ll need heavy duty hinges and a firmly secured post, door jamb, etc.
Installing a Half Door Gate in a Door Frame
To install our baby gate in the door frame, we used heavy duty gate hinges in black. We wanted the hinges visible since they match the farmhouse rustic aesthetic, so we installed the hinges on the outside of the door and on the door jamb. Read more installation details HERE in our post about the split Dutch door section of the baby gate.
Installing a Baby Gate with a Metal Stair Banister
Another reader, Chelsey, sent this pic over to show her beautiful rustic baby gate and how they installed it between the wall and a metal banister. Chelsey says:
“We had to get clever with attaching the latch end to a metal banister but I think we executed it well. (We agree 100%! Wow!) And we ended up changing the X into 1 single cross beam. Other than that we kept it the same.”
Installing a Baby Gate without Damaging a Wood Newel Post
Even though this wooden baby gate is beautiful, it’s nice to have the option of removing it later without having to replace or patch a wooden newel post or stair banister, too.
One creative reader shared this simple solution for their adapted gate: using zip ties to attach a matching stained board to the post. The latch is attached the the board, which is zip tied to the banister, and the gate hinge is attached to another board that is screwed into the wall (and the studs) along the stair wall.
Lesley W Graham used a similar approach with the same type of sliding latch as we used:
Additional Tips for Installing a Wooden Baby Gate
No studs to attach the baby gate? We recommend using a couple toggle bolts (also called molly bolts) to secure the board to the wall, to attach the gate.
Looking for a simpler baby gate latch? Jessica from Sew Homegrown used a hook and eye latch, which requires fewer screws in the wall than many latches. And isn’t that turquoise color beautiful!
Ready to build it? Purchase the DIY baby gate plans here.
You’ll also like these building plans:
- DIY Outdoor Baby Gate
- DIY Rustic Wall Storage Bins
- Simple DIY Barn Door Tutorial
- Garden Wedding Arch Arbor
plus check out our entire collection of Farmhouse Furniture and Decor Plans!
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.
Originally published 09.12.12 // Last updated 10.16.19
Really cute idea but, I’m not sure about advertising this as a baby gate. Most toddlers can easily figure out that latch.
This latch was really tight and not so easy to open, but we also added a carabiner (a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate) for added security.
I built this by the plan… But doubled it and put it on a track and wheels to roll across the hallway! Perfect and easy! My wife loved it and I have a blast building it !!
It sounds amazing! I would love to see pictures — you can submit them here: https://www.remodelaholic.com/share-brag-post/
Where did you place the track? Any pictures by chance? Trying to recreate but not 💯 on the concept.
I’m making this for a friend. Best I can tell, there is no stud where I need to secure the hinge side (just sheet rock). What do you guys recommend for securing to the wall with no stud??
The best thing might be a toggle bolt. You can pick those up at any hardware store. It will clamp on nice an tight on the back side of the drywall.
Thanks! I actually planned the boards down to half inch to cut down on the weight a little and it was just under 15lbs. So I was able to use two molly/toggle bolt like things on each hinge and it worked out great. One of the molly/toggle bolt things was rated for 40lbs so it might be a little over kill but I didn’t want to take any chances.
My wife just sent this pin over and I think the work order says completion date sunday. Since I will be completing this weekend I have one question. Did you have any issues with sagging or dragging due to the weight of the door over time? I’m gonna pocket screw the face frame joints with glue for strength but was just curious how yours is doing. (Great design! Don’t tell my wife that I love this project because then I will be flooded with pins 🙂 haha)
No problems, here! Have a great weekend building! Send us pics when you’re done 🙂
I loved this project so much, my husband and a friend built this for our house! Took them only about an hour and it turned out beautiful!! When your reader Brian doubled the project for his hallway, did he give more details about The track he used or how he did it? I’m wanting to make that my husbands next project for our hallway as well!!
We posted all the details he gave us. Sorry we’re not more help! We’d love to see pictures, though, if you want to share: https://www.remodelaholic.com/share-brag-post/
What stain did you use for the gate that gave it the grey/green color?
That was Minwax Waterbased Wood Stain, tinted in Charcoal Grey — but we ended up tweaking the finish to match our other doors better, which you can see here: https://www.remodelaholic.com/color-washing-paint-technique/
This tutorial is so packed full of value! I have been planning to put in a baby gate to my laundry room because my sweet but curious 10-month-old keeps getting into the bag of dog food and dumping his water. Then I saw your link to the dutch door tutorial, and I am sold! I am thinking a cute window in the top will do nicely. Thanks for the inspiration!
This is a good inspiration. Might do something like this once my baby starts walking.
It is so nice for babies or fur babies, too, and it looks great! Thanks for comment, Diane.
Where did you get your latch from?
I think we just picked it up at the hardware store, but here’s an affiliate link to what looks like the same one on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KRwlFM
Hi! This is exactly what I have been looking for. Our post to wall opening is 46”. Would it be possible to confirm the measurements needed for that size gate? Home Depot will cut everything I need to size if I give them the exact measurements. Thank you!!
We don’t currently do custom building plans, but you’re welcome to make the adjustments to our plans to fit your space like many of our other readers have. Good luck!
I want to do something like this but my stairs are tricky. The wall edge doesn’t go out as far as the end of the railing. Plus my railings are the traditional curvy. How on earth do I modify for that??
Maybe put the gate at the end of the wall?
Is there to make this a temporary or removable gate?
We’ve had a couple of readers tell us that they used zip ties to attach it to their stair rails (or similar) to make it less permanent, so you can definitely adapt it as needed.
I think this is great for my husky pups to keep them where we want them. I’m just having a hard time turning your plans into plans of my own. Could you possibly give the measurements of the finished product so I can figure out what size I need to make mine.
So the finished gate is 35 3/4” tall and 35” wide. How big is your opening?
This is a great tutorial! I’m going to try this out with my son soon!