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.
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 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 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. The hardware that we purchased is hardware that you would use on an exterior gate, but (NOW) you can use it on an indoor gate as well.
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 building 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
This wooden baby gate measures 35 3/4” tall and 35” wide, to fit a 35 1/4” opening. Be sure to measure your space and take into account the type of hinges and latch you want to use.
- 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)
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 Before Building
- 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. 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.
- 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 approximate. You will need to make measurements to ensure the correct board lengths and angles, especially if you customize the size of the baby gate.
For full instructions, including a cut list and assembly diagrams, please purchase the barn door baby gate building plan HERE.
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!
You’ll also like these building plans:
- DIY Outdoor Baby Gate
- DIY Rustic Wall Storage Bins
- Simple DIY Barn Door Tutorial with Free Plans
- Garden Wedding Arch Arbor
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