Building a Baby Gate Step-by-Step

What You'll Need
Measuring Tape
4 1-inch X 3-inch Rails (Top and Bottom)
2 1-inch X 3-inch Ends
1-inch X 2-inch Balusters and Rail Caps
Wood Stain
Brad Nailer
Wood Glue
Locking L-Brackets
Wood Screws

A baby gate is a necessity in a home with a small infant or toddler. The gate provides a way to keep small children out of areas in the home that may pose a danger to them. Having a properly built and installed baby gate can reduce the concern of your little ones wandering into off-limit areas.

Step 1-Measure Area for Gate Installation

In order to determine the amount of wood needed for the project, measure the area where the gate will be installed. Using the measurements, have the rails precut to a 1/4-inch clearance on both sides. This will allow for installation of the L-brackets.

The 1” X 2” balusters should be a length sufficient to meet or exceed the baby’s height (when standing).

Step 2-Finish Wood

Sand the wood pieces individually to smooth out any rough spots. A 120-grit sand paper will work fine to make the pieces smooth and easy to the touch. This process also removes any splinters that might remain from the rough precuts.

Once sanded, stain and varnish (if desired) the pieces individually. Set aside and allow them to dry before attempting to assemble the baby gate. Doing this before assembly will be easier than attempting to stain the gate once it has been nailed and glued together.

Step 3-Assemble the Gate

Begin assembling the gate by taking 2 rails and place them flat on the ground or work bench. Position the balusters flat between the rails, spacing them 1/2 to 1-inch apart. Set the top and bottom additional rails on the top of the balusters. There should be a channel on the top and bottom wide enough to slide the additional 1” X 2” piece into on the top and bottom. Position the 1” X 3” end pieces.

After the dry fit, take apart and glue the assembly together, first attaching the balusters to the top and bottom rails, allowing a channel for the rail caps to be installed. Insert 1-inch brads into the rails to attach the balusters, end pieces and rail caps.

Step 4-Attach Brackets and Mount Gate

Attach the brackets to the ends to act as mounts for the baby gate. The brackets should have mount holes for a screw head to fit into and lock when the gate is placed into position. You will need to place a drywall screw into both sides of the opening where the gate will be secured.

Once the screws are placed, take the gate and gently position the brackets on to the screws. This will lock the gate into place and you have completed the project. This gate assembly, which will resemble a mission style furniture piece, is a fixed gate and can an only be removed by an adult.