DIY · homemade · Tutorial

Babies, Dogs, and Stairs Oh My!

So when you have stairs in your house and a baby and a few dogs a gate is essential. I know this, so I went to the store and bought one of those gates that all of our parents used. You know the one where you lift the lever in the middle and you have to push it back down so it locks as it stretches across to each wall. Hmmm let me google a picture in case you don’t know what I am talking about……


Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 11.28.33 AM.png

This one! Ok so I bought it and put it across the stairs and it failed. It failed miserably! the dogs knocked it down, the baby knocked it down, and in an attempt to make it tighter, we broke it.

So I decided we needed a better gate, one that was sturdy and would not fall over. So I googled and I found some really beautiful baby gates on Etsy, but they were way out of my price range.  So I thought hey I could totally make that! This was like four months ago. Everyday I have looked at the stairs and thought “man I really need to make my gate.” So yesterday I was home sick with the little guy and decided “Today is the day! I will make the baby gate!” *while standing in superman pose*

I headed to Home Depot with Little Man in one arm and determination in the other.

Things I bought:

1 – 1 in. x 8 in. x 10 ft. Common Board – $13.95

1 – 1 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. Furring Strip Board – $1.97

2 – 4 in. Black Heavy Duty Decorative Tee Hinge – $4.67 ea.

1 – Black Gate Latch – $4.24

1 – 1 qt. Wood Finish Honey Oil-Based Interior Stain – $7.77

1 – 3 in. Flat Foam Brush – $.97

Things I already had:

Sander (you could also use plain sand paper but that will take longer)



While at Home Depot I had them cut my wood for me, which the do for free!!! I cut the 1x8x10 into three 38in pieces (there was a little left over) because that is how wide my stairs are. The 1x4x8, was cut into four 24in pieces.  I then grabbed the hardware I would need and the wood stain I wanted. Now for the stain I did buy the quart jar because I want to use that color for a few projects I have in the works and I want all my stuff to match but they do sell it in smaller quantities so you don’t have to buy a huge thing of it. We headed home and got to work.

Ok that was a lie we went home and I had to put the little guy down for his nap and then I started on the gate.


The first thing I did was sand all the wood. This is very important you do not want to skip this step. This step smooths the wood out so you don’t get splinters later on.  You also want to make sure and sand the edges so they are slightly rounded and sand off any markings the wood may have. You can do this by hand but having a sander is so much faster.


Once all the wood was sanded I wiped them down and started to stain them. Make sure you put a piece of plastic wrap or cardboard under your wood so that you don’t stain your floor. Unless you don’t care. Wear gloves to if you don’t want your hands stained, I live on the wild side and skipped gloves this time. Now I was racing the weather doing this because black clouds started rolling in and all this took less than 30 minutes. Anyways I took a short break (ok like 3 hours) to let the wood dry, which I had to bring inside because it started to pour!


As I waited for the wood to dry I checked on my napping baby and steamed vacuumed the upstairs.

Once everything was dry, I nailed it all together. Oh I forgot to add that stuff on my list of things you need. You need a few nails and a hammer. There I told you. OK So then I nailed it all together I started with the bottom board and the anchor board and then did the top board to the anchor boards. If you don’t understand that just look at the pictures.


Once these four pieces were nailed to gather I measured out the middle section so I could put the middle board in the exact right spot. Then I nailed that sucker in. I used to boards as an anchor, the remaining two boards are the wall mounts. These are the boards you will connect your hinges and latch to. You can stop here and just mount it to the stairs or you could add some flare to it.


I decided to add flare and wrote on ours: What is your quest?

I found this quote very fitting as my son is always trying to get up the stairs now that he has learned how to crawl.


And now all that is left to do is mount it to the stairs. Which I will do as soon as I get some really long bolts that will go through both the wood and dry wall, which I forgot about because I was just so excited about building my gate. Thank you husband for pointing that out.


And there you have it. A very simple and easy project you can do ( no need to grab your husband)  in a day for less than $40 bucks. Now if you just like giving away money I will happily make one of these for you, but you should try it yourself 🙂


3 thoughts on “Babies, Dogs, and Stairs Oh My!

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