Thursday, August 29, 2013

{DIY} Pallet Baby Gate

I have a baby who's nine months old now.
That means I have a baby who is into EVERYTHING.  
Thus, my latest pallet project was born . . . 

But back to Max for a few seconds.
He started crawling a few weeks ago, and within a day or two . . . 
there he was!

Again and again and again! 

Why is it that babies are SO INFATUATED with STAIRS!??
Yep.  That pretty much sums it up.  

I knew I wanted to do something "different" for my baby gate this time around.  
I had one of the typical baby gates when Lucy was a baby . . . but it was a pain in the you-know-what. The baby couldn't open it . . . but neither could we! HA!  
Maybe we're just special, but it was HARD to open, I'm telling you . . . squeeze and slide and lift all at the same time?  
I'm not that talented.  
Not to mention, baby gates aren't exactly the most chic of decor accessories.  

I knew I could do better.  

I had several ideas.  
But then this caught my eye, sitting out in my paint shack.  

I had sawed an old pallet in half to make this rope sign for Lucy's last (cowgirl) birthday party.  
And it was doing absolutely nothing but collecting dust, so . . . 
I removed the rope "Lucy", measured the opening at the bottom of the stairs, and cut the pallet down so that there was just about 1/8" gap between the pallet and the posts.
This is what it looked like at that point:

I went online to check the railing safety codes and requirements for children.  
There must be no more than a 4 inch opening to ensure babies and young children cannot get their heads through and get stuck!
Thankfully, the spaces between the boards on the pallet were already smaller than 4 inches, but I did have one board (on the right) with a chunk missing, so to make sure it was as safe as possible (SAFETY FIRST!: )~, I replaced that damaged board with a nicer piece from the other half of the pallet!

Then, I busted out the sawhorses and my trusty sander, and I sanded . . . 

and sanded . . . and sanded . . . . and SANDED SOME MORE!!!!

I had NO IDEA a pallet could be SO SMOOTH and PRETTY!  
Every edge and corner is now as smooth as butter, believe it or not!

The next step was adding hardware.  
Two hinges and some kind of latch.  

Because I was a little LOT scared of drilling holes into the posts on our stairway, I waited until a day that Scott was actually home to help me with that part.  
(I did NOT want to be blamed for gaping holes in the wall! : )~

Here he is drilling holes from the hinge and latch screws . . . 

Getting up close and personal with the hinges and latch I chose:

These were the ONLY cost for the entire baby gate project, and I got them at Home Depot for $5 or $6 each.  
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this latch.  
Simply lift the top, swinging mechanism to open, and then you can just swing the gate shut and it latches automatically.  
Easy enough for Lucy (4 years old) to open it (I did NOT want to have to come running to open the gate every time she needed to go up or down the stairs - no way!), but definitely too tricky for baby brother to figure out.  
And if he does happen to figure it out before I'm ready for him to be climbing the steps, I could easily get a spring loaded clip of some kind to slip through that hole on the latch!

Finished product . . . 

I cannot tell you how happy I am with this project.
We LOVE it.  

Totally cute . . . and matches the general decor of our home.
Totally functional . . . keeps Max off the steps and allows everyone else in the house to easily open/close the gate. (And the pallet is SUPER light-weight, so there's no problem with it dragging on the hinges!)
Totally cheap . . . approximately $10.  (And it could have been cheaper if I chose to just use a simple hook/loop closure.)
Totally WORTH IT!

Pallet + Baby Gate = LOVE!

We've only had the gate up for about a week, but every person who has come to our home this past week has complimented and loved it, as well! ;-)

P.S.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen several sneak peeks of the gate!  
If you don't follow my Instagram, it's the place I hang out the most . . . my user name is: bec_littlelucylu.  
Hope to see you there! ;-)


  1. Love how this turned out and I think the pallet was a perfect choice! Hope you enjoy your last weekend before school starts andwhat's up withthe weather lately? Certainly feels like Fall already to me:-(


  2. Seriously I love it, I never understood why baby gates had to be so ugly but this is fantastic. ~ Lisa

  3. SO adorable!! You're at it again!

  4. I am totally loving this!! You are so clever!! Baby gates are not pretty at all, but this one is just perfect!! I so love this look!

  5. SO cute. I wish we needed a baby gate! ;) Our house has no stairs and is naurally pretty baby proof... which I guess is good! :)

  6. You are one of the most creative people I know. This sure beats the store-bought ones. I loved it the first time I saw it and I love it again now. Thanks so much for participating in this weeks Share Your Story. Glad to have you. :-)

  7. HI! I just found this post on your baby gate. LOVE it. I am looking to make one for our stairs. And am wondering if this has held up well for you guys. Anything you would do different? Or any advice as we make ours? Thanks!

    1. Penny,
      Thank you! I LOVE it, too!
      It is still absolutely perfect, and I am SO glad to have it! (I have a little monkey who wants nothing more than to climb those stairs all day long -- thank goodness for this gate!) ;-)
      Good luck!

  8. i love it!! I'm going to look into a baby safe paint finish for mine though. you never know what the pallet wood is treated with & babies love to chew the strangest things!

  9. Thanks so much for this idea, I made it and love it. Here is the link to mine, totally different, but as they should be.

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