How to make a wooden baby gate

Updated April 17, 2017

Having a baby gate to close off particular areas is an important part of baby proofing your home. Areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and the bottom of stairs are all places children need monitoring during the first few years of life. You have several options when it comes to purchasing a baby gate; however, it can be more cost effective to make your own.

Using a tape measure, determine the width of the opening where you would like to place the baby gate. A suitable height should be determined; however, width is the real focus.

Cut your 1/2-inch sheet of plywood 1/4 inch short of your measured dimensions. This provides room for hinges or latch assemblies and avoids the friction of the gate rubbing against the side of the opening.

Paint the piece of plywood with your primer. After two to four hours, when it is dry to the touch, use the semigloss paint to cover the gate in your choice of colour. Let the painted gate dry for 24 to 48 hours before continuing.

Screw the two large door hinges to your gate. These should be attached at equal distances from the top and bottom of the wood.

Mount the gate's hinges to the wall surface. If you are mounting your gate on a drywall surface with studs, use drywall anchors. Ensure the bottom of the gate does not drag on the floor by allowing a 2 inch clearance.

Following the instructions that came with your lock or latch kit, mount the latch or locking component to the gate. If it has a portion to attach to the wall, banister or railing, ensure you line the locking mechanism up with the surface prior to installing.


You won't need a saw if you have your home improvement centre cut your plywood at purchase. Many home improvement stores will cut your wood to your required dimensions for a very small fee per cut. You can purchase any number of latches or locking mechanisms for your gate. However, be mindful of what your child can and cannot unlock and open. It's always best to use child-safety latches.


Be mindful of the hinges you purchase for this gate. The hinges need to be able to flush mount on your surface. Do not attempt to mount this gate to drywall without anchors or direct attachment of the hinges to a stud. Given that it's a baby gate, safety and stability of the gate should be your first priority. Never allow more than a 2.5-inch clearance at the bottom of the gate. Anything over 2.5 inches is not safe for children.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pre-cut 1/2-inch plywood
  • Saw
  • One-quart of primer paint
  • One-quart of semigloss paint
  • Paint brush
  • Two door hinges w/screws
  • Drywall anchors (optional)
  • One latch or locking kit w/screws
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Travis Wampler began his writing career along America's forgotten highway, Route 66. His research received awards from the Association of American Geographers. Wampler has written comprehensive plans and grants for city planning departments and agencies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in geography from Southwest Missouri State University and a master's degree in information systems from the University of Phoenix.