Sunday, January 8, 2012

DIY baby gate

So I have been so busy the past month actually doing projects that I haven't had time to post about them.

The new motto is working!

I'm really excited about this baby gate I created. We have stairs in our apartment and for the longest time have simply been blockading them with a car seat (kind of ghetto I know). Well one of our twinners learned how to wiggle his way past the car seat on a regular basis and was totally enjoying the newfound freedom. Typically he'd just crawl up a step or two and then sit down and happily swing his legs, obviously proud of himself. Hard to be mad when he's so dang cute! But I had the hardest time finding a gate for these stairs. I needed a pressure mounted gate that would allow for different size opening at the top and bottom (we have molding on the bottom on each side). Sadly, the opening was about one inch too narrow for the one pressure mounted gate that would work (argh!!!) and we couldn't install a swing gate because of the bench we have on the wall near the stairs.  Blah, blah, blah. The gist being I could not find a baby gate of any kind that would work for this space. Ridiculous.

So I set out to make my own.

The boys and I headed over to our local Lowe's and picked up two short shower curtain rods. We made quite the splash as we walked around Lowe's like this:

These two were quite the willing helpers. Though I'm pretty sure they would not have been if they had known what I was going to use them for.

Then I sewed together two old curtains I had just laying around the house (which had originally been a sheet set; how many times can one item be repurposed!) with pockets for the curtain rods and up it went. Easy, peasy! 

I had high hopes that these rods wouldn't scuff up the paint. Sadly, not so. So I used some spray adhesive to attach a little bit of felt to the end of each rod and I haven't had any more problems. I've since shortened the gate bit. It was so tall it was kind of hard to walk over. Instead of cutting it down I just created a second pocket for the rod and tucked the excess fabric to the side facing the stairs. This way if we ever need the extra height its ready and waiting.

I love that we can walk over it or take it down completely with just a few twists to shorten the rods. I have been super impressed by the durability as well. My twinners lean on it, use it to pull themselves up etc and it doesn't budge! Sadly, our escape artist doesn't like it quite as much as I do. Here's a video of him right after I put it up.

And no worries, he has since adjusted to it beautifully. In fact the boys like to sit in front of it and lean against it. It's their new hang out spot. haha!

Oh and because I had the fabric on hand this sucker cost me half  of what the other gates we tried cost ($15 for curtain rods vs. $30 baby gate).

Let's just say I'm feeling pretty awesome right about now.


  1. You smart lady, you! We left our old place with stairs before Forrest really got interested in them, and we don't have stairs in our new place (yay!) but I'm saving this idea for later!

  2. I'm so going to use this idea soon! So so smart!

  3. Nice! You deserve to feel proud of your work, because this is impressive!

  4. This is genius! I have a window at my stair case, so a normal baby gate would not work. Thanks for this :)

  5. Wow! We've been searching for a baby gate! We are going to be trying this soon! Loved the video at the end. ;)

  6. Very interested in doing this but what keeps them from just scooting the fabric to the side like a curtain?

    1. Hi Andrea! If you watch the video you can see my little guy tries to push the fabric out of the way like a curtain, but he can't. I think if you make sure that you have your rods positioned so the fabric between them is taut then it should stay put regardless of little hands tugging at it.
      I hope it works for you!

  7. What brand of shower rods did you purchase? I'm concerned that my son will use it to pull himself up and the curtain rods will simply slip under his weight he is 23 pounds

  8. yes i can see but the baby gate from expert given is worth it i think.


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