You can build DIY baby gates and playpens with a few items you probably have laying around. Building a baby gate or a playpen is easier than you think and you can create a wide range of designs that are better fits compared to what you can find in stores.

How To Install DIY Baby Gates And Playpens

Homemade baby gates and playpens are safe and affordable alternatives to items you can find in stores. You can build a durable baby gate with a few items you probably have around the house. Here is how you can save money by building a baby gate or playpen yourself.

Safety First

baby lying on bed

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There are a few safety rules to keep in mind when designing and building a DIY baby gate. Measure the opening you want to block and make sure the gate will stay in place. There shouldn’t be any room for your child to stick their fingers between the gate and the wall.

Ideally, a baby gate or playpen should be at least 22-inches high and don’t hesitate to build a higher gate if you have a toddler.

The main thing to worry about is that your child will try climbing over the baby gate and injure themselves. Make sure there are no nooks in the material you use since your child could use those for climbing.

You can easily build a baby gate with wood. This is a great way to recycle old furniture, planks, and crates. However, you need to take the time to polish the wood and apply a finish such as a coat of varnish to prevent splinters.

If you decide to use PVC pipes and end up cutting them, use sandpaper to get rid of sharp edges. You can also cut some pool noodles to use them as covers for the PVC pipes and avoid injuries.

If you have doubts about building a DIY baby gate, keep in mind that you can easily find used baby gates and playpens or purchase these items at an affordable price. It is best to spend a little more and get a baby gate or playpen from a store if you are worried about safety.

Build A Permanent Baby Gate

baby holding chair

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You can easily install a permanent baby gate by cutting an old door in half. You can personalize this project and use a barn door instead to add a rustic touch to your interior or use the bottom of a wood crate if you don’t have an old door you can repurpose.

If you have an old cabinet or another piece of furniture you no longer need, you can turn a door or panel into a baby gate.

You can also assemble a panel by nailing some boards together. Choose nails that are adapted to the thickness of the boards you are working with to make sure they won’t protrude on the other side.

We recommend that you use two horizontal boards and nail some vertical boards in between or use a cross design when nailing the boards together.

Installing a permanent baby gate is ideal if there are stairs in your home. This is also something you can build for the door of your child’s bedroom since this is probably an area where they will spend a lot of their time.

This method allows you to build a safe baby gate and is easy to customize. You can paint the baby gate once you are done to make it blend in with your interior.

Start by measuring the opening you want to protect. It’s important to make sure the barn door or half door will fit perfectly. The best way to cut a door in half is to use a circular saw and some sandpaper to get rid of rough edges.

It is easier to install a DIY baby gate if you can use the side jamb of a door opening. If you are installing a gate in an opening that doesn’t have a jamb, you can easily install one. Measure the opening and use a nail gun to secure a pine board to the wall.

If you are installing a baby gate, you don’t need to have a pine board that covers the entire length of the door opening. You can repurpose a smaller pine board by turning it into a side jamb that only covers the height of the baby gate.

Once the side jamb is installed, you can drill holes in it and use screws to secure hinges on one side. Attach the other side of the hinges to the half door you will use as a baby gate.

There are different options to explore for latching the baby gate. You can install sliding hardware, spring-loaded hardware or a simple bolt to close the baby gate. The best option depends on how much room you have and how easy it is to attach hardware to the other side jamb. Make sure you install the hardware so your child won’t have access to it when the gate is closed.

Test the baby gate and don’t hesitate to trim the sides or bottom with a circular saw if you have a hard time opening and closing it.

Creating A Temporary DIY Baby Gate

smiling baby

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A permanent baby gate is convenient if you have stairs in your home or a playroom for your child. However, a temporary baby gate can come in handy if you want to keep your toddler out of the kitchen while you cook or if you want a baby gate you can travel with.

You can use PVC pipes to create a lightweight and inexpensive baby gate. PVC pipes are very easy to find and can be cut with a PVC ratchet cutter or with a saw. You can assemble the pipes to create a modular design and add or remove pipes as needed.

You will need two long PVC pipes that match the side of the opening you want to block. All you have to do is use PVC pipe connectors to add several vertical pipes. Make sure the vertical pipes are at least 22-inches high to create a secure baby gate.

You can glue magnets on the side of the baby gate and door jambs for an easy temporary installation.

You can also create a temporary baby gate with fabric. This is a convenient method if you want a lightweight gate you can fold and travel with, but you should use a different material to protect the top of a staircase just to be on the safe side.

All you have to do is cut a large piece of fabric to match the opening you want to block. You can sew ties in each corner of the fabric and attach small rings or clips to the door jambs.

You can then attach the baby gate by looping the ties inside of the rings or clips and forming knots, or by directly forming knots around stair banister posts to block the bottom of your staircase.

Using a vinyl lattice is another way to create a simple baby gate. It’s not as sturdy as other options but it’s an effective way to keep your baby or toddler out of certain areas.

The advantage of a vinyl lattice is that this material can stand on its own and can be easily shaped. You can use it to block a door opening, but you can also arrange it in a circular shape to keep your little one away from a piece of furniture.

If you want a more reliable baby gate, add some ties to the vinyl lattice to keep it in place.

Building A DIY Playpen

You can create a DIY playpen with a few simple items:


  • A comfortable floor mat
  • PVC pipes
  • Cable ties
  • A net

Set a comfortable floor mat on the ground and use large PVC pipes to create the outline of the playpen. Use connectors to attach vertical pipes in each corner and at regular intervals to create a sturdy structure.

The vertical PVC pipes will support more horizontal pipes. Make sure these PVC pipes are high enough to prevent your child from climbing out of the playpen.

You can complete your DIY playpen by using cable ties to attach a net between the PVC pipes that form the top and bottom of the playpen.

This DIY project is interesting because you can easily modify the shape and size of the playpen. You can add or remove PVC pipes to change the shape and size of your playpen.

You can construct this playpen with items you probably have around the house and it’s a great way to recycle these items.

If you are worried about your child playing with the cable ties, cut some pool noodles open along their length and use them as a cover for the horizontal PVC pipes. You should also use pool noodles to cover the PVC pipes if you end up cutting them to match the size of the playpen you want to build and end up with some sharp edges.

These DIY projects will help you save money on baby gates and playpens. We like these different projects because you can easily recycle some materials you probably already have and build secure baby gates and playpens.

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