Thursday, October 24, 2013

Homemade Baby Gate {A Tutorial}

Hello, friends!
Dropping in to share our latest DIY project with you:
A homemade fabric baby gate for our lower level staircase.
Before I go further, I want to throw out a disclaimer:
this fabric baby gate is great for lower level stairs to keep babies from crawling up,
or for hallways when you want to keep babies from entering other areas of the house.
Please do not use this fabric gate for upper level stairs.
Babies who lean back on these can possibly slip under the fabric and topple down the stairs.
This pattern we have created is used for deterring babies from crawling up.
And it is fantastic!
And cute! And easy for grownups and older kids to unlatch.
: )
First off, here is what you need to have on hand:
*Two yards of fabric
*Non-Roll elastic
*A package of Western Heavy Duty Snaps
{we bought ours at Jo Anne's Fabrics}
*A sewing machine and thread
*A drill
*4 screws {1 inch long #8}
*A heavy duty craft punch {or a sharp pointed object!}

Start by giving your fabric a good iron.
It will look much better once hanging to iron it now.

Fold down the sides and stitch a seam on all four sides.

We kept it simple by using the width of the sewing machine foot as a guide.

After you have all four sides sewn down, fold the top down again, but this time, make sure it is a big enough pocket to allow for your elastic to slide through later.

{If you have a "husband/engineer/creative force to be reckoned with" like I do, then you will understand (and ignore!) the chevron headband and mad sewing skills.}

Once you have pockets on both top and bottom of your gate,
use your fingers to thread your elastic through.

Stretch your elastic to the length you will need it when you attach it to your walls.
Figure out where the elastic {stretched to its full amount!} needs to stop.
Hold it with your finger and stitch it into your pocket only on the ends.
In other words, where the elastic sticks out of your pocket, stitch a small vertical stitch to hold the elastic to the fabric.

After the elastic has been sewn into the fabric at the ends,
you will want to measure the elastic for your snaps.
We measured about two inches of elastic and marked it with a pencil.
We then folded the elastic over and marked it again with a pencil
so that we had a one inch doubled-over strip of elastic.

We used a heavy duty craft punch to then punch a small hole in the elastic.
If you don't have a punch, get some help from a family member and use something sharp to push through the elastic to form a small hole.

After punching a small hole near to the end of the doubled-over elastic, we put the snap on.

You will repeat this with the ends of the elastic for both top and bottom panels.
Measure where you want your gate to go so you can apply your snaps.
{this is why pulling your elastic before you sewed the sides in is important- to guarantee a good fit!}

And apply the last half of the snap to the wall.
To do this, drill a small hole in the wall and use your screws to drill the snap right on.

Because we have a wall on one side and a stair railing on the other,
we also added a snap to the stair banister.

Attach your gate to your snaps.
{Are you getting excited yet?!}
: )

Mark for both the top and bottom of the panels and repeat until all four snaps are up!

And there you have it!
We have a busy, active nine month old-
and visually, just seeing this gate deters him from climbing the stairs.
But, because it is pulled tight at bottom and top, he can't push his was under either.
{Side note:
it is October and the mice going up our stairs are for Fall. 
 Just in case you were wondering. Haha!}

The snaps are heavy-duty enough to hold up to a standing or cruising baby pushing and pulling,
but not too hard that we can't unsnap them to easily go up the stairs.

Cute, stylish, and functional!

Let me know if you make one!

Happy sewing!
: )
{I'll add this post to the "Tutorial" tab on our homepage so you can find it quickly!}
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1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am considering making a baby gate using this tutorial, but I wanted to ask a few questions.
    How is it holding up?
    Why did you use elastic throughout the gate rather than just on the ends?
    Is the elastic pulled tight within the fabric?
    How is it working for you?