Hello! Before reading this post, please know that Designing Dawn is making no claims as to the safety level of this gate. I’m not a children’s product manufacturer, just a mom, and THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE A SAFETY GATE, nor does it provide the level of safety and years of testing baby products go through to protect your children. This is simply what I created for my own use because we couldn’t find a ready made option that would fit our stairs, and even though we only have a couple small steps, I did not want an open staircase. It provides a visible barrier that keeps my son from attempting to crawl down the stairs while he is still too young to teach stair safety too, however I acknowledge that there is a possibility that older children could get around this gate and fall. Please use your own judgement as to the level of safety and baby-proofing you feel you need in your home and for your children, and always watch your children when they are playing around any stairs.
Now on to the tutorial!
Hello! Dania here. It’s been a while since I’ve dropped in here on my sister’s blog, but I’m hoping to make more regular appearances in the future, now that I’ve settled into the role of mom. (You can see all my Twin Tuesday posts by clicking here, in case you’re curious.)
Speaking of being a mom now, my post today is about how I made my own DIY fabric gate. Now that my offspring, Barrett, is a one-year-old on the move, we had to do a little baby proofing around the house. The problem was, we couldn’t use a standard store-bought baby gate because the stair rail post to our basement stairs doesn’t line up with the wall correctly. It’s just off enough that the gate wouldn’t hold. After ordering and sending back several options, I decided to get creative, and here’s what I came up with.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me about how I made this gate, so I thought I’d go ahead and create a little tutorial right here for ya’ll. :) I didn’t think to take progress photos along the way, so hopefully I can make this as clear as possible.
Again, this is not intended as a safety gate. It would work great to corral a pet, or to keep kids out of an off limits area or room, or perhaps at the bottom of the stairs. Despite this photo at the top of the stairs, I really want to emphasize that we use this strictly as a visible barrier to discourage him from wandering, not as a safety device. We have a very small, (4 step) carpeted staircase. I do not recommend this for a large or dangerous staircase, as obviously a child could get around the gate if they were determined enough. A certified safety product is always best. Please don’t sacrifice safety for looks, and please always supervise your children around stairs!!
First, I measured the area and bought fun but heavy fabric. Most of my house is neutral tans, grays, and whites. However I wanted something bright and fun for this non-permanent piece. When buying my fabric, I made sure to doubled the length so my gate would have both a front and back with the pattern facing out. I also bought cording to use for corners, but you could probably substitute this with heavy ribbon for a different look.
To create the gate, I laid the fabric flat and folded in all four sides of fabric to hide the edges. I pinned them to make sure they were straight, then I hot glued them down creating nice clean edges for the sides of the gate.
Next, I folded the rectangle of fabric in half and hot glued all the outer edges to each other. At this point, you should have a square of fabric. When gluing your edges, make sure to leave a small area at each corner unglued so you have space to add cording.
After the fabric was set, I added cording to the sides of the gate, again using hot glue. Running the cord down the sides was purely decorative, so I didn’t need to sew the cording onto the whole thing. To securely fasten it and create enough strength to hold the gate in place, I looped cording at corners and hot glued the ends of the edges into the open corners, right inside the seams. After hot gluing the corner loops in place, I reinforced the cording by sewing the corners. This extra step makes sure that the gate stays in place if there’s pressure on it, so the cords are held in place by more than just glue in the essential areas. ;)
It’s as simple as that! A pretty little stair gate that is a custom fit for our space. To attach the gate to the wall, I used Command Cord Bundlers that you can pick up at nearly any retailer. Just look in the electronic supply section.
Here’s the finished product in action. Works like a charm! A nice plus is our cat, Dwight, can slip under or around the sides of the gate to get to his box in the basement. He enjoys teasing the kid from the safety of the other side of the gate.
And as a bonus, I even had enough fabric left over to make a matching pillow for the living room!
I hope you like my little DIY project. Look for more of me here in the future, and if you’d like, come follow me on Instagram!
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