Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial


This Dutch Door Baby Gate is both functional and beautiful. It was so simple and affordable that I think we might build about three more!

dutch door baby gate DIY tutorial

I know I say this about every project, but this dutch door baby gate might be one of my favorite DIY’s ever! Seriously, I love this project so so much.

Our stairs lead right to our bedroom, and they have always been the cause of fear, stress and anxiety for me as a Mom. For years we used traditional baby gates, until our middle son pushed against it so hard that he flew down the stairs. 

Yes, you read that right. Most terrifying experience of my life. Thankfully he survived with nothing more than a bloody lip, but still. We got rid of the gate and when our third baby boy began crawling, I told my husband that we needed another solution.

While looking through scrap wood in our basement to see what we could come up with, I happened to notice the three doors stacked in a corner that had been there since we moved in. They were beautiful, solid wood doors that the previous owners saved after doing some renovations.

After a quick Pinterest search I realized that a door turned baby gate was no new concept, but I was excited to find that it could definitely be done. Here’s what we did!

Click on the video below to watch the entire process!

YouTube video

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Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial Step 1

Find an old door and decide which part of it you’d like to use. I know we lucked out since we already had one in our basement, but I see doors at thrift stores and Habitat for Humanity all the time! 

On this particular door we used the bottom half since it was nicely trimmed out and the paneled detail fit perfectly in the space at the top of our stairs. 

dutch door baby gate step by step guide

Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial Step 2

Next, we marked our lines to cut the door in a way so that all four sides were equal in width. So for example, instead of cutting 4 inches off of one side, we cut 2 inches off of both sides and did the same for the top and bottom. 

Obviously your cuts all depend on the opening where you are installing your baby gate.

how to make a dutch door baby gate

My husband then clamped his 4ft level onto the door as a guide wall to cut the door using his circular saw.

Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial Step 3

how to make a dutch door baby gate tutorial

After cutting the door down to size, I filled a few scratches and gouges with wood filler then sanded the areas smooth. 

I then cleaned the door with a damp cloth and gave it a coat of primer with my favorite brush. I use this primer on all my projects and I love the fact that it blocks stains and adheres to any surface!

Once the primer dried I applied two coats of white semi-gloss paint. 

Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial Step 4

Next, my husband mounted a hinge support to the wall using anchors (since there wasn’t a stud where we needed the support). A 1×4 worked perfectly, but we would also recommend using Liquid Nails on the back of the board for extra strength. 

A quick note – my husband placed the screw holes for the support in places where they would be covered up by the hinges. This way we didn’t have to countersink or fill any holes.

We caulked all around the hinge support and painted it white to match the door.

Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial Step 5

Next, my husband attached the hinges to the dutch door baby gate. 

how to build a diy dutch door baby gate

Another important note – before attaching the door completely, we shimmed the bottom of the door by setting it on a scrap piece of lattice trim (about a 1/4 inch thick) so that our door wouldn’t rub or get caught on the carpet once opened. You may want to shim more or less based on the type of flooring you have. 

He then attached the hinges to the support and checked to see if the door opened and closed smoothly. Success!! 

Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial Step 6

We chose a self-locking gate latch and attached it to the door and wall. It was very simple to install and cleared the gap between the wall and door perfectly. 

DIY Dutch door self locking baby gate
DIY Dutch door self locking baby gate
DIY Dutch door self locking baby gate

I love this latch because we don’t have to worry about a bolt or hook, it just automatically locks as soon as we close it.

For added safety, we also installed a chain door guard on the outside of the door. That way if for some crazy reason the baby figures out how to open the door, it will still be locked on the outside. 

diy dutch door with chain door guard
diy dutch door with chain door guard
diy dutch door with chain door guard

Dutch Door Baby Gate – DIY Tutorial Step 7

Finally, my husband attached a 1×3 trim piece on top to give the door a more finished look. He glued it into place and then nailed it with a brad nailer and 1 ¼ nails.

how to build a dutch door baby gate
how to build a dutch door baby gate
how to build a dutch door baby gate

That’s it!! What do you guys think of our new dutch door baby gate?! I am so in love with this project. My only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner!


Dutch door baby gate DIY tutorial step by step


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  5. This is such a great idea. Thank you! We are planning on putting this in a door jam at the top of stairs to the basement. Do you recommend the same type of installation or do you recommend that we utilize the existing door mountings? Thank you, Jean

    1. Thank you, great question, without seeing it I am not sure, but I would assumed you would utilize the existing mountings, I hope this helps!

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