Free Baby & Pet Gate Plans

By craftshome / 29. August 2018

When our little one started crawling we realized we needed to come up with a solution for our basement door. We couldn’t find any other baby gates that would work for our particular situation. The litter box for our cats was located in the basement of our home, but if we put a standard baby gate on the opening our cats wouldn’t be able to get upstairs or downstairs.

We also need the ability to close the basement door completely at night where the cats sleep. So we had to come up with our own baby and pet gate plans. I’ve had a lot of people inquire about this gate, so I whipped up these free baby & pet gate plans!

Free baby & pet gate plans!

If I cut a hole in the door and put a typical cat door in, it would ruin the door, plus we liked to keep it open during the day to allow the air to circulate in our the house.

So, I had to come up with a custom plan! The first step for this build is something you likely never thought you would have to do in your life…measure your cat(s).

Our old boy Finnigan was tipping the scales near 20lbs. I needed to make sure that they could actually fit through the hole. Even weirder? I had to measure our baby’s width to make sure she couldn’t fit through the hole.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

You will find that this is a very simple build. I know what you’re thinking…a baby gate at the top of stairs is not supposed to swing out over the stairs, but it’s the best way to make it work with the existing door in place.

So I put a double lock on the stair side, a gate latch and a sliding latch for security. I also put spring hinges on it so the gate will automatically close behind me. If there is any way you can avoid having it swing out over the stairs in your home, please do so.

Free baby & pet gate plans!


NOTE: These plans accommodate a 32″ door opening.

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1 x 6″ x 8′ 2 1 32″ / 12.5″ / 12.5″ / 35″
2 35″ / 24″ / 24″
1 x 4″ x 8′ 2 1 35″ / 35″
2 35″ / 35″
1 x 3″ x 4′ 1 1 32″
Any trim wider than 1 1/4″ 1 1 32″


  • 1.25″ 18g Brad Nails
  • 1.25″ construction wood screws
  • Self Closing Gate Kit
  • Surface Bolt
  • 80 / 120 / 220 grit 5″ sanding discs
  • Gorilla wood glue
  • Wood Filler


  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • 5″ orbital sander
  • Mitre saw
  • Circular saw


1. Create the base frame by following the diagram below and secure with ample wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

2. Add the 1 x 6 x 24″ pieces to the back side, creating a half lap joint and secure with ample wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

3. Secure the boards 1.625″ apart for all gaps EXCEPT the center space will be 1.5″. You can cut out the area at the bottom of the center boards for the pet door either before or after you secure them. Use ample wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails to secure. I also added a couple of 1.25″ screws to the top and bottom of each board for added strength.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

4. Trim out the opening for the pet door cutting down some 3/4″ pieces to the sizes on the diagram below. Secure using wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

5. Add a 1 x 3 x 32″ piece to the top, flush to the front of the gate, and secure using wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

6. Choose a piece of trim that suits your style that is at least 1 1/4″ in width. Attach it with wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails to the top front of the gate. Then fill nail holes, sand, and paint or stain it.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

7. Remove the casing from the door jamb and install the Self Closing Gate Hinges underneath it. Mount the gate to the hinges, leaving about 1/2″ clearance between the floor and the bottom of the gate.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

8. Then attach the latch from the kit and add a surface bolt for extra security. Both should be installed on the stair side that is not accessible by your toddler. You’ll have to reach over the top to open the gate each time, but it is the safest method.

Free baby & pet gate plans!

We did find that there were times we wanted the gate to stay open when our toddler wasn’t around. For that, we used this cool magnetic door stop!

Free baby & pet gate plans!

If you build one of these for yourself, please send me a pic. I love to see it!

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