Chalk Board Baby Stair Gate

Jun 3, 2016 | 3 comments

Baby Gate

The days of Gregor’s cot acting as effective containment are numbered. Given his ability to scale a step-ladder, open the front door, and use a stool to grab that just-out-of-reach bit of cake on the kitchen sideboard, it is only a matter of days before he vaults the top of his cot in a bid for freedom.

Older and wiser parents have advised us to resist taking the sides off the cot for as long as possible, but we believe the time has come, and the prospect of this new-found liberty means that all stairs need to be blocked-off. Of course this only occurred to me after I had dismantled the cot and found myself having to make a quickly improvised baby stair gate.

To do this I screwed two thin strips of wood to the wall to act as retainers, leaving a gap of about 8mm between the strips. I then cut a 6mm mdf sheet to the width and height of the gate I needed and slotted it into place. The next day I cut a face-shaped hole to act as a handle and gave it a couple of coats of chalkboard paint. I also glued a small wooden stationary box to the front for the chalk.

Slat Left
Slat Right
Chalk Paint
Baby Gate
Chalk Box

This is an ideal solution for us. It easily lifts out during the day and slots back at night to stop Gregor escaping upstairs. My theory is that Gregor wakes up at 5am, rolls out of bed, toddles through to pester the parents…but wait…what is this on the landing…a chalk board! That’s got to be more exciting than sitting on daddy’s head whiles he’s trying to sleep. Wishful thinking…

Chalk Box
Chalk Box
Gate Comparison
Gate Comparison


  1. Sunil Kotecha

    Wow Tom this is exactly what we need

    • Tom Baughan

      Hi Sunil – watch out for upcoming post on other beautiful DIY stair gates – coming soon! Look forward to meeting your little one sometime soon.

  2. Alison NT

    Such a great idea Tom. I love the idea that something so functional can also be fun and good to look at. Hope the chalk doesn’t get ground into the carpet too frequently. Good luck next week. We’re all thinking of you.


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