I don’t know about you but I am a big sucker for a Chinese Chippendale pattern. So when my hubby and I started discussing pet gates, and realized all our past gates weren’t quite up to par, I started thinking of a stylish DIY. We needed something that wouldn’t be constantly falling down against our stair railing, and that is simple for my seven year old daughter to use. So I turned to my resource for everything DIY; Pinterest. I found several great Chippendale railing tutorials as well as DIY baby & pet gates. We combined what we learned to create our own DIY Chippendale Gate Tutorial.
Step 1: Measure the opening where your gate will be installed.
Create your frame to be a 1/4″ smaller square than the opening/doorway. For example, our stairwell was 39″ wide, so we created our gate to be 38.75″ x 38.75″. Keeping the gate a square keeps measuring simple. Note that an average doorway is only around 30″ wide. (If your opening is on the skinnier side, you can always mount your gate slightly higher so it will be tall enough.)
Step 2: Build the frame
Cut the first two pieces of your 2″ thick wood to your opening/doorway width (1/4″ less than the measured opening/door).
Cut the next two more pieces to be 4″ shorter than your first two. Your taller pieces will be the top and bottom of frame and the shorter pieces will go between to create your square frame. Nail or screw them together.
Step 3: To begin the Chippendale pattern, place two boards diagonal from a top corner to the opposite bottom corners as shown to create an X. The simplest way to measure this board and all is to pre-cut your board a few inches longer than where the board is going to be used. Measure along one of the diagonal board and mark the points where they overlap. You will cut away one of the boards where it crosses the other board at the midpoint. Hold the boards in place and mark them to determine the angles and lengths. Cut and then install boards to create an X within your frame.
Step 4: Measure each half of the formed “X”. and divide to have even spacing between spindles. To make these spindles you pre-cut the boards, and hold in place to measure and mark as before. The length of each of these boards is correct when they are exactly parallel to the main “X” board as shown in the pictures and evenly spaced out. Attach with nails/screws where possible and a generous amout of wood glue where not. Continue until each section is complete.
I recommend looking at a photo of a chippendale railing while you work to get the pattern right. Our seemed to get a little off, but we were happy with it.
Step 5: Once your pattern is complete and everything is nailed/screwed or glued together you can lightly sand and they spray paint your gate.
Step 6: Once the paint is dry you are ready to install! Install your gate onto wall or doorframe with drill and screws using simple hinges on one side and a gate lock on the opposite side. Think about which way you want your gate to be swinging and have the hinges on that side.
We ended up choosing a different lock style than we initially picked out and so we added a small piece of wood to our gate to accommodate it.
All together we ended up spending less than $50 to build our gate. In all honesty, our gate didn’t turn out perfect. Some of our spacing got thrown off so it’s not all evenly spaced for that perfect chippendale pattern, but we’ve still gotten a ton of compliments on it. Most importantly it does it jobs and keeps the little ones from charging up the stairs, all while looking stylish!