My Custom Baby Gate

When Norah started crawling, we decided it was finally time to get a baby gate. We knew it would be hard to find one that fit because our stairs are a little awkward. 

One side is a wall, and the other side is spindles. The standard gate that uses pressure to hook in wouldn’t work. 

And, let’s be honest, most baby gates are hideous. Plus the ones that are decent looking are expensive! 

Every time we went to the store we would look at baby gates. We looked online at countless websites. Finally Pinterest came to my rescue! All my time pinning was about to pay off. I found one that looked like a barn door and asked Shane if he could make it. 

Obviously, he said yes. Anything that will get him some garage-time.

After some configuring, we decided to nix the barn door style because we wanted to be able to see through it. He designed a new one, I okay’d it, and he went to work. 

He used oak 1×4 and 1×2 boards. He put a caster on it so if Norah hangs on it, it won’t break off the wall. 

He angled the bars on the top and bottom to give it a little style 😉 

The baby gate, working it's magic. Also - Norah's giant cloth diaper butt!!
The baby gate, working it’s magic. Also – Norah’s giant cloth diaper butt!! 

It’s so sturdy and solid! And it looks sooo much better than any you can buy in the store!

Seriously. He needs to be selling these things. It cost about $60 and took less than 4 hours to make. 

The latch took some figuring. We didn’t want to drill into the spindle, so he make a block to fit around it, and attached the latch to the block. 

After awhile, Norah learned how to open it, so we changed it up. She keeps us on our toes. This photo is with the first latch system. Now the latch is attached to the gate and locks behind the spindle with a pin to keep it in place. 

Shane and his dad made this gate at their house:

Shane's parent's baby gate that swings both ways.
Shane’s parent’s baby gate.

They designed it to swing both in and out. They framed it with 1x4s and screwed on tongue and groove boards for the front. It has a sliding bolt latch on the back.

Then his sister had him make a gate at her house.

Shane's sister's gate, which also swings in and out.
Shane’s sister’s gate, which also swings in and out. Izzy was not pleased about having to move for the picture.

This gate is a single piece of edge glued pine. In order to not drill a hole in the banister, he zip tied a board to it and drilled into that for the latch. 

He’s basically a baby gate making expert now.  

It’s so nice to have a handy husband 🙂

Also, baby gates are awesome at keeping the dog in the basement when he’s annoying you.


Revamped Play Table

I can’t write about migraines all the time. That’d get boring. Real fast. 

So, I’ll show you the latest project we finished in our house instead!

A month or so ago I bought this awesome play table at a consignment store. It was begging to come home with me.

Original table

Norah actually wouldn’t leave the table the entire time we were at the store. It’s a BRIO table. I’m sure your doctor/dentist/chiropractor has one in the office. They retail anywhere from $150-200. This cost me $15. Score!

We set it up in our basement and Norah loved it! 

I bought it with the idea of painting it with chalkboard paint. Luckily, I happened to have a can laying around from a previous project. 

Shane loves a good project – anything that will let him spend time in the garage. 

First he painted it with two coats of bonding primer. This stuff is awesome. It’s as thick as sour cream and one can lasts forever. I can’t even count how many things we’ve painted with it! 

Primed table

 There it is – primed and ready!

 Next up was the chalkboard paint. Two more coats. 

Painting table

Such a happy little worker 😉

And finally, the finished product:

Norah chalking

 I love it! Norah loves it! Shane loves it! Someday, Cece will love it too! 

Now Norah keeps asking if we can “go chalk.” Heck yes, we can!