Thinking about building your own cheap DIY doggy gate? Check out this DIY project where I built a stylish doggy gate to keep my pups put!

A doggy gate has been on my to-do list for a while, so I finally blocked off some time to get it done.

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Here is the build video I put together showing the process:

Keep in mind as you are reading through the tutorial, that this can also be a baby gate!

1) I took some measurements. My door jam, from inside to inside is 32″. Then just playing with different heights, I thought 28″ tall would look great.
Note: I used 1/2″ poplar for this project because I already had it and it’s a simi lightweight wood. If I didn’t have this wood, I probably would have made this gate from cedar fence pickets since cedar is also very lightweight.
2) I cut all my boards to 28″, then used my table saw to rip each one to 2 5/8″. I ended up using 12 boards, which put my gate at 31 7/16″wide. I didn’t make it an even 32″ because I wanted to mount my hinges inside the door jam to avoid mounting them to the trim or adding an additional post on the end.
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3) Since I wanted the top of my gate to have an arch (but I don’t have an arch making device) (if they even make one), I measured from the bottom to 23″ on both sides and made a mark. Then I grabbed a scrap piece of wood, clamped it in place at the top, in the middle, then arched the free end down to the 23″ mark and traced the curve it made. I repeated the steps on the other side to get a matching arch.
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4) Next, I cut each board with my jigsaw.
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Note: It isn’t perfect at this point, but I wasn’t worried about it because I planned on floating in the arch to my liking, with the sander.

Now, I could have left the gate like this. Just glued it up and start staining. However, it was a little plain to me, so I decided to add a little more to it, just for aesthetics.

5) I placed another, uncut, board under the gate in order to transfer the arch of the gate to the board. This gave me my top curve. To get the bottom, I drew a straight line down on both ends of the curve, then took my tape measure and measured down 1 1/4″ and made lots of marks. Once I had marks from left to right (just randomly), I took my pencil and connected the dots. Note: Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect since the sander will shape it.

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6) I cut the arch out with my jigsaw.
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…can I just say, I am loving this wood. This is my first time to work with poplar, and I think it’s so lovely.

 7) Then, since I made the top something decorative, I also made something for the bottom. The top arch is an 1 1/4″, so I cut an additional strip that is also 1 1/4″ to match.

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8) Next was glueing it all together. I don’t have any big clamps, so I had to improvise a way to squish and hold everything together. I first glued the side of each slat and stuck it back in place. Then I took two scrap 3/4″ boards and clamped them down. I did this to keep the individual slats from buckling once I added the straps. The straps keep everything squished and held together while the glue dries.
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9) I let it sit overnight since it was getting dark. The next morning, I took everything off and gave the front and back a good sanding.
10) Then I lined up the top arch and the bottom runner and screwed them in place.
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Note: Since I added these boards solely for a decorative purpose, I wanted the screws to match the hinges instead of being the machine finish. So I stuck all the screws in a trash piece of cardboard and gave the heads a painting before using them.

11) Next was staining. I first applied a coat of wood conditioning (it makes the stain come out more even). After letting it sit for five mins, I wiped it off then put on a coat of stain.

Note: I used the color Dark Walnut.

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12) In order to mount the hinges without alignment issues. I went inside the house and laid the gate on the floor. Then laid the hinges where I wanted them and used a scrap piece of wood to butt up against the hinge part (it’s essentially standing in as my door jam). Then I used a pencil to mark where the holes lined up, and drilled a pilot hole (being careful to not go through the wood!), then came back with the screw.

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13) To mount it to the door jam, I set the gate on a scrap 1/4″ piece of wood and opened the gate all the way. I adjusted the placement of the hinges on the door jam so the gate wasn’t colliding with the trim, then screwed in the remaining screws.

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I tested it out, and everything works. : ) Yay.

14) Last thing to do was to figure out how to keep it closed. I didn’t want to put a normal gate latch because I didn’t want something poking out. So instead I grabbed a few power magnets from my husband’s stash and used them.

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They were round 1/4″ magnets, so I grabbed a 1/4″ drill bit and drilled a shallow hole in the door jam until the magnet would sit flush. Once I had them in place (I ended up using three), I repeated the steps and put magnets on the edge of the gate.

Note: When I was testing the hole to see if it was deep enough, I would shove in the magnet, then use the spare magnets to get it out of there.

15) I decided to use a multi purpose liquid nail to permanently attach the magnets. Important: If you use magnets, make sure the magnet is facing the correct way before you glue it. You don’t want the gate and door jam magnets to be deflecting one another.
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That first hole I drilled, landed me right on top of a nail so I’ll have to go back and fill that in. This whole door jam needs a fresh coat of paint anyways.

Now I have a way of closing off the back of the house from the pups. : )

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Total Cost: $16

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