Picture of Hack your baby-gate for narrow doorways
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For some reason, nearly all baby gates start at 28-inches wide.  I live in an older home and it has some quirks.  One quirk is that all of our closets have very narrow openings.  I have scoured the internets for a gate that will fit into a 23-inch opening, but the best I could find is one for 26-3/4".  

Many of you may ask, "Why don't you just close the closet door?"  My response is that I would love to just close the door, but the unusual location and construction of the closet makes that difficult.  This particular closet has a high humidity problem and it needs to stay open at all times.  So rather than expose my boy to the uncertain dangers of an unattended shoe rack, I decided to hack an off-the-shelf baby gate.

I have experience with a few different brands of baby-gates. Most of them use the same linear ratcheting mechanism to get the gate to fit snugly into the door-jam. This instructable should be applicable to most linear ratcheting gates because they typically have excess material that can be cut away.

Materials needed:
  • (1) Safety 1st 23" Wood Gate -- $12.99 at local Babies R Us.  The 23" actually refers to height
  • drill
  • 7/32" drill bit
  • replacement hardware
    • (1) 2" aluminum screw post
    • (1) 1-1/4" aluminum screw post
    • (1) 3/4" aluminum screw post
    • (1) 5/8" aluminum screw post
  • screw driver
  • pair of pliers
  • hand-saw
  • pencil
  • roll of masking tape
This project should take about an hour.
anne.selmon2 months ago

I am currently trying to make something for one of my doorways. I need a 24 inch wide and 4 to 5 ft high. We don't have air conditioning.I too, need air circulation and to keep the cat out. (fat cat won't jump very high 3 ft would probably do) I have torn apart the same kind of gate but that is as far as I have got. I will try some of your ideas. great job!

I'm impressed, but not very handy - do you have one of these hacked versions you'd part with for a reasonable price?