October 12, 2015

On the spectrum of intensity with which a family could baby-proof their house, we lean heavily on the less is more end of things. You could say we go with the adage to house-proof your baby (like, teach them not to touch certain things) rather than baby-proof your house. To each his own; this is just us. While you will not see much of any of those little plastic products around our home, having a baby gate to corral my growing boy was seeming more and more valuable in life post-apartment with more square footage.

The living room, where we play most of the time, has a pocket door connecting to the kitchen. One baby gate to the entryway and I would have myself a nice, quarantined play area.

A CLOTH BABY GATE from Rachel Schultz

The catch is, I aesthetically and functionally hate dealing with the typical wood or plastic baby gate. They can really junk up a house and scream “the children are now ruling here!” Plus, they are cumbersome to store or hide.

I created a fabric option that requires very little sewing ability (of which I have close to none). To be a good sewer, I think you need to be a person with good attention for detail. This is not me. I like say, painting a room, because it is a big, quick task which gives a dramatic change right away.

The diligence required of a sewing project usually leaves me frustrated and muttering at the machine. Talented seamstresses, I envy you. Sewing is such a useful skill, but I think I have to accept I will never excel in it.

This project is simple, so if you are like me in this way, there is hope for you!

  1. Trim piece of quilted material to desired size for your door. I did mine 34″ high and it has held my very-skilled-at-climbing baby.
  2. Sew bias tape around perimeter.
  3. Create loops on corners and sides with bias tape. I did six in total and it has been secure.
  4. Measure and screw mug hooks into wall.
  5. Hang baby gate!

The above photo is after a few months of use and it has held together very well despite our little lad being getting quite rough. He certainly bounces on it and pulls down on the top, but we have had no escapes to date.

Being able to conveniently hook it to one side when I want open access, remove and fold it up entirely for guests, or release just a corner to easily step over (even with my pregnant-ness) is excellent.

I have not implemented this yet, but the other perk is I could put more hooks in other doorways and easily move it around to partition off different areas. The final product gets a 10/10 (and my sewing skills required a 1/10.)

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  • I love the wall color you picked! Your hard word floors look fantastic-LOVE!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Jen!

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