DIY Pet Gate
While I am not a pet owner myself, I “babysit” my little fur brother once a month or so. And even though he's cute as pie, there are rooms in the house I'd rather he didn't wander into. But I've yet to find a gate of some sort that will work for the cased opening I have between my sunroom and dining room.
And since necessity is the mother of invention, I created my own using plastic lattice.
The materials I used to create (4) 18 inch x 18 inch panels are:
(1)-4'x8' plastic lattice
(4)-8' plastic lattice caps
4 foot level or other straight-edge
hot glue gun
(16)-1/2 inch #4 screws
(6)-2 inch narrow hinges
A pet gate like this would come in handy if you have holiday guests that aren't animal people. Your dog can still be out in the open, but at a comfortable distance from your guests. And at 18 inches tall, it's easy to step over too.
On to how I made it. I started with the lattice laid out flat. I choose the tighter lattice pattern. But they have the traditional lattice pattern in white, grey, red-brown, and brown-brown plastic if you want to go that route.
Using the tape measure I marked 18 inches from the bottom at several points along one of the long edges.
Then I used my level to connect the dots and get a straight line to cut.
Since the lattice is so thin, I adjusted the depth of my circular saw so I wouldn't inadvertently cut something besides the lattice.
Slowly, but surely, I cut along the line to create an 18 inch by 8 foot piece. You'll want to do the same since the plastic is slippery! From there I marked and cut 18 inches 4 more times to get the panels that make up the pet gate.
Setting the 4 panels aside, I moved on to marking and cutting the lattice caps that will make up the frame of each panel. Use the speed square to mark a 45 degree angle, make sure the “opening” of the cap is at the bottom of your angle.
You want the length cap/trim to be 18 inches, but not from end to end. You have to compensate for the groove where the lattice goes. The thick part of the cap is ¼ inch. So multiply that by 2 and you get ½ inch. Add that to the 18 and you'll need to make all of your trim pieces 18 ½ inches from long point of the angle to long point.
You only have to do it once. Then you can place your cut piece on top to measure the remaining 15 trim pieces.
With everything cut, it is time for assembly! I wanted a large counter surface so I could lay all of the pieces out as I worked on them. So I headed to my dad's shop.
Since the plastic is slippery, it's hard to drive a screw in the exact spot you want it while holding the trim pieces at the right angle. Trust me, I learned it the hard way. So I used hot glue to hold the frames together.
I glued 3 pieces together for each panel
Then I slid the lattice in place.
After attaching the bottom trim piece with hot glue, I moved on to screws. This is where I used the ½ inch #4 screws. I identified the “pretty” sides of each panel and made them the “front” of the gate. Once that was determined, I attached the screws at the top and bottom corners of the “side” of the panel. That way they'll be mostly hidden when the gate is in use.
With all 16 screws in place, I got out the hinges. I wanted to make the gate collapsible so it could be stored easy when not in use. The gist is to put the hinge side that opens least against the side of the panel. That way you can open and close it as much as possible and the limitations of the hinge won't hinder you.
I attached two hinges on each panel. One was 3 inches from the top and the other was 3 inches from the bottom for symmetry.
Next set another panel side by side and attach the hinge to the new panel.
Attach another panel to the other side of one of those panels, switching the hinge so the gate will create the same effect as a room screen. Once all 4 panels are attached together by the hinges, you should have one hinge with the hinge part facing one way and 2 with the hinge part facing the other way.
Keep it folded up and pull out the old-school liquid white-out to paint the screw heads. Even though they're small and won't be very visible anyway, it's a nice finishing touch to conceal them.
Assembly's now complete! Spread the gate out and place in your doorway or opening!
My gate is more than I need for my 4 foot opening, but the extra panel isn't in the way and is a nice security blanket in case I need it for another larger opening further down the road.
If you have the same sized opening, you could easily get away with making only 3 panels. And you can adjust the height if your dog or pet is larger than Ricky, a Yorkshire Terrier.
Either way, it folds up and stores like nobody's business.