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In an attempt to make my house look less “Playskool Chic”, I recently made these No Sew Fabric Baby Gate Covers.
And by recently, I mean “way back in the Fall when we moved.” I’m the worst. Baby gates are an eye sore, but a necessary part of life at Casa de Kolchak. We’ve talked about how Felix has some reactivity issues, and we’ve shared some of the ways we’re combating them. Baby gates are an integral part of my behaviour management strategy. Once something has set Felix off, one of the most effective ways to calm him is to gently lay my hand on his butt or his back. I don’t know if it’s my presence or that the touch just snaps him out of the moment, but it is *extremely effective*. It’s my Felix-y kryptonite. The only problem is that this is a rather large apartment and often, by the time Felix has been aggravated by keys in the hallway or the cleaning lady vacuuming or whatever the woof is setting him off this time, are you kidding me Felix?, he’s already taken off at a dead run to the source of the noise. I can never stop what I’m doing and get to him fast enough. Breaking the house into smaller areas and gating them off means that I am never too far to comfort my boy if he’s having a melt down.
Gates are also super handy for keeping the dogs in the kitchen while they are chewing raw meaty bones, in the bathroom while they are wet after a bath and in my bedroom at night (I hate sleeping with the door shut). I also use ours in the sliding glass door, so that I can let in fresh air, but still keep Felix off the deck (where he would like to bark at all the passersby.) When his torn ACL was at it’s worst, we used gates at the Daddy’s house to keep him from going up & down the stairs.
edit: I’m told that parents of tiny humans have the same challenges containing the loveable little maniacs and keeping them safe. What I love about these covers for tiny humans is that you could spray them with stain blocker (or make it of laminated table cloth material or that great water/stain repellent material designed for deck use), make a few spares and just toss them in the wash when sticky jam fingers have mucked ’em up. So much easier than constantly scrubbing down the gate!
Baby gates are almost the solution to all my woes. Too bad they’re so darn ugly.
I don’t care what anyone says, a baby gate isn’t doing anything to enhance the look of my apartment. They’re useful and practical and totally unattractive. (Sure, you can get some nice ones, but holy woof! Are they ever pricey?)
I’m not alone. Way back when we made our DIY Designer Toy Box, Kimberly from Keep the Tail Wagging admitted that she wanted to cover her gates too.
With two new puppies in the house, I can only imagine Kimberly’s gates are getting more of a work out than ever!
I decided that if gates were necessary, the least I could do would be to make them a little stylish.
BEHOLD: the no sew baby gate cover:
Here’s what you need:
- Fabric – Measure the width of your opening + 4″ x 2 times the height of your gate + 5.5″ (Always check the discount bin at the fabric store. You can get small pieces of really nice fabrics for dirt cheap. Another place to find cheap heavy weight fabric? The window hanging section. I happened to snag another one of the curtain panels I used in my living room, on closeout for $5! I was lucky – the panel was already the same width as my doors.)
- Hook & Loop Adhesive Strips – I used about 18″ total, for the whole project.
- No Sew Tape – You could also use heavy duty double sided carpet tape, but I like that the no sew tape is washable. Fabric gets dirty, yo.
- Office Stapler – This part is totally optional, but I find the hook and loop comes off fabric after a while. A staple will make sure it stays in place.
- Staple Gun (or Crazy Glue) – I have these cheap wood gates, so I used a staple gun, but if you’re working with a plastic gate, Super Glue will get the job done.
- Measuring Tape
Let’s do this.
- Prep the Gate – Cut hook & Loop into 1.5″ strips and place as marked by the x’s below.
- Staple (or SuperGlue) into place. Flip over the gate and repeat. (Make sure you use the same side of the hook and loop for every strip. I used the hook side.)
- Prep the fabric – Fold over 1″ on each side and iron into place. (Make sure you measure and do not fold over too much fabric, otherwise your finished cover will not be wide enough.)
- Hem the Horizontal edges. Fold over the bottom horizontal edge of fabric another inch and apply the no sew tape between the two layers of fabric. Set the no sew tape according to package directions (Generally, you place a hot steam iron over it for a set amount of time without moving it. ) Repeat with the top horizontal edge.
- Add the hook & loop – On the patterned side of your fabric, place your hook and loop and stick in place, using your measuring tape to ensure you are placing the strips the same distance apart as on your gate.
- Staple the Hook and loop in place. I used one staple in each corner of the strip.
- Flip the Fabric over and apply the no sew strip. Fold the right vertical edge of the fabric over by 1″ and place the no sew strip between the two layers of fabric. Set the no sew tape according to package directions. Repeat with the left vertical edge.
- The iron is out anyways, why not iron the whole thing? I wish I had! That wrinkly photo is cringe worthy! I’ll be ironing it tomorrow.
- Set up your gate in the chosen doorway. Match up your velcro pieces to place the cover over the gate.
- Stand back and admire how woofing crafty you are!
Do you use baby gates in your house? Why (or why not)? Do you like them?