Make a Pet or Baby Gate Inspired by Modern Art

Add stylish safety and separation to door openings, hallways or staircases with a child and baby gate inspired by iconic artist Piet Mondrian.
Mondrian Inspired Baby Gate

Stylish Mondrian Inspired Staircase Baby Gate

Add safety and separation to door openings, hallways or staircases with a child and baby gate inspired by iconic artist Piet Mondrian.

Related To:

Materials Needed:

  • 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" paint-grade plywood
  • T-square
  • circular saw
  • table saw
  • dado blade
  • newspaper or roll of kraft paper
  • painter's tape
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • quart of white latex paint in gloss finish
  • can of black spray paint in gloss finish
  • can of red spray paint in gloss finish
  • can of yellow spray paint in gloss finish
  • can of blue spray paint in gloss finish
  • 3" drywall screws
  • drill
  • roller handle
  • roller sleeve
  • paint pan
  • 6' strips of 2x2" pine
  • 6' planks of 1x3" pine
  • nail gun
  • brads
  • wood glue
  • 8' strip of 1/2" thick by 1 1/2" wide pine trim
  • 8' strip of 1/2" thick by 1" wide pine trim
  • gate latch
  • stud finder
  • level

Determine Proper Measurements

Use a measuring tape to determine the proper width and height of hallway, door or staircase opening. This measurement will account for the gate itself as well as one 2x2" wall support strip, one 1x3" wall support strip and hinges that will attach the gate to the support strips. Tip: Write down the gate dimensions; you'll need them to cut the support strips later on.

Referring to these dimensions, mark 4x8’ sheet of 3/4"-thick paint-grade plywood to size with pencil. Note: Deduct 3" for the combined width of the two support strips, 1/8” per side for hinges and 2” all the way around to account for gate frame.

Next, use T-square to draw perfectly straight lines atop the marks that denote the edges of the gate. Cut the gate to size along the lines using a circular saw.

Paint Plywood, Then Mark Pattern

Once plywood is cut to size, paint sides and edges with glossy white latex paint using roller handle and roller sleeve. Allow at least one hour for paint to dry, then use T-square and pencil to mark a Mondrian-style pattern on both sides.

Tip: Piet Mondrian was known for abstract pieces that included a white background and a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines that were filled in with the three primary colors. Research his paintings and find a favorite, or make his style your own with an original arrangement.

Tape Off and Paint Pattern

After white paint has thoroughly dried, decide proper placement for red, yellow and blue accent colors.

Next, use newspaper or a roll of kraft paper and painter’s tape to section off the portion of the pattern that will be painted the first accent color. This will protect the rest of the surface from any overspray. Once surfaces are protected, spray on the first accent color, keeping can at least 8” from surface, moving back and forth in a slow, controlled manner. Allow at least 30 minutes for spray paint to dry before removing, then repositioning, painter’s tape and paper.

Repeat for all three accent colors and all sections of the pattern.

Cut Support Strips and Frame

Measure, mark and cut one wall support strip using 2x2” pine and one wall support strip using 1x3” pine. Refer to the gate's dimensions; each strip should be the same width and height as the gate.

Next, cut the frame pieces. You'll need two side strips cut from 2x2” pine as well as a top and bottom strip of 2x2” pine.

Add Notch With Dado Blade

In order for the 3/4” piece of plywood to fit snugly into the 2x2” frame pieces, each piece will need to be notched along its inside edge with a dado blade. Place each piece along table saw, then add notch with dado blade.


Spray-Paint Support Strips, Frame and Fascia

Lay support strips and frame pieces out on paper placed along a flat, level surface. Keeping spray can 8” from the surface of the support strips, fascia and frame pieces, move back and forth in a slow, controlled manner until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Allow to dry for about 1 hour before assembling gate.

Tip: Although fascia has not been cut to size, it’s best to go ahead and pre-paint it along with the other pieces to save time.


Attach Frame Pieces to Plywood

Slide each of the four frame pieces around the edges of the plywood panel. Next, use nail gun to secure frame pieces to the plywood.

Measure, Mark, Cut and Attach Fascia

To add graphic separation between each of the painted portions of the design, 1/2” strips of 1 1/2”-wide and 1”-wide trim will be cut to size and attached as fascia.

First, use measuring tape to determine the proper length and width for each fascia, then mark it to size using pencil. Next, cut fascia strips to size with circular saw.

Add wood glue to the back of all fascia pieces, then firmly position them into place, allowing at least one hour for glue to dry before moving onto the next step.

Attach Hinges

Use drill to attach hinges to left and right sides of frame, with the center of each hinge sitting approximately 6” from the top and bottom edges.


Install Support Strips

Place support strips into proper position along wall, then use stud finder to determine proper location of studs. Next, secure support strips into studs using drill and 3” drywall screws.


Attach Gate and Latch

Hold gate up to support strips, then secure tightly with hinges using drill and screws. Place level on top of gate to ensure a perfectly straight fit. Next, use drill to attach latch.

Enjoy Your Functional Art Piece

Now you can enjoy a handmade art piece evoking the iconic style of Piet Mondrian while still keeping kids and pets safe.

Mondrain Style Babygate

Add Style And Safety With Baby Gates

Add safety and separation to door openings, hallways or staircases with a child and baby gate inspired by iconic artist Piet Mondrian.

Next Up

How to Make a Kid's Sun-Print Treat Bag for Halloween

Harness the power of the sun and create a one-of-a-kind Halloween goodie bag that is perfect for collecting candy and other spooky treats.

The Best Backyard Swing Sets for Kids

Create a backyard made for entertaining your kids all year round with a ready-for-play swing set.

How to Make Paper Snowflakes

A great winter or Christmas craft to make with kids, you can let it snow inside by creating your very own wintry flurry of snowflakes out of paper.

How to Make a Halloween Night-Light From a Plastic Bottle

Let your kids illuminate Halloween by crafting a witch night-light made from an upcycled 2-liter bottle.

How to Make a Kids' Mud Kitchen + Activity Table

Keep the kids entertained for hours with this outdoor play bench where they can cook up muddy creations, build sand castles or play with tractors all day long.

How to Make Terrazzo-Style Candles From Crayons

Don't toss those broken crayons. Instead, upcycle them into colorful candles.

How to Make Halloween String Lights on the Cheap

The secret to making them on the cheap? Toilet paper rolls. If you or your kids can use scissors and decoupage glue, you can make a set of these festive Halloween string lights.

How to Make a Classic Tulle Tutu

This pretty DIY skirt looks adorable as a flower girl dress, a Halloween costume, for ballerinas-in-training or just for the fun of it. Almost no sewing is involved to create this classic tulle tutu, making it a great project for beginner-level crafters.

DIY Bike Stand: Upcycle a Crib Rail Into a Bike Stand

Don't toss that old crib rail; upcycle it into a handy DIY bike rack with helmet hooks to keep your kids' bikes and gear safely stowed away.

Easy-to-Make Valentine's Day Paper Chain Countdown Calendar

Count down the days until Valentine's Day with a handmade paper heart chain.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.