Courtyard Gate

How you can turn Ikea bed slats into a gate. I hated our old gate, it was ugly and heavy and opened the wrong way. It had to go. I had wood lying around so decided to make a new one!


1 roll of bed slats

Ikea (no longer available)

1 metal lock

2 metal hinges


How to


This is what came with the house. A heavy, ugly wooden gate that had started to fall apart and rot away in places. It did have a brilliant bit for the cats to go through it. That’s about the only good bit about this thing. In the end I had to lift it up to be able to even open it. It even opened the wrong way into the courtyard! Rather than opening to the alley wall it opened towards the house. Something I changed.


So, first up was measuring the width of the existing gate and making a plan to build the new one. The slats are 80cm long and the gate was wider than that so had to rejig things to make it fit. I also wanted to keep little openings for the cats to go through and I loved the idea of chevron.

I placed the slats at 45° degree angle and a slat thickness apart from each other.


The next step was pre-drilling the holes for the screws and assembling the gate. I then took it apart to paint.


As this wood is just simple pine, I made sure to apply several coats on every single side of the slats. This will mean that the gate will hopefully last a lot longer since there’s no uncovered bit to let in moisture for it then to start to rot.


It had about 3-4 coats for each slat. the paint was quite old already and felt a bit too thin so made sure to cover and coat extra for more protection in the long run.


After all the coats were dry I reassembled the gate, fitted the hardware and realised I made the gate too narrow for the space it needed to close 🤦‍♀️ What’s that saying again? Measure twice, cut once? Well I think i’ve measured more than that and still managed to get it wrong somehow 😆🤷‍♀️

Luckily for me I hoard wood and had the perfect piece of length lying around to make up for the width shortage. This beam got attached to the alley wall.


And there she is! New gate in situ and yes, the column on the right is wonky. Remember the old gate hinging on that side? well, I ended up having to chisel the top half of the column off as the hinge that was used for the old gate was held in place by the bricks on top! It was incredibly hard to get it loose, off and out! I then had to cement that top chunk back onto the rest of the column and in that process it managed to get wonky. The new gate looks like it’s not level, thanks to the right hand column, but it most certainly is level. And it opens the right way now.