How a Girl Built a Gate

It’s true! I built our gate all my little bitty self.  I’ve been asked several questions about my gate, so I thought I would share how I made it.

My husband and I had just finished building the fence. (I give him credit for all the labor-intensive work there. I just held fence pickets.)  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the gate built before our weekend was over.

My husband is very busy with work during the summer and I was growing a bit impatient. I really wanted to get going on our gate. We were just starting our backyard landscaping and I needed to be able to contain our very busy little boy.

So…I built it myself!

Here she is:

Gate with window


Aint she perty??  It’s cedar to match our fence. I have to warn you, though that it’s not done. The posts on either side look like two goal posts. We still need to finish the top. We haven’t quite figured out what we want to do yet.  This post is just to give details about the actual gate :)

Here is it from the other side:



Do you love the window detail as much as I do??  I knew I wanted to do something different to make our gate unique.

Nuvo Iron metal gate insert


I actually considered using a metal doormat as an insert, but I decided to go searching online and found this.  It’s made by Nuvo Iron. Their site does not sell them, but I purchased mine here and had an excellent experience. They have several styles to choose from.  (BTW, this is NOT a sponsored post.  I just love my window insert and want to share!)

First I had to figure out how to work around the window.

To start, I built my rectangular frame using three pieces of 2×4 and 1 piece of 2×6 for the bottom:



Don’t worry about the diagonal pieces, yet. Cut your outer frame and the single 2×4 that runs  across the center. These are the dimensions I used:


Your measurements my vary. These worked for our situation.

Then while they were on flat, even ground, I screwed them together using  3″ Deckmate Star Drive Screws:

This photo shows 2″ screws, but I just used it to give you an idea what they look like. The star shape of the head make them easier to drive into the wood.

I screwed them in diagonally from the top and the underside:



Important: I am not a professional. You are probably not either if you are here looking at how a girl built a gate. If you have a better idea, don’t laugh! We would all appreciate it if you’d please share in the comments. Thank you :)

Okay, so where were we? Kreg jig! What?? It’s a cool thingy ma bobber that drills a pocket hole in which to insert your screw. I don’t have one as you can see, but it would probably work really nicely on these 90° angles.

I just screwed them in on the diagonal into the  four corners and the piece across the middle.

Then I laid out my 1×6 pickets leaving about ¼” between each. I had to trim two of them (marked with an “X”) to make them fit perfectly:



You probably didn’t notice until I pointed it out that those two were narrower.

My pickets were a few inches shorter than I wanted.

I wanted to round the top of my gate, but I also wanted it to sit above the top of the fence. To do this, I had figure out a way to add height.

I attached my pickets (using the same style screws in 1 5/8″ length) so that they sat at the height I wanted them to be before cutting the arched top. This left them short at the bottom by a few inches. This is the reason for the 2X6 across the bottom. It would give me a couple more inches.

To fix the front, I cut a scrap picket to fill in the gap across the bottom, then covered it with  a picket, cut to fit the width of the gate. Problem solved!





After all pickets were screwed in place and I figured out how to remedy the height issue, I added my diagonal braces. I measured, cut, and screwed them into place. Here are my measurements. You should measure to be accurate. **Note that the gate was built while flat on the ground. (I only have upright pics to share.)



These were a bit easier to screw in place:



Now for the arched top.

To create the perfect arch, you will need:

  • two screws
  • a piece of very thin, flexible wood such as a narrow piece of wood trim or lattice
  • pencil
  • jigsaw
  1. Attach screws on either side where you want your arch to start and end.
  2. Lay wood piece flat against the bottom of the two screws.
  3. Slowly push it up in between the screws to form an arch.
  4. Use a pencil to trace along the wood, transferring the arch shape onto the top of your gate.
  5. Cut with a jigsaw.

The perfect arch:



Then a jigsaw was used to cut the opening for the window. (The window comes with a pattern. ) It’s made up of two pieces; a piece that inserts into the opening in the front and a frame piece that attaches to the back with four screws. It measures 15″ X 24″.



It really adds so much character.  Plus I can see any activity that’s going on on the other side without opening the gate.



You can see my lovelies are all coming back to life and my azalea is starting  to bloom!

To see more of what’s on the other side, click here!

My husband arrived just in time to add the hardware.



Would you believe that I hung this myself too! Well…I am the Serial Do-it-Yourselfer! (And a teeny bit coo- coo.) It wasn’t as hard as it seems. Plus, I really wanted to surprise my husband!

After the cedar had time to dry out a bit, about six weeks, I sealed it with a UV blocking sealer. We wanted to enjoy the natural beauty for a long time.  I would recommend sealing both sides as I read somewhere that you may have warping if you don’t.

You may also have noticed that a black stain from the hardware has bled on the front of the gate. I believe this is from the sealer. So you may want to go easy around your hardware.




And that’s the story of how a girl built a gate! How did I do? I’d say, not too shabby :)



If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along! :)

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Sharing with these amazing ladies:

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  1. Christy, I am totally impressed! That gate looks absolutely fantastic and the window detail is gorgeous!! Definitely pinning this and thanks for sharing – have a wonderful week!

  2. that is one perty gate! I love the window detail- take that men!

  3. That is gorgeous! You did an outstanding job!

  4. you did great! I love to build…but I am not a professional either

  5. I LOVE it and I’m hugely impressed! You go! ;) and that little “window” detail is fabulous. I absolutely LOVE it. I’m so glad you shared it on the Project Inspire{d} party!:)

  6. You did a spectacular job on this and it looks amazing with the pretty decorative window! I bet your hubby is proud of you. ;)

    • Thanks, Beth! Honestly, I don’t think I surprise him anymore…he’s more like, “why didn’t you wait for me, I would have done that!” He really is a great help to me when I need him:)

  7. What a charming gate! I love the detail you put into it, this is beautiful.

  8. Bravo! You go, Girl! Love it, pinned it.

    Thanks so much for linking up at the party,
    <3 Christina @ I Gotta Create!

  9. That is amazing! People are always shocked at what I accomplish but I don’t even think I’d attempt something like this. You are a legit DIY’er!


  10. I am beyond impressed that you built this! It is just beautiful, too! Hope you are enjoying it! Thanks for sharing at Monday Funday!

    Take care,


  11. Christy, I LOVE this so much I’ve picked you as my feature tonight from last week’s Project Inspire{d} link party! Thanks so much for sharing it!! It’s fabulous!

  12. Love the insert! I AM a professional and I think you did a great job!

  13. What a beautiful gate! So glad I saw this featured over at Artsy Chicks Rule.

  14. Such a beautiful gate – thanks so much for sharing at Monday Funday – I will be sharing on my Facebook page this week! Take care, Laura

  15. That is totally gorgeous! I’d say you did a fabulous job. :)
    Love the insert!

  16. How awesome are YOU? This looks fabulous, Christy. Inspires me to tackle these kind of projects on my own!

    • Thanks, Kristi! Projects like this are usually left up to the men because of the weight and size. Actually though, it wasn’t as hard as I had imagined it would be! I think I surprised myself!! Thanks for stopping by to check it out:)

  17. Visiting from Monday Funday. I’d like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! The party goes on ALL weekend at And who knows, you may just get featured next week.


  18. I NEED to do something like this! Thanks for the how-to. I’m not a professional either, which makes your tutorial perfect for me!

  19. Wow! You did an awesome job! I really like your design. I’m pinning to share, and I hope to make one similar to it too! Little Bit

  20. This gate is fantastic- will be doing something similar. Thanks for the inspiration. Love the site!!!!!

  21. I LOVE your gate! Thank you for the detailed how-to photos and board measurements! I already have the perfect iron window to put into my future gate ~ I just needed the inspiration and most important – Measurements already figured out for me!
    We all ready have all our fence materials but hubby hasn’t had time to put up our fence yet. I’m going to build the gate and the Fence Can Be Built To Fit My Gate!! =o)
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!


  23. Ok I will break down, I do not swear on comments FB but …Damn girl you rocked this,seriously,great job. Your hug had to say thanks hun and great work…now I need to look around more…see I don’t post a lot about my house…a lil here and their but not much….the old private me comes out…but what I do to sell yes…I love looking at what others are doing. Your sweet comment…plus now I have another email that will say yippee!a new post…happy Blogging

  24. one other comment and I will leave you alone…hmmmm where did that title come from…I love the dark drama’s

  25. Awesome work. How can you say you are not a professional? Girl you got skills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Love the window. I am a DIY girl too. Love to travel and experience others work. Came across this- fell in love.

  26. I love it! It is so pretty! I never thought of putting an insert like that into it. I am going to show my husband that. It would be a way of connecting the backyard with the front yard. Make the backyard less isolated.

    • Yes, Teresa…it really does connect the spaces! My little one makes a beeline for the gate anytime I open it, so it’s nice that I can look through without having to open it!

  27. That is gorgeous! Thank you for including the link for the window as well. They have some really good prices for stuff on there. I’ll have to keep them in mind when we do our fence. We’re still 9 panels short of being able to put ours up. My husband is getting the ones that the home improvement stores deem unsellable and we’re just buying whatever slats we need to repair them ourselves. We got 11 panels for $75. These were originally $49 a panel!! The slats are around $1 each so super affordable.

  28. Looks amazing! I would cut those posts down just above the door and put in Solar lights on the top of the post to accentuate that door all night!

  29. Kathy Grassley says:

    Beautifully done! My two suggestions would be: 1) to avoid the extra pieces at the bottom to add the height, could you make your first cut for the window before and gain the extra height by just moving the top part of the boards up? 2) I would recommend sealing the wood before adding the hardware so that no moisture is drawn in behind it. When we built a deck and fence a number of years ago, we stained and sealed all our wood before a single screw was driven…and don’t forget to seal the ends of the boards when you make cuts.

  30. Vonda Wininger says:

    Absolutely beautiful, wish I had a place for a gate! And great directions!


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