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DIY Tutorials

How to Build a DIY Gate From Pallet Wood

DIY garden gate made from pallet wood

If you've followed me for a long time on Instagram, you'll remember I built a gate from pallet wood about two years ago for Grants mum's house, but I actually never got 'round to featuring on the blog. Luckily I'm making one again, bigger and better - and this time for our house and so, of course, I'm sharing it all!

This whole project cost me under £10 to make, which is a serious bargain considering you can buy pre-made gates for over £50. It was also super easy to do, so if you want to save yourself some cash and give this DIY a go, then keep reading...

You Will Need:

  • Pallet Wood
  • Exterior Screws
  • Tape Measure
  • String
  • Pencil
  • Wood Saw
  • Gate Handle / Lock
  • Fixings or Hinges

Step 1 - Measure Height and Width of Gate

First of all, you'll want to decide how tall your gate needs to be as well as how wide it needs to be. I'm replacing an old metal gate, so I was able to take those measurements and re-use them. You can see our original gate below. There's absolutely nothing wrong it, however, a wooden one will give us more privacy, hence this DIY!

old metal gate in victorian garden

Step 2 - Align Pallets Planks Against a Straight Edge

I'm using pallet planks for this project as they're cheap, suitable for external use and I think the rustic finish fits in with the rest of our garden (see existing pallet fencing and pallet sofa - we like pallets!). You can use any exterior wood of course, but it may cost you more.

I managed to find these pallets already dismantled, but if you need to dismantle them yourself, I  definitely recommend a heavy duty lifting bar!

Once you have your individual planks ready to use, the next step is to lay them out in a row on the floor and butt the bottom of them up against a straight edge. I'm using a long spirit level for this, but you could use a metal ruler or even another piece of timber.

DIY how to build a gate the easy way

Make sure your planks are longer than the height you need for your gate and that you have enough of them to cover the width too. Don't worry if the height and length of the planks are longer than you need - we'll be cutting them down later!

Step 3 - Cut Two Planks to the Same Width of the Gate

You can see in the photo above how we'll be affixing these pallet planks together - quite simply with a Z-shape brace on the back. This will also be made from pallet planks, so make sure you have enough for this part of the DIY too!

Cut two lengths of those planks to match the width of your gate. One of these will go close to the top of the gate and the other close to the bottom. A normal hand-saw to cut this will do the job!

building a garden gatemaking a brace for a gate
Garden DIY projects bloggereasy DIY gate tutorial

Step 4 - Screw Planks onto Back of Gate

Now you have two planks cut to the width of your gate, you can screw these onto the planks you have lined up on the floor. Lay one plank around 15cm from the bottom and the other around 2/3 up from there. Make sure to use exterior or galvanised screws that won't rust and simply screw into each plank.

how to make a garden gate

Once you've done this, all the planks should be attached together and you'll be able to lift the whole thing as one solid piece. If the width of your gate is currently too large, now you've secured everything together,  you can trim off any excess with either a jigsaw or circular saw.

Step 5 - Cut and Affix a Cross-Brace

For extra strength, I highly recommend fitting a cross-brace as well. This stops the gate from twisting or sagging at a later date. The cross-brace will cut diagonally and be affixed in-between the two planks you already installed.

how to make a cross brace for a garden gate

To do this, place another separate plank of pallet wood diagonally across the two planks you just installed and using a pencil mark up the cuts you need to make. You can then cut this with just a normal handsaw or a jigsaw.

brace for garden gate
Z-brace for garden gate - how to

Once cut, lay this can be affixed to the pallets in the same way you did in the step above. 

Step 6 - Creating the Gate Arch

Making an arch for the gate is much easier than you might think! First of all, you'll need to find the centre point of the gate. Measure the width of the gate and divide by two, then mark this on the gate.

Using this mark, attach a screw directly onto it, but don't screw it all the way down! You want the screw to be sticking up from the wood so you can tie some string around it. On the other end of the string, tie a pencil to it.

Once you have this all set up, pull the string tight and keeping your pencil vertical, you'll be able to draw a perfect arch. You can adjust the length of the string if need-be to suit how much of an arch you want.

how to draw an arch on a gate
making an arched gate DIY
Drawing an Arch DIY

See? Simples! Once drawn up, you can then cut this with a jigsaw.

how to cut an arch for a gate
DIY pallet wood gate

Step 7 - Paint

Now your gate is fully made, you can go ahead and paint it! I've used Johnstone's Garden Colour paint in the colour 'Calming Stone'. It's a very light off-white colour, which I think works really well in our garden. It also matches our fence behind ;)

Johnstones Calming Stone Garden Paint
Calming Stone Johnstones Garden

Step 8 - Affix and Admire

The final step of this DIY is to affix the gate. If you already have a gate post in position, you can simply install two T-hinges and screw this straight onto the post.

If like us, you have a metal gate with a metal post and you don't want to dig it all up to swap for a wooden one, then we figured a way to attach the new gate to the old one. Kinda genius, I think!

Attaching a wooden gate onto a metal one

To do this, we drilled four holes into the gate and used roofing bolts with large washers to clamp the new wooden gate onto the old metal one. From the front, you can't tell at all, and from the back, it looks like the photo above - I don't think this looks too shabby!

DIY Hack for replacing a metal gate
DIY Hack for replacing a metal gate
DIY Garden Gate Made from Pallet Planks

And that's it! We added a new handle to finish it off and voila! I'd like to make a wreath for the gate in future when time allows - but I think it looks pretty decent and definitely ties in with the garden more than the old metal one!

DIY Pallet Wood Gate Tutorial

For just £10 and only a days work, I think this is a total bargain and definitely worth DIYing and saving your cash!

Let me know if you give this DIY a go, I'd love to see!

DIY how to build a gate from pallet wood tutorial


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