Monday, 19 August 2013

DIY Babyproofing: Bannister {Banister?} Guard

I hope you all enjoyed "No Post Friday" last week! No?  Just me? Sorry....I was busy sewing! it "banister" or "bannister"? You tell me.  I don't know the correct spelling.  According to Wikipedia, they are both right? 

Anyway....There a million and one things I would do differently if I was to do this project over again.  Having said that, I'm calling it a success, since the whole aim was to create a safer environment for our little boy-- and that is the one thing that I would say we did well! (Make sure that any baby proofing you do in your home is safe.  This was a good solution for us, but it doesn't necessarily mean it would be the best solution for your home.)

Allow me to introduce you to our wooden, Jacobean banister (from the 1600's). It's one of my favourite features of the house.  It has been adapted by previous owners (Jim's grandparents) to fit the staircase as it is now, since the staircase used to be in a different part of the house. Pretty cool, right? Like I said, it's one of my favourite features of our home.

There's just one problem.....There's about a 9- 10"gap between the bars around the top... Plenty of space for an inquisitive little boy to crawl right through if he got the chance! Yikes!

We looked into putting perspex (plexiglass) all the way around the top, but it was going to be  too expensive. So, I got to thinking.  Why not just use some pieces of ply-wood, cover them in some nice wallpaper and attach them to the banister?  And that's just what we did! That is not really what we did at all, because nothing about this project went according to plan.  I didn't  really take many pictures of the process, because I just wanted to get it done so I didn't have to deal with it anymore!

Here's how it all basically went down.
  1.  Jim measured the length of the wood we would need, and cut it to size. 
  2. I painted the wood white.
  3.  I cut a long strip of wallpaper about 10" wide, folded it in half over the top edge of the wood, and attached it with wallpaper adhesive to avoid tiny hands getting splinters.
  4.  Jim drilled some holes (without measuring...and at indiscriminate lengths apart) through the guard where we would attach the wood to the railing.
  5.  Using ribbon/cable ties, we attached this monstrosity to the banister railing.
 There are a few steps probably about 5 steps I left out, where things went horribly wrong, and I had to re-think how the project was going to work.  Let's just say, this project was a serious thorn in my side for a while.  I was glad to finally call it done. It doesn't look that bad now that it's all finished, and it's not too obtrusive.  So, I'm choosing to laugh and move on!  :) 
What sort of DIY baby proofing solutions have you come up with??  Did you save a lot of money by using creative solutions to make your home safer for little ones?

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  1. Fridays post was amazing! Hope you were having fun. lol ;)

    I love the style of these banisters. Great idea for making them safe for your little guy.

  2. Great idea with this! I think it will work very well!

    We have some cabinets that the cabinet locks don't work on, so we use giant rubber bands to hold them closed. My son only knows them with the rummberband so he actually gets upset when it's off and insists we fix it! Another cruel trick is that my son was scared of his giant monkey toy for a long time so we used to keep it on their stairs so he'd stay away :)

  3. Great tips, thank you for sharing them! I'm sure I could steal a few to protect my toddler from harming herself (or the house). I just got my home improved by the home expert and I love it, but it definitely needs some more work from me to make it child-friendly.


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