When Baby C pulled herself up for the first time, it was an exciting milestone. A new beginning. From then on, there was no stopping our little bean. She went from crawling to cruising so fast!
But we quickly realized she didn’t have much to work with. The only furniture around to cruise was our leather sofa, which was too slippery for her little hands.
So, we found a solution: a DIY Montessori pull up bar.
The whole setup was cheap, quick, and easy! What’s better, our Baby C loves using her brand new Montessori pull up bar to practice standing up and moving around.
We installed it along with mirrors, so that Baby C could explore herself and her surroundings with her newfound mobility.
Here’s how to make a DIY Montessori Pull Up Bar —
- wooden dowel or railing – 1” thick, and as wide as you need (ours is 6 feet)
- 3 handrail brackets (at least 1 for every 2 feet of dowel)
- peel-and-stick mirror tiles
- painter’s tape
- fine sandpaper (150-220 grit)
- measuring tape
- stud finder (or drywall anchors)
- mitre saw (optional, if you need to trim down your dowel)
Let’s get your baby cruising!
- Measure your space.
Before you begin, make sure to choose an empty space in your home that will keep your baby cruising safely and openly. That is, free of any heavy furniture that could topple over, with a spacious wall for the pull up bar and mirror. Once you’ve found the right spot, bring out the measuring tape!
First, we measured the width of the wall where the Montessori pull up bar would go. You can round down to estimate how wide your bar should be.
Next, we measured the height. We stood Baby C up in front of the wall and used a pencil to mark where her hands would rest comfortably. Your baby’s height should help determine how high your pull up bar should be placed –– use their shoulders as a general guide.
Babies grow fast, so if you want to give your infant something to reach for, feel free to add an inch or two to your height measurement. This way, they won’t outgrow the pull up bar as quickly. But don’t go too high! And don’t forget to account for the height of the handrail brackets and the bar itself, which will already add 1-2 inches.
2. Find your studs.
Now that we had our measurements, we used a stud finder to look for studs in our wall. You’ll need to locate two –– one for each end of the pull up bar. Mark the stud placements with a pencil to indicate where your outer brackets will go.
Studs are ideal for childproofing and mounting stability, but if you don’t have them, then drywall anchors work as well.
Now it’s time to grab your level and check that all the markings you have made are level with each other at your desired height. You can also use the level to find your midpoint between the two ends, where your middle mount will go.
3. Get your wooden dowel or railing
We purchased a 6-foot-long wooden dowel, which fit perfectly in our space. You can get one that’s longer or shorter, depending on how much play room you have available.
If you need it short but can’t find the right size on the market, buy a long one and trim it down with a mitre saw or handsaw. Some large hardware stores will let you use their equipment, so take your measurements before you go out and buy!
4. Sand it down.
Once you have a dowel or railing that fits your desired width, you’ll need to lightly sand down the wood. We used fine grit sandpaper, which works well to remove rough scratches and provide a smooth, clean finish.
I don’t know about your kid, but ours will put just about anything in her mouth. So sand away for childproofing’s sake! When the wood feels smooth and safe for tiny fingertips, it’s ready.
5. Screw the brackets into the wall.
After sanding the dowel, it’s finally time to start mounting! We put up our handrail brackets and fastened them securely into place.
The two outer brackets were screwed into studs. We didn’t have a stud midway between them, but we decided to hang the middle bracket anyway –– just for aesthetics. With the two end brackets screwed firmly into studs, we were confident the pull up bar would be more than stable enough for our active Baby C to cruise on.
6. Drill the dowel into the brackets.
With our three brackets in place, we held the dowel up to see where it would rest. We marked the wood where it will connect with the bracket. We drilled pilot holes into the marked spots on the dowel, and then attached the dowel to the bracket.
7. Mirror mirror on the wall.
Baby C is pretty in love with her own face right now. We wanted to put mirrors on the wall to encourage her self-discovery and also get her to cruise more.
We bought a pack of peel-and-stick mirror tiles that would allow us to create a unique design (pictured). This is where you can have fun, experiment, and be as creative as you like!
Use painter’s tape to place them and try different arrangements. When you decide on a design you like, peel off the backs and stick them up.
A few notes of caution about the mirrors:
- Do NOT cut the tiles. We bought these mirrors on Amazon, where it says they are easy to cut. We initially wanted to make a mirror pattern with triangles, but after we tried to cut them up, we found that the mirror pieces started to chip. Please be careful!
- These mirror tiles smudge very easily. Of course, all mirrors get dirty when fondled by tiny hands, but be warned: if you plan to use these mirror tiles in particular, always have some Windex handy! We still love them though.
And there you have it! A beautiful, supportive Montessori pull up bar for babies.
We love how much safer and more adventurous it makes baby cruising for our little explorer. And more importantly, Baby C adores it!
Did you try this project? We want to know! Tag us @talldorkandmatching for a chance to be featured in our Instagram stories!
Childproofing your home? Check out my baby-friendly cord box.