DIY Crawl Space Barn Door

I’m so excited to be part of a group of bloggers kicking off Remodelaholic’s #PlywoodPretty week and sharing my idea on making plywood into something pretty!  We still have a long list of projects since we’ve moved, but one of the features we love best in our new house is our huge finished basement.   It is the perfect place for both the kids and adults to hang out and relax with friends and family.   There is so much to love about our basement and we really can’t complain about much in this space…. except for one tiny (ok, major) eyesore:  the giant unfinished crawl space hole under the stairs!

Here’s how it looked when we bought the house.  The trim was falling off and severely damaged.  The trim around the crawl space hole was unfinished wood that stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of the basement that was kept perfectly manicured!

We honestly couldn’t stand looking at it for another minute, and were so excited to come up with a pretty solution for this one.   I am obsessed with the rustic barn door look and with so much extra space on the right side of the opening, I knew it would be a perfect fit.  My husband, Joe, took little convincing (isn’t he the best?!) so we got right to work on our new mini barn door!

Joe started by buying all new base trim to replace the damaged trim (there was really no way to salvage the old piece).

We had plenty of white paint left over from our living room makeover and our fireplace refresh, and I was SO happy to give that unattractive wood trim a clean, crisp face lift!

To make the door, I picked up a piece of 1/2″ thick plywood and had it cut down to 27″x27″ (Home Depot will cut the wood for you at the store!).  I also picked up 6 inexpensive poplar wood slats that were 3′ long x 1/4″ thick x 4″ wide, for the barn door detailing.

We started by measuring the poplar slats and cutting them down to fit into a perfect border and X on the plywood.

We secured them with wood glue and a nail gun.   Once the poplar was secured on the plywood, we sanded and caulked to prep the door for paint.

I painted our new door white, and set it aside to dry.

Now comes the fun part…. the hardware!  After looking into purchasing barn door hardware, we realized the cost of pre-made hardware far exceeded the cost of the time we would spend making it ourselves, so we chose to DIY our own.

We decided that since this was a relatively small barn door, we could use aluminum instead of steel.  Aluminum is very easy to work with, and we wouldn’t need the added strength that steel provides.  We bought a six foot length of 1/8″x 1″ aluminum, a few feet of 1/2″ aluminum tubing, some lag bolts, washers, black spray paint, and two pulleys.  The total cost of everything was around $40, way more reasonable than the $200 price tag we saw for most pre-made barn door hardware.

Using the pulleys as a guide for the width of the gap, we bent the aluminum into a U shape.  We used the aluminum tubing to ensure a nice, uniform curve while bending it.  A rubber mallet was helpful in fine tuning the bend.

After some careful measurements, we cut the aluminum down to size using a hacksaw.  This is where you’ll be glad you’re using aluminum instead of steel!

We then drilled holes for mounting the pulleys and for securing the brackets to the door.

We also cut the long piece of aluminum down to size, to be used as the rail on which the pulleys would ride.  We then drilled holes to coincide with the studs behind the wall.  To achieve space between the wall and the rail, we cut the aluminum tubing into four 1″ pieces.  These essentially act as spacers that go over the lag bolts between the rail and the wall.

We set the door up for a test run before we spray painted the hardware black to make sure everything was going to run smoothly, and nothing needed to be tweaked.  Isn’t it beautiful?!  I was immediately in l-o-v-e!

We disassembled the door and spray painted the hardware black.  Not pictured are the pieces of 3/4″ aluminum angle we used as stoppers to keep the door from running off the end of the track.  We put small rubber pads (that are normally used to keep cabinet doors from slamming) on the inside of the brackets as a buffer.

We set it back up, and it was ready for business!

If you liked this project, and want to see more #PlywoodPretty projects, head over to Remodelaholic to see some talented bloggers turn plywood into such PRETTY projects!  Remodelaholic will be sharing new #PlywoodPretty projects all week …BUT if you can’t wait that long, you can also check out some SUPER talented bloggers’ Plywood projects here:

REMODELAHOLIC | DIY Outdoor Sectional Sofa
Lemon Thistle | DIY Plywood Hello
Practical & Pretty | DIY TV Tray
Happy Go Lucky | DIY Rolling Storage Drawers
The Created Home | Midcentury Modular Lego Table
Woodshop Diaries | DIY Entryway Bench
Our Crafty Mom | DIY Farmhouse Sign
Paper Daisy Design | Plywood Mid-Century Daybed
Anika’s DIY Life | DIY Produce Bins
Diva of DIY  | Purebond Plywood Accent Wall
Our house now a home | Plywood Kids Chairs with Storage

And check out this fun video featuring some #PlywoodPretty Projects!

Have you ever made anything with plywood?  If you have, be sure to share it on Social Media with the hasthag #PlywoodPretty, so we can see your beautiful creation!  Happy Building!

24 thoughts on “DIY Crawl Space Barn Door

  1. Valerie Sielert says:

    I wish I had seen what you used to hang this door before I made my mini barn door for my bathroom. This is so much better. I want to take mine down and do this.

    • The Cofran Home says:

      Hi Laurie! We got ours at Menards! You can probably find smaller ones on Amazon, too 🙂 Hope that helps – good luck with your project!

  2. Michelle M says:

    I love this idea! My only question is does it seal the opening to the crawl space so that you are not heating n air conditioning the crawl space?

    • The Cofran Home says:

      Thanks so much, Michelle! The space that we’re covering is under our stairs. It is actually carpeted and does not touch any outside walls, so we don’t have to worry about completely sealing the space off to avoid heating/cooling it. I would say it would probably do a pretty good job of blocking out the heat or A/C, but it definitely does not completely seal it.

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