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Building a playpen for your baby is a great way to give your young one a place to stay occupied and exercise their imagination and creativity. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional carpenter to build a durable, safe, functional, and aesthetically appealing baby playpen. With the help of the information herein, a small monetary investment, and maybe a little bit of additional research, you can have a quality playpen built in no time.

Choose a Playpen Type

You can choose to build a simple enclosure that will keep your baby from wandering around a room or you can childproof an entire area and designate it as the playpen. If you choose the childproofed room method you can skip the steps below, as you’ll simply need to put a baby gate up at the door, lay down some mats, and remove pretty much everything that could potentially become hazardous in the hands of a baby. If you choose to build a small, conventional playpen, consider the following:

Gather your Materials and Equipment

The first step is to gather your materials, which will include: Play Yard fencing or a playpen fencing kit, a basic baby gate that matches the height of your fencing, hinges for the door, a mat for the floor, screws or bolts, several screwdrivers (or a single multi-attachment screwdriver), plywood, a saw, a hammer, and nails. You can find all of the hardware needed through a standard hardware company like Home Depot or CDI torque.

Build the Playpen

Although you can make a playpen any size you’d like, most people stick to the standard 3 ft x 3 ft setup. Even most non-handy men should be able to use common sense and a bit of ingenuity to conceptualize the steps involved in building a playpen. For those who need some inspiration:

1. Connect 3 sides of the fencing using screws and/or nails. Leave one side open; this will be where the door goes.

2. If you’re using a homemade door, attach the hinges to the frame of the playpen (most hinges come with installation and usage instructions) then screw the door to the hinges as directed.

3. If you’re using a baby gate as the door, you can simply attach it to hinges and it will swing open and shut fairly easily. It would be wise to choose gate that already has a built-in door that opens in and out, rather than a sliding gate.

4. Once the door is on, you can attach a mat-covered floor and stand the pen up on legs to create a self-contained enclosure, or you can leave the bottom open.