Shut the Front Door! DIY Barn Door that is…

In: Home Decor Tutorials
DIY Barn door hardware

Simple and Inexpensive DIY Barn Door Hardware

So, this barn door tutorial has been a long time in the making.  The funny part is that initially I was making it for our powder room, which is still awaiting it’s own barn door, and this actually is for our new home office.  The hubs works from home now and was in need of a door since he gets distracted easily.  I don’t really get it, a screaming toddler, power tools, a giant dog barking every time the wind blows…  What could possibly distract him?

Anyway, this tutorial is going to be broken up into two parts.

  1. The DIY barn door hardware.
  2. The actual DIY barn door.

First things first.

DIY Barn Door Hardware.

Supply List:

  • 1- 1 1/4″ x 72″ plain flat steel bar 1/8″ thick – Bar on wall
  • 1- 1 1/4″ x  36″ plain flat steel bar 1/8″ thick – Cut for pieces on door
  • 2- 2″ metal pulleys
  • 6- 5/16″ x 4″ Lag Screws – you will need one for each stud in the wall beside your door and then evenly spaced for the header above the door.  I buy mine at Farm & Fleet because they charge by weight, not per piece.  The big box stores will charge around $0.50 each where as by weight, I only pay about $2.00 for all of the hardware.
  • 6 – 1″ copper pipe tubes – these are the spacers between the bar and the wood on the wall.  You’ll find them already cut in plumbing section for a couple cents each.
  • 4- 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ carriage bolts – these will hold the metal brackets on door.
  • 4- cap nuts for the back of the carriage bolts.
  • 3 – small L brackets- these will act as stoppers for your door.
  • Various washers to tighten the wheels onto the hardware.
  • 1- 1″ x 4″ x 72″ board
  • Drill or drill press with a metal drill bit a little bigger than 5/16″ so the lag screws will fit through.
  • A file to shave off any excess metal shards from drilling holes.
  • Stud finder, but always drill in a bit to make sure your hitting studs.
  • Drill with socket bit for hex lag screws.
  • hack saw or other way to cut through a steel bar


Wall Hardware

Step 1:

Identify whether or not you have a bit that will drill through metal or not.  Here are 3 choices you may find in a bit assortment box.

  1. Is a wood bit.  Notice the sharp point.
  2. Is a masonry bit.  Flat, anvil like head.
  3. Is a metal bit.  This one can be used for wood or metal.  No matter what, if your using a drill, this will take a while.  I suggest making friends with someone who has a drill press really quickly.

Wood, masonry, and metal drill bits

Step 2:

Identify the stud placement in your wall.  You can do this with a stud finder and then in a level line about 3-6 inches above the doorway, drill small holes to confirm that studs actually exist there.  The 1″ x 4″ board will cover these small holes when you put it up.  Now you also have a level line to install the hardware.

Step 3:

Once you know the placement of the studs, mark those places on the steel bar and again on the 1 x 4.

Step 4:

Using your friend’s drill press, drill holes into the bar.  Make sure you do not center them.  This is because the wheel will need to have room to spin and you do not want the lag screws to be in the way.  Put the holes slightly off center  toward the bottom of the bar.  Drill the same holes into the 1 x 4.  Be sure to file off any sharp metal shards that may be on the bar.

Using drill press to drill hole in steel

Step 5:

With the help of a buddy, hold the 1 x 4 up to the level line to ensure proper placement.  Using a pencil, mark where the holes in the board are on the wall.

Step 6:

Drill pilot holes into the studs, the size as the lag screws.

Step 7:

Now it’s time to actually install the bar on the wall.  You’ll need to put a few pieces together and then up on the wall, so it’s a good idea to keep your buddy around to help hold it all up.   The pieces will go in this order on the lag screw:

  1. copper tube
  2. steel bar
  3. 1 x 4

Using the socket bit, install the hardware on the studs along the level line and your pilot holes.

DIY barn door hardware assembly

Step 8:

Do happy dance because the hardest part is over!!!! 


The Door Hardware

diy barn door hardware

Step 1:

You will need to cut the 36″ piece of steel into 2 pieces for the door hardware.  If you like the look of longer metal pieces on your door, awesome, cut the thing in half.  Otherwise, cut 2 equal pieces.  File the edges dull.

I bent the tops of my steel pieces on the vise with a hammer thinking the door would need some extra clearance, but since there is no trim on this doorway, it wasn’t necessary.  You can see in the pictures.

Step 2:

Call up your buddy who has the drill press and tell him you made him some cookies.  Then while he is sampling your delicious cookies, drill  3 holes in each metal piece.

  1. At the very top so where the wheel will attach.
  2. 2 evenly spaced on the bottom portion where you will attach the door.

Step 3:

You now are going to have to disassemble the pulley to get the inner wheel and bearing out.  I did this just by some dumb luck and a hammer.  It wasn’t that difficult.

Step 4:

Now, put the pulley’s center bar piece through the top hole in the steel, then the wheel, then the pin.  Add washers as needed to secure the wheel straight, but not so tight that it will not spin easily.

DIY barn door hardware

Step 5:

You’re finished with the hardware!

Crank up some Stevie Wonder and get down because now you get to go lumber shopping for a door!!!!

Next up-

3 DIY Barn Door plans that cost less than $50, plus a tutorial on building one of them!


  • ToolBox Divas

    YES!! I needed this tutorial! I’m considering a barn door for my dining room. Perfect!!

    • Erica

      Yay!!! I knew you were!!!