DIY a Toddler Rope Railing

DIY a Toddler Rope Railing

Boys on steps using rope railing
Don’t fight your kids’ desire to be independent. Make tiny changes that let them do it safely. This simple DIY rope railing stops toddler battles.

NO HELP, Momma!

The twins are turning two and have entered the “I WANNA DO IT MYSELF. NO HELP, MOMMA.” stage, but they are still too short to reach the railing on the stairs. This caused more than a few battles until I DIY’d a quick and easy solution: lower the railing. I didn’t want to install another railing on the stairs, so I used some rope and a few clips to make a temporary, attractive, and useful toddler railing. Now they CAN Do It Themselves.


Boy on a stairway with rope railing
We still supervise them on the stairs, and they still go up on all fours. But the rope railing has eliminated some toddler battles.


  • Twice as much rope as the length of the railing. I picked a nylon rope that was big enough around for toddler hands to easily grip.
  • Two D-ring brackets large enough to pass the rope through. And a few screws to attach them.
  • As many clips as you have wall brackets – I used ones I found at a garage sale, but any carabiner clip will work.
  • Electrical Tape.

How To

  1. Attach the D-Ring Brackets to the top of the railing and at the bottom of the railing. At the bottom, I attached it on the underside so that it wouldn’t show. At the top I attached it on the end.


D- Ring Bracket on railing
D-Ring Bracket. I attached it with two quick screws.


2. Thread the rope through the two D-Ring Brackets. Leave 3 or more feet at either end and enough slack in the middle to drape the rope at the correct height. This will take some adjusting.

Rope railing for toddlers


3. Make a bend in the rope, thread it through and up and around the clip to secure it; attach the clip to the wall bracket.


Rope going through a clip
Using a simple loop to attach to the clip.
Bracket and railing with a rope
Another angle to see the loop.











4. Once you have worked out your proper drape you can then make a few easy knots. Mark the rope where you want it to go through the top D-Ring. Unthread it and tie a simple knot (a half hitch) where you marked it. Thread the rope back through the D-Ring and tie another knot on the other side of the D-Ring. This will stop the rope from sliding through the D-Rings when it is used. Repeat this for the bottom D-Ring.


Half hitch stopper knot
A Stopper knot at the D-Ring Bracket


Two half hitch knots around a d-ring bracket
Now the rope cannot slide back and forth through the D-ring bracket. Two simple knots.


5. I tied another half hitch at the end of the rope that hung off the top railing to give a ‘stop’ for the boys to hold onto. At the bottom I used a few half hitches to tie the end of the rope to the open railing making a transition from the open railing to the wall.


Rope Railing
You can see the end knots at the top and the bottom.


6. I wrapped the very end of the rope with a couple turns of electrical tape before I cut it to it’s final length to keep the rope from unraveling.


Little Boys Do it Themselves

The boys love going up and down the stairs with the rope. It lets them practice the idea of using the railing and gives a measure of safety for little legs that are still getting used to going up and down stairs. They are taller after three months and so I adjusted the drape of the rope a little tighter and soon enough they will be tall enough to use the railing. Though I really like the added level of safety the rope provides at the transition between the open railing and the wall. Total amount of time I spent on this: Maybe 30 min max.

Give it a try! Show me how yours turned out.

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4 Replies to “DIY a Toddler Rope Railing”

  1. So smart! My toddler can reach the railing now. But I wish I had thought of that when he insisted on doing it himself and wasn’t tall enough. It was always a huge fight to get him up or down the stairs without falling.

    1. I feel you. One of my twins is starting to be tall enough to just touch the railing and he is starting to want to do that instead of using the rope. And so the fights ensue.

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