DIY Sliding Barn Door Hardware

Hello! I am so excited about my latest project! I LOVE this DIY Sliding Barn Door Cabinet by Shanty2Chic! Love their free plans and tutorials! I was determined to find a way to DIY the hardware myself to save even more money. I looked up a lot of tutorials on Barn Door hardware, but finally settled on a modification of this plan from Jamie at That’s My Letter. I bought everything from her plan, but was dreading having to pound the little pulley wheels free- so I did a bit more searching and found these awesome garage door pulleys from Amazon! They were a great price, and so easy to work with! I also ended up needing to use longer lag bolts instead of the machine screws I had bought. So, let’s get to this!

I love this so much I think I’ll have to make another for the master bathroom! Our space is not big enough for the original plans, so I made mine a bit smaller. Because I made mine a different size than the Shanty2Chic plans, I am going to leave the measuring of your bar cuts up to you. Once you’ve made your cabinet, here’s what you’ll need for the hardware-

1-1″ flat steel bar. This is for your track, pulley straps, and door decoration (optional, but I hope it helps keep the door from warping) The length you need with depend on how big your cabinet is. To figure out how much you need add the width of your cabinet + width of door + 2 straps at 6″-8″ each. My straps are 6 3/4″ and are perfect for me. There are lots of options, but I went with a cheaper steel bar- just like selecting lumber, try to get a straight one 🙂 If I were doing bigger doors, I’d have gone with thicker steel.

2- Garage Door Pulleys I got a 2 pack that came with bolts and nuts that worked perfect

4- Washers to fit your pulley bolts. These were to keep my pulley straps from rubbing against my bar bolts

2- 4″ Lag Bolts and nuts to fit them (I would have gotten washers, too if I’d have thought of it) These are to connect your bar to your cabinet.

2- 1″ spacers– Our home Depot does not carry these, I found mine at Tractor Supply. Your lag bolt needs to fit through these.

8-10- 3/4″ screws. These are to connect your straps to your door, and to connect the optional strap at the bottom of the door.

Once you have your supplies, it’s time to cut your steel bar. Remember- 1 for cabinet width, 1 for door width, 2 for straps. I do not have anything to cut or drill holes in steel at my shop, so I followed my awesome husband over to the ranch shop one morning when he had time to coach me on using some new tools. I like to wing it a lot of the time- but not when impaling myself might be involved 😉 Brad is an awesome teacher and super patient!

Once my bars were cut, I did a little grinding on the rough edges to smooth them out. Then, I laid everything out to see where I needed to drill holes. Since we were at the shop, I went ahead and got it all done in one trip- glad I brought the cabinet along 😉

I wanted my bar mounted right on the edges of the cabinet, but was afraid of splitting the 1×2’s, so I set them in a few inches. You want these holes big enough for your lag bolts to slide through.My door actually rubs against my lag bolts just a bit- so to do over again I would have drilled my lag bolt holes a little lower on the bar as apposed to centered. Then, you need to drill holes in your straps- one hole toward an end on each one big enough for the bolts that came with your pulleys, and 2 holes for the 3/4″ screws that will attach the straps to your door. Lastly, choose where you want to screw the strap into the lower part of your door. My door is made up of 4- 1×4″ boards, so I centered one screw in each board. Line everything up, and note you will want different sized holes- bigger for lag bolts, smaller for screws.

Once I got home, I gave all my hardware a quick coat of spray paint and finished staining, distressing, and sealing the cabinet. I was super impatient for everything to dry!

Now for the fun part! Time to put everything together- First up, I screwed my bottom bar to the door. I set the bottom of the bar about 1 1/2″ up from the bottom of the door. Next, you can attach your straps to the pulleys. I found that without the washers, my pulleys were rubbing a bit on the lag bolts attaching the bar, so I dug up some washers. Put your bolt first through your strap, then 2 washers, then your pulley, and tighten your bolt on last.

Next, I attached the top bar. I wasn’t sure whether to screw the pulley straps in to my door first, or to attach the bar, but this worked for me 😉 Take your 2 steel spacers, lag bolts, (washers if you have them- I didn’t), and the bar for your top rail. I lined everything up, then grabbed my pulleys and made sure I’d left enough room for them to roll across the bar. Once it looks good, go ahead and mark where your holes need to be in the cabinet and get them drilled. Now, attach that bar. Remember to get your spacers between the rail and your cabinet, then bolt from the underside. (Add washers if you’ve got them).

Once my top rail was attached, I set my pulleys on it, lined my door up, and screwed the lower part of the straps on. Time to see if it worked!

Perfection!! I love this cabinet and hope this post helps you with your DIY Sliding Barn Door Hardware! Please let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for stopping by!

Check out my DIY Sliding Barn Doors I built for the hall closet here 🙂

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