Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kid Sized Ballet Barre

My little ballerinas have been getting ready for their upcoming recital next month. The other day Hailey was practicing in the living room but kept losing her balance during one of the moves. In frustration, she said "Mom, it's not fair that I keep falling! I never fall in ballet class!" I told her it was because they used a barre in class to keep balance.

And then it hit me. My friend Alicia made a simple ballet barre as a gift for her niece. I remembered seeing it once and when I looked at the picture again, my mind imediately started modifying and building it. Thanks, Alicia, for giving me the inspiration!

I had several 2x4s in my garage, along with some scrap pieces of 1x2s and plenty of screws. All I needed was a rod, so after a quick trip to Ace and forking over $5.99, I had everything I needed to make my girls their very own ballet barre. The design is very simple, but I learned a few things as I went and after some tweaking, this is what I came up with. I still need to sand and paint it. I have the perfect color of off white paint that I'm going to use to keep it nice and feminine.
I used 2 1/2 inch #8 Philips screws for everything except drilling the 1x2 braces into the side beams. I started by drilling the bottom 51" piece into the side beams (27" pieces). Then I drilled the rod into the top using a single screw on each end.
Next I drilled the 24" base beams onto the 51" cross beam. I thought I was done, but nope! Upon flipping it back over, I found that it was very wobbly. So I then used two more 12" 2x4s to make the braces on the bottom beam. I thought I was done. Nope! Still wobbly from front to back.
So I grabbed some scrap 1x2s and made four more 12" mitered braces for the front and back. Aaaaahhh, perfect! It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing design because of all the braces, but I didn't want it to get twisted and broken when a kid decides to hang from it, rather than use it for what it should be used for.

When it's painted, it's going to look great. I tried to get a picture of both girls in front of it to show that it's the perfect size for two small children, but alas. Lauren wouldn't stop playing outside to come in for a picture. Hailey has already informed me that she wants a "dark purple" stereo for their room so she can play her own ballet music while practicing (don't know where I'll find a stereo in THAT color...) They are quite the little divas!

1 comment:

ggmix said...

I am so glad I came across thisnpost Ive been trying to get my daughter bella dancerella ballet studio for ages for her birthday but they dont have any in UK and the ones from the US are either used or around 150. So I thought Id google to see if we could make her one instead and I stumbled upon your post (",) My fiance will be getting the wood tommorow and I cant wait to see my daughters face when she sees it (",)