{Another!} DIY Ballet Barre For My Little Ballerina

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DIY ballet barre tutorial

One of our most popular posts is my tutorial on a make your own / DIY ballet barre–it brings us lots of search engine traffic.  My daughter has loved having a barre in her room, and it was an easy and inexpensive project.  However, she asked me to make a few modifications when we moved, so I built her a new one.  I’m going to show you how I made this barre, and discuss the pros and cons of both installations so you can choose the best barre for your young dancer (or yourself!).

**Update: If you’re a ballet teacher and you’re having a stroke because I let her go briefly up for a quick photo in her soft shank pre pointe shoes, please take a deep breath and center yourself!  This post was written five years ago and she’s still alive, kicking, and dancing.  If you have a comment about the ballet barre tutorial, I’d love to hear it; otherwise, thanks for stopping by.**

Of course, you can buy a “real” ballet barre for your home, but I couldn’t find any for less than $75.  Here’s one, if you’re interested:

{Full disclosure: we are Amazon affiliates and if you order through this link we will get a few cents’ commission.  I’ll name my yacht after you. 🙂 }

I wanted a less expensive version, and I wanted to be able to customize the length.  Our first barre was 36″ long.  This one is 48″ long, because she has a larger room.  You could certainly put a 24″ barre up if you have a small space.  The spot behind the door is perfect for the first kind of barre I built!

My daughter definitely needed a barre that projected farther out from the wall than the first one.  After taking a look at the options that were available at the store, I bought two closet brackets in the closet organization section of Home Depot.  They look like this:

Click for source

Click for source

They were only about $4 each.  I bought the white ones, but they also had brushed nickel/chrome ones.  You can even spray paint them to match your room!

I already had screws and drywall anchors, but if you don’t have a hardware stash at your house, then you’ll want to pick some of those up, too. I recommend at least 2″ screws and heavy-duty drywall anchors (I recommend these), because these will need to be very sturdy and stable.

I used my laser level to make sure I mounted them at the same height from the floor, and my stud finder to be sure that at least one of the brackets was screwed into the studs.  If you can get both into studs, that’s even better, but it’s not always possible.

closet brackets DIY ballet barre

By the way, I wanted the barre to be about 36″ from the floor–it should be at about waist level for your dancer, although if your child is really small, you might want 32″ from the floor to be the lowest you go.  You can always raise it as your child grows.

The wooden dowel I bought was 36″ long and 1-1/4″ wide and it was about $8.  They will cut the dowel to the length that you need if you don’t have a saw.  Be sure to buy the highest quality wood they have available (I think I bought oak instead of pine) because unless you choose to paint it, there’s a possibility of splinters with poorer quality wood.  I did paint her first barre white, but she preferred that we leave this one natural.

Click for Source

Click for Source

Once you’re sure that your barre is level, screw it in place.  There are several screw holes on the underside of the brackets so you can secure the rod in place.  I did have to start a guide hole using my drill, and I used 1/2″ screws.  Tighten all the screws and make sure everything is wiggle-free and sturdy.  Then tighten some more!

ballet barre bracket diy

closet bracket as DIY ballet barre

I talked about mirrors in my first post…we have two small wall mirrors that she uses to check her form.  You could definitely find an inexpensive large mirror on Craigslist–or just pull off that big, ugly one the builder glued on your bathroom wall and put it up behind her barre.  You know you want a prettier mirror in your bathroom, anyway!

OK, now a quick comparison of the two barres.  They were both about $20 and took the same amount of time to install, so no big difference there.  The biggest difference is in the sturdiness and functionality.

If you have a younger child, who might hang on the barre, then I definitely recommend the first barre I built:

DIY ballet barre stair banister hardware

I used a 2″ dowel and stair banister hardware, and the barre only projects about 2″ from the wall.  That makes it harder to pull down if your child hangs on it (even though you’ll tell her not to).  Be sure that you put at least one side into the studs with a younger child, too, and preferably both sides. Click {here} to read that tutorial.  Here’s a close up of the stair banister hardware:

DIY ballet barre stair banister hardware

 

So, there you go!  Two options for building your own barre, based on the age and needs of your dancer.

ballet barre tutorial collage

Two years later:

AB-waltz

Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing!! I’m going to make one for my three-year-old grand daughter! Never had the time to do this sort of thing for my daughter when she was growing up. FYI: being a grandma is WAY MORE than it was cracked up to be. Can’t wait for Santa to deliver it on Christmas morning. Merci beaucoup.

  2. Raul Sanchez says

    Will be putting this one up for Christmas in my daughter’s room. She found out one of the other girls in ballet class had one and just had to have one too. Thanks for the easy to follow guide.

  3. Thank you for this how-to. I plan to install a barre for my daughter’s birthday and this is just what I need!

  4. Thanks so much for this thorough explanation, complete with photos. I was wondering if that style of closet bracket would work – I’m installing the barre for myself so I’m thinking I may need to add an extra one in the middle somehow? We’ll see… Best of luck to your daughter in her dancing career!

  5. Hi! Thank you so much for this! Not a DIYer, but am gonna try this for dear daughter! Headed to the hardware store, is there a reason the barre was better more than 2″ from the wall? Thanks or any insight! 😀

    • Hey, Nichole–it just depends on how serious your ballerina is. If she’s just going to have her hand on the barre while doing exercises, 2″ from the wall is fine. If she needs to put her leg (at the ankle) on the bar for stretches and leg work, she probably needs it further from the wall. If she’s not on pointe then you’re probably ok with it being closer to the wall. Hope that helps–good luck with your project!

  6. I’ll be using this idea to make a little bar for my 1 year old to use to stand up and see himself in the mirror in his Montessori-inspired room. Thank you for such clear directions with great photos!

  7. I’m thinking about putting this in my daughter’s room in front of mirrored closet doors. Could you think of a better way to attach the bar to the brackets so that my daughter could remove it if she needed to get closer into her closet?

    • Maybe you could just cut the wood dowel about 12″ longer than it needs to be and don’t attach it. That way she can just pick it up and move it out of the way to get into her closet.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Karen Norris says

    The little girl in this barre photo is way too young to be on pointe. Neither of the girls in these photos have much of an arch in their foot, and the arches can be stretched, but the strengthening of the muscles in the feet, and a greater level of maturation in the tendons and ligaments must take place first. Going on pointe too early can cause thickening of the metatarsals. Find a better ballet teacher, with a better understanding of kinesiology.

    • Thanks for your comment, Karen. Please let me allay your fears. This post was written five years ago. You might have missed this section of the post:

      **Update: If you’re a ballet teacher and you’re having a stroke because I let her go briefly up for a quick photo in her soft shank pre pointe shoes, please take a deep breath and center yourself! This post was written five years ago and she’s still alive, kicking, and dancing. If you have a comment about the ballet barre tutorial, I’d love to hear it; otherwise, thanks for stopping by.**

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