How to Make a Ballet Barre for Home Use
DIY Ballet Barre For Home Use
If you have ever wanted to create a ballet studio in your own home, you will want to install at least one ballet barre. Building a ballet barre at home allows aspiring ballerinas and the many fans of ballet-inspired exercises to workout an achieve a dancers physique.
The good news is that with these tips and tricks it is possible to have your very own at-home ballet studio up and running in no time at all.
You will need a few items to get started:
- A 2 inch wooden dowel
- A measuring tape
- A level
- Ballet Barre Brackets
- Power drill
Some other items you might need:
- A stud finder
- Anchor bolts
Step 1: Decide where the barre is going to be installed
Choosing which wall will be a personal choice and will most likely depend on how much room you have to spare.
The barre can be as short as two feet or as long as your workout room will allow. There should be enough room to move the leg forward and away from the wall. If you are building this for growing children, you may want to consider future use.
Once you have picked out the best location, it's time to measure.
Step 2: Measure the length the finished barre will be
Have this pre-measured number first. The reason why it’s often easier to have the barre pre-measured is so the hardware store can cut the wooden dowel to the size you need. I found this super handy, one less tool to have to buy or rent.
Tip: Call ahead to the hardware store to make sure they can cut the dowel for you. Almost all of the chain stores offer this feature, but it is best practice to check ahead of your visit.
Step 3: Prepare the wooden dowel
Don't skip this simple, but effective process. Sand the dowel and remove any loose stickers.
I found out that sanding before installing with some inexpensive sandpaper, easily purchased at any local hardware store, was/is a necessary and simple step, often overlooked.
Sometimes additional sanding from time to time is needed as the barre is used, and you may find spots you missed smoothing with the initial sanding.
Tip: A good alternative to a wooden dowel is white PVC piping, it is lightweight, easy to cut, readily available and not too expensive.
Step 4: Measuring the ballet barre height
Measure from the floor up the wall 36 inches. The 36-inch mark is the height of the barre. Measure about every foot down the length of your chosen wall.
Tip: If you are building this for a small child, you want the height lowered, maybe 24 inches. Use your best judgment.
Step 5: Measuring for wall brackets
Next, you will need to find the studs in the wall. The studs are going to support the brackets, which will support the barre.
Current construction in most areas requires a stud in the wall every 16 inches. One technique, locate an electrical box on the wall. Inside the wall the electrical box is attached to a wooden stud. Tap on the wall on each side of the box, and you will notice a hollow sound on the side without a stud. From this point, you can measure along the wall 16 inches from where you found the stud holding the electrical box, tap around and see if you can "hear" the next stud. Mark all of the studs with a pencil or pen, along the wall you are going to hang the barre.
How to Locate a Wall Stud For The Brackets
If you can not locate the studs, the next course of action is using a stud finder. Use the stud finders as the manufacturer suggests, and mark the studs.
Worst case scenario, there are no studs. You will need to install anchor bolts first. The anchor bolts will act as studs and hold the dowel in place.
I did not have to do this, but I included this how-to video below in case you need to go this route.
Can't locate the studs? No Problem!
Step 6: Installing the ballet barre brackets
Now that you have located the studs, lay the wooden dowel on the floor below where it will be hanging on the wall.
Find the stud markings and locate the 36-inch high mark also. Take one bracket and grab your level.
Hold the bracket on the 36 inches mark from the floor mark and the stud. Take your level and make sure it is level to the floor. Mark the bracket screw holes with a pencil. It is beneficial to mark it, in case you have to leave and come back to the project.
Using your power drill and the screws that came with the brackets, hold the bracket to your level spot on the wall and drill into the drywall through the stud. Use extreme caution, do not hit any electrical wiring, stay on the studs.
An alternative to traditional ballet barre brackets is a set of closet rod brackets. I use the bracket that the dowels threaded through, like the . The collar made it sturdier and prevented any movement. Collared Ballet Barre Mounting Bracket
Complete all of the brackets necessary to hold up the barre.
Some other alternative options to consider
If you don’t have enough floor or wall space for a barre, there are some other options. There are freestanding barres for those who don’t have the wall space. A third option is a handy portable, collapsible barre, which is easy to transport. My favorite the is great for breaking down when I needed the room for other purposes or when I wanted to move the workout area to a new room. Portable Double Freestanding Ballet Barre
A freestanding ballet barre is manufactured of aluminum and come in a kit that you put together at home. The base is sturdy and seems to do the trick for single users. It is a great option, but if you need even more options, like the ability to move the barre from room to room or house to house, the portable might be a better option.
Portable ballet barres are shorter, usually about four feet long and the barre is removable. The barre is taken out, and then the two legs and barre are transported easily. Because of the shorter size and the collapsing features, it can fit in the back of a larger car, SUV, or a small pick up.