How to Build a Balance Beam

by Chris on November 26, 2012

In other words—how to make your daughter think you’re the best dad in the whole entire universe.

So we’ve got a gymnast in the family. And no, I’m NOT talking about me. Let’s not address the summer- sault gone wrong the other night. Pretty sure I broke my neck.

young gymnast

When your little one is the next Jordan Weiber, it’s inevitable that she’ll start asking for gym equipment. Ya know—balance beam, uneven bars, pummel horse—all the inexpensive stuff. She began leaving subtle hints around the house, so my husband built her a balance beam.

Beam sign

Here’s how he did it. Keep in mind I skipped photographing quite a few steps because I didn’t plan on blogging about it (gasp!).

We went to Lowe’s and picked up 6, 10-foot 1×6’s and a couple of 2×4’s. He then wood glued all the 1×6’s together and kept them clamped for a few days until it dried.

beam3

He then mitered the 2×4’s and drilled them into the bottom of the beam at the ends. Using 4 L-brackets that he bent just a bit, he was able to reinforce the side 2×4’s.

beam2

In order to give it some padding, he purchased two yoga mats and stapled it to the form. That was the pricey part. Each mat was $30. Perhaps you could find them cheaper somewhere?

balance beam tutorial

Then he purchased 11 feet of faux leather to seal everything up! It was $28.00.

IMG_2660

diy balance beam

Ta. Da.

balancing beam

Little Miss is extremely pleased and is ready to begin her Olympic career! The girl likes to make signs, no?

daughter beam

She’s got skills, that’s for sure. Clearly, I taught her everything I know.

cartwheel

Cost breakdown:

  • Lumber and brackets: $40.00
  • Yoga mats: $60.00
  • Leather covering: $28.00
  • Total: $128.00

Not bad considering how madly in love with it she is! And my favorite part? I didn’t do a single drop of it. This was all Daddy’s project. Smile

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{ 18 comments }

Megan I November 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Love! Great job. Our O is a gymnast, too. I better not show her this picture… :)

Barbara Grooms November 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Olivia should be very proud to have such a great dad, and to be such an influencial sign maker! It turned out great. I can tell how much she loves it. Don’t know how she’s not terrified to do a hand stand on that skinny thing. Geessh…..

Kristen @ More Than Mulberries November 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I love that last picture of you using the beam also. Your handstand is superb.
Seriously? This.is.AWESOME. She has that man wrapped around her little finger, just as it should be. Your hubby did a great job!

Amanda @ Serenity Now November 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Wow! What a great dad to tackle that project. Love the cute signs, and good job on the handstand. :)

Liz VanKirk November 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Yeah – so excited to hear your another gym mom! My youngest daughter competes gymnastics & so did one of my older girls. She now a coach at the gym while attending college. We actually compete this weekend in Gr. Rapids. Does you beam seem to be tippy at all? The one my husband built is lower but still will move slightly when she pounds on it.
I bet she is so happy!

Liz
Mid Michigan

Jill Flory November 27, 2012 at 7:54 am

I will NOT be showing this post to my girls! I do not have room for gym equipment!! They don’t do gymnastics for real but they sure try. Thinking I may have to sign them up – it seems to be more than a passing phase.

Helen Valenzuela (aka ValenzMom) November 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

Dad did a fantastic job on that balance beam and he should be beaming himself!

Toya November 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

How cool it that beam, pretty awesome if I must say so, and I must say so. Whjat’s even better is parents who support there childrens dreams, Great job to you and your husband.

Paula November 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

This post melts my heart!! I was that little girl who received a beam- built by my dad when I was 6 years old! My house became the “beam house” while my friend’s home- two doors down- was the “bars house.” Her father had used pvc pipe to build a set of bars in their basement! We finished with floor in her yard as well! It was the dream to make the U.S. team; to train under The Great- Bela Karolyi AND to be the next Mary Lou. Thank you for sharing the dreams of a young girl and her balance beam — I love it!

Lee November 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Wow! I am inspired…..my daughter is a gymnast and we have been thinking about doing this in our basement. Thanks for the how to. Where did you purchase the mats???
Thanks

august November 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm

My dad, too, made me one of these when I was younger. All my friends were soooo jealous. The attic in our garage was dedicated to my gymnastics and it was awesome. The floors were all the padding, the walls were mirrored, I had my beam, and my dad was a garage guy so he had tons of scafeling (sp?) to make me bars. Love it!

Rhonda November 28, 2012 at 6:06 am

OMG – my daughter would die over this! Too bad I don’t have anywhere to put it or I’d be picking up supplies this weekend!

Runt November 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Aw I bet she just loved that!

Courtney {a thoughtful place} November 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Wow! Girl does have skills. She just looks like a gymnast. So awesome and what a great daddy. Too cute.

Chris November 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Nice! I have found yoga mats at great prices (usually under $15, even less if they have some on clearance) at Marshalls, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx.

Emily@Decorchick December 2, 2012 at 12:11 am

I think that’s the coolest thing ever!! And man, those long lean legs! Jealous. Of your daughter. ;)

Stephanie S. December 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Very impressive and great that you can encourge your daughter in her sports at home also. Thanks for sharing.

denyse@crazy beautiful life December 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I love it! What a lucky little girl. I wish my Dad would have built me a balance beam when I was in gymnastics. Instead I would tumble around the house and break lamps ;-)…

I’m having a FACEBOOK social hop. I’d love for you to hop on over, grab a button and link up your facebook.

http://mydailyphotojourney.blogspot.com/2012/12/facebook-social-hop.html

Have a crazy beautiful week!

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