DIY- How to build a balance beam

How to build balance beam
My daughter has been doing gymnastics for the last year. She really wants to improve to go up a level and in order to improve she needs to practice. One of the two pieces of gym equipment she has been asking for was a balance beam. Sturdy balance beams start around $180-$200 on the web. I couldn’t find any nearby on Craigslist. During my research I’ve decided we can build a gymnastics balance beam that stays low and is used for simple practices.
diy balance beam materials


  • 2 4x4x8 wood
    • 1 piece uncut
    • 1 piece cut in 2 pieces of 2’, 4 pieces of 10 ¼. Keep the small remaining piece.
  • 4 pieces of 7” 4×1 wood
  • 3 yards soft padding: I purchased an outdoor sponge padding fabric. 1′ x 60″
  • 3 yards of cover fabric: I got fabric that looks like faux-suede from Jo-ann’s and used a coupon for discount.
  • Staple gun
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Loctite
  • Clamps
  • 32 wood screws (2 1/2”)

diy balance beam

Balance beam

1. Cut the padding in 6” wide. Glue it on the side if the wood that is going to be walked on to prevent slipping.

diy balance beam Staple the sides of the padding to the wood with a staple gun.

diy balance beam Cut the cover fabric about 16” wide.

diy balance beam Cover the fabric around the wood, on the padding and staple it at the bottom. Fold the fabric at the ends and staple them.

diy gymnastics balance beam The bar is ready. We tried it to make sure it fits the spacing in between the two pieces of woods without pushing them outside.

diy balance beam
Beam Stand
Glue the 2 pieces of short on to the 2′ wood and wait until the glue is hardened while clamping them together.

diy balance beam Place the 4×1’s on each side of the stand. Drill holes for screws first, then screw 4 to fasten the two pieces together.

diy balance beam Beam is ready. Stand is ready. Place the beam on the stand. You can put the small remaining piece of wood under the beam to prevent bending.

diy balance beam My daughter loved it commenting that it feels like the real thing.

diy gymnastics balance beam
Material Cost:
Wood: 10.49 x2= $20.98
Fabric: $13.49 (with coupon)
Padding: $3.39 (with coupon)
Other materials: we had them

Total: $37.86

Time it took to build:
Approximately 3 hours with kids helping us. It’s a great project to do it with the kids.

Important note: This instruction is provided for information purposes only. This is a not a professional grade balance beam. Please keep that in mind and take all precautions to make sure the beam is stable, padded properly with a mat underneath and used under supervision when practicing .


  1. Ashley says

    I love this idea. Want to make it for my daughter who has been doing Gymnastics in the USAG Excel program. Just wanted to know if this beam is okay to be left outside permanently? Didn’t know if the material used to cover it is weather/rain resistant?

    • Practical Mama says

      The material I used was not weatherproof. We use the beam both indoors and outdoors when the weather allows. When she’s done practicing we move the beam indoors.


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