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 figured we can build a gymnastics balance beam that stays low and is used for simple practices.
- 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
- Clamps for woodworking
- 32 wood screws (2 1/2”)
Tools for woodworking
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.
Staple the sides of the padding to the wood with a staple gun.
Cut the cover fabric about 16” wide.
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.
Glue the 2 pieces of short on to the 2′ wood and wait until the glue is hardened while clamping them together.
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.
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.
My daughter loved it commenting that it feels like the real thing.
Wood: 10.49 x2= $20.98
Fabric: $13.49 (with coupon)
Padding: $3.39 (with coupon)
Other materials: we had them
The 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 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.