DIY Portable Ballet Barre: Phase 1

Psst. Wanna see this room update from the beginning? Read this post first. Updating a teenage girl’s room.

DIY Portable Ballet Barre | laughingabi.com

If you’ve been following along you know we’re building a “dance wall” in Teen Queen’s bedroom. One of her demands requests was a hot pink ballet barre so she could practice after school. It didn’t take long to realize the challenge wasn’t going to be building the bar but finding a place to put it. Here are some of the things we had to consider.

1. Mirror placement: A lot of diy examples I found were built with the barre and mirrors on the same wall. In reality the mirrors should be on the opposite wall as the barre. This was a problem for us because there wasn’t space in the room for that kind of layout (unless Teen Queen developed x-ray vision and could see through the furniture).
2. Space: Room for a barre is not a big deal. Room to actually use it is another story. There needed to be adequate space to practice without taking over the entire room.

DIY Portable Ballet Barre | laughingabi.com

Eventually, we decided building a portable barre was the best option. This design can be stored flat along the same wall as the mirrors when not being used, and when it’s time for practice can be pulled out into the room, opposite the mirrors (or at least far enough from the mirrors to give the same effect).

We used 1.25″ PVC pipe to make it sturdy, lightweight, and paintable. We also added a lower barre for extra stability even though she is too big to use it any more. With all that decided it was finally time to get to work.

DIY Portable Ballet Barre | laughingabi.com

MATERIALS
(4) 1.25″ PVC crosses
(2) 1.25″ PVC tees
(4) 1.25″ PVC elbows
(2) pieces 1.25″ PVC pipe cut to 24″ long
(6) pieces 1.25″ PVC pipe cut to 12″ long
(2) closet rods cut to 57″ long
Craft foam sheets
Sandpaper
Spray paint

INSTRUCTIONS
I won’t bore you with step by step directions for putting this thing together. The photos are pretty self-explanatory. After you get the PVC pieces assembled there are a few last details.

1. Use the sandpaper to “erase” the black number and letter markings from your pieces.
2. Use the craft foam to fill the gaps where the closet rods fit into the tees and crosses.

  • Cut it the same width as the joint pieces (mine were 4.25″).
  • Roll it into a tube shape. Depending on the thickness of your foam you may have to overlap the ends so you create a double layer. I found it easiest to remove the PVC joint from the other pieces first so you’re working with one small piece instead of the whole barre.
  • Slide the rolled up tube into the PVC joint.
  • Wiggle and twist the barre into the center of the tube. This is a little tricky. I used my left hand to try and keep the foam from shooting out onto the floor but you can see it did slide out a good inch or so. You want it to be a tight fit so it’s stable but not so tight you can’t put it together.

DIY Portable Ballet Barre | laughingabi.com

Once I had everything together (and was sure it would work), I took it all apart and hit it with some hot pink spray paint. I’m always amazed how much paint changes things.

DIY Portable Ballet Barre | laughingabi.com

DIY Portable Ballet Barre | laughingabi.com

DIY Portable Ballet Barre | laughingabi.com

I want to point out that this is not as stable as a barre that attaches to the wall. My dancer is 13 years old uses it for balance and form. If your dancer is younger and will be leaning on the barre or putting a lot of weight on it, this may not be a good option for you.

So what unique features have you added to you kids’ rooms? A climbing wall? A race car? A trapeze bar? Hey, it could happen.

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35 thoughts on “DIY Portable Ballet Barre: Phase 1

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  5. Question for fitting the pvc pipe together.
    Did you use socket fittings only to hold it together? And if so, how has this bar held up with your daughter’s use?
    Or do you recommend getting the sturdier pvc that can be threaded?
    I am a dance teacher and would probably use this regularly, was curious how it holds up to use.
    Thanks!
    Gabe

    • Gabe,
      We used fittings only and it’s held up fine. BUT, I’m thinking as a dance teacher yours will get much, much more use. I would recommend you check into the threaded PVC. Or I think there are adhesives out there that are designed specifically for PVC. My teenager uses hers primarily for balance. If your students are younger and actually need it for support you might need the extra stability.

      Hope that helps. Let me know how yours turns out!

      abi
      laughing abi recently posted…DIY loft bed curtainsMy Profile

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  7. LOVE this! I’m making one tonight! I have pinned a few of your posts, thank you for your wonderful ideas!

  8. Your ballet barre project turned out so beautifully. I do have a question. How did you put the bottom together so that it fit flush against the wall for storage? Thanks.

    • Hi Val,
      When you put the PVC pieces together you don’t use any glue or screws at all. As a result all the pieces can be twisted/turned with a little effort. To store it against the wall we just turn the bottom “feet” 45 degrees so they’re flush with the wall. Does that make sense? Let me know if I’ve made things more confusing :)
      laughing abi recently posted…Installing beadboard ceiling on a screened porchMy Profile

  9. Love this! We are doing a handmade Christmas this year and my ballerina is getting this for her room. Thanks for taking all the hard work of figuring out measurements out of it for me. Haha! Makes my job much easier. Can’t wait to see her face when she doesn’t have to use the kitchen table anymore.
    Shannon recently posted…made it monday {oldies, but goodies}My Profile

  10. hi.my name is liat i’m from israel. i saw this fine idea on another blog and tried it. unfortunantly for me. the pvc tubs are somehow different. a lot softer, so the structure is use less. what tipe of tubes did you use exectly? thank you

    • Ben,
      I used some leftover rods we had taken out of a closet in our house so I’m not sure what the measurements would be if you’re looking for them at the store. When I check them with a tape measure it looks like 1 3/16″. Hope that helps!
      laughing abi recently posted…My Christmas MantleMy Profile

  11. This is wonderful! I made this for my daughter as a Christmas present and I can’t wait to give it to her! I spray painted mine purple because that is her favorite color, I also hot glued the craft foam to the bar before putting it together so I didn’t have any problem with the foam sticking out the ends! Thank you for a great idea!

  12. Pingback: How to Build Your Own Portable Ballet Bar | Popular Question & Answer

  13. Could you let me know the approximate cost for your barre? I want to make this one, but I’d love to know what I’m getting into financially :)

    • Emily,
      Unfortunately I didn’t keep my receipts from this project but I did do a little online research (HomeDepot.com & Lowes.com) and came up with some approximate figures for you.

      Crosses: 4 @ $3 ea = $12
      Tees: 2 @ $1.56 ea = $3.12
      Elbows: 5 @ $1.25 ea = $5
      Pipe: 10 feet = $3.08

      I had the closet rods and craft foam on hand so I don’t have a cost for those but you could probably find them online as well. The total cost for the PVC pieces only is approximately $23.20.

      Of course these prices are just estimates but hopefully they will help get you started.
      laughing abi recently posted…My First Photography ClassMy Profile

  14. Pingback: How to Construct a Ballet Barre | Popular Question & Answer

  15. How did you eliminate the side to side moving of the bar? I am almost to the point of drilling and stewing this together.

  16. I love this so much and I’ve needed a barre for quite a while. Do you think it would be sturdy enough to hold my foot on it?

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  18. Hi I was wondering if this project is expensive. My family and I are moving in the upcoming week and they are going to spend a lot of money fixing up the house. I dance everyday for at least an hour and a ballet barre would be an amazing touch to my new room! Also was there a specific place you bought all the materials? Just wondering!

  19. Thanks so much! My husband and I found this site last night and went to Lowe’s this morning and got everything. Within an hour we had it put together and painted. The only change we made was instead of using foam, we decided to drill through the pvc and into the wooden rod for stability.

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