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