How to Make a Ballet Barre

Tamara Warta
barre

Learning how to make a ballet barre can save you a lot of money when you're looking for ways to cut costs.

Why Use a Homemade Barre

Serious dancers understand the importance of rehearsal. If you do not practice outside of classes, you will have a difficult time reaching your full potential. For this reason, many dancers choose to set up a small studio in their home so they can practice new steps and review the basics to keep themselves fresh and at the edge of the competition.

Small studio owners may also decide to make ballet barres from scratch if they are looking to save some money. Especially when the economy is rough, studio owners must make allocations in order to stay in business. Any way you can cut costs, you are doing what you can to ensure the success of your studio in a competitive industry.

Homemade ballet barres can be just as high quality as factory-bought, as long as you take the time to do things the right way, or enlist someone who has the proper skills to do so. Not sure how to make a ballet barre? Read on for some simple instructions that will guide you step by step through the process.

How to Make a Ballet Barre

Before you start building, brainstorm on paper what it is you need. Do you want a mounted or portable ballet barre? How long does it need to be? Will it easily fit into your designated space? What ages will be using it?

After you have written down these and other organizational thoughts, you can visit your local home store and find the right materials. First, you will want either a rounded piece of wood or a metal pipe that you can easily grip. You can usually have the store cut your selection down to size, and most ballet barres are between 4 and 8 feet.

When purchasing your rounded wood or piping, also purchase two pieces to your suited height, taking into consideration the inches added by the various joints and fasteners you will use. You can also ask the sales representative what they carry in regards to you making an adjustable height barre. Often this just involves the purchase of mounting materials that will allow your barre to be sturdy but still adjust up and down. You will want to go with this option if both children and adults will be using the barre.

Have the home store cut four extra pieces of piping that are approximately 1 foot each in length. These will serve as the support structure for a freestanding barre. You can also ask to have the pipes threaded if you would like assembly to be simpler.

After you have your wood or piping, attach two elbow joints onto the main barre, leaving the open joint looking downward. Screw together the two height-specified pieces of pipe into these elbow joints.

Next, take two T joints and fasten them into the bottom of the two supporting pipes, with the top of the "T" positioned side to side. Screw the foot long pieces of pipe into the T joints to add support to the barre.

If you want, you can add some sort of non-scratch covers to the ends to protect your flooring, and use sandbags or some other weight system to stabilize the barre while in use.

Creating a Wall Mount

The above instructions are obviously for a freestanding barre, which is ideal for a house where you will want to sometimes store the barre, or a small dance company that may be sharing space with other groups. If you choose to create a wall-mounting barre, you will only need your 6-8 foot long piece of wood or piping, along with the proper wall mounts that your home store representative can show you a selection of. Each store's product lines will vary, and the best way to discover what is local to you is to ask.

Remember, once a wall mounted barre is in place, it will cause damage to the wall after it's removed. If you do decide to take it out for whatever reason, you will need to patch the wall and repaint to erase all signs of a barre once being there.

How to Make a Ballet Barre