DIY Ballet Barre – Single Wood and PVC Pipe #2 – Instructions & Video

This single PVC and Wood DIY home ballet barre is simple and easy to build. The heaviness of the wood makes the barre sturdier than a plain PVC barre, and the end design looks worthy of being in an actual studio.

There are some different ways you can approach making a PVC and Wood barre. The first option is to decide whether you want to make a double or single barre. Then the second option is deciding on whether you wish to make it from U-PVC drainage pipe which has 88-degree fittings or from C-PVC Pressure Pipe which has 90-degree fittings. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and also create different looking barres.

For this project, the advantage of using C-PVC pipe and fittings also known as pressure pipe is that the wood slides right through the tee fitting creating an overhang, whereas because of the way U-PVC pipe fittings are made with their openings being wider than the middle sections this would have been more difficult to achieve! But if you are after a tutorial on how to make a wood and PVC barre using U-PVC, which will look different to this one also known as drainage pipe then please check out this tutorial here instead!

>

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS – HOW TO MAKE A DIY SINGLE BALLET BARRE

For a pdf printout with a list of the tools, materials and cuts you need to make as well as a small diagram and simple instructions click here to join our newsletter. This way you have access to the member vault with all my free printables and more!

Step 1: Gather your tools and materials.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

TOOLS or EQUIPMENT:

  • Hack Saw
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Measuring Tape
  • Steel Wool or a kitchen scourer
  • Permanent Marker
  • 2 Chairs or 2 Work Horses or even bricks to lie pipe across to cut
  • Electric Hand Drill with drill piece for making holes.
  • Screwdriver
  • 2 x button head size #8 – 3/4″ length screws

    OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
  • Acetone for cleaning marks and printed barcodes off pvc
  • Glue for PVC pipes or Screws if using to secure your barre
  • Paint for plastic surfaces
  • Sanding paper for your wood
  • Wood Varnish
  • Safety Goggles

MATERIALS

  • C-PVC Pressure Pipe 1.5″ diameter (40mm)
    1 x 10 foot long (3m)
    You need a total of 113″ which is basically around 9.5 feet, but I like to have a little extra to allow for slightly off measurements and cuts.
  • 4 x elbows for C-PVC 1.5″
  • 4 x tees for C-PVC 1.5″
  • 1 x Wooden Dowel 1.5″ Diameter 48″-60″ long

When I bought my wooden beam from the biggest hardware chain store in Australia (if you are Australian I bet you can guess where) – there was only an option to buy a 48″ version or a beam double the height and cost. At the store it made more sense to buy the 48″ barre as I only really wanted another 12″ why buy the extra double long pole? However after having made this barre, I would not recommend going shorter than 1.2m or 48″ for the length.

In fact, I wish I had bought the longer beam and then after making the legs cut the wood dependent on how well the legs held it. I would actually recommend trying to source a wood beam at least 60″ or 1.5m long as although the length of this barre is great for my five-year-old, for older children and adults, you will want the extra length – I felt my final barre was a little short.

A last note on the wood – my pipe and wood both say they are 1.5″ wide but for the pipe this is the inside opening diameter of the hole, the actual plastic and outside diameter is wider. This is why my pipe does not slide right through the fittings but my wood can. I am writing this so that before leaving the store, you actually check that your wooden beam fits through your fittings as pipe diameter is measured differently to wood.

Step 2: Cut your PVC pipe

For this DIY ballet barre you will need to cut your PVC pipe into the following lengths:

  • 4 x 10″
  • 2 x 36.5″

HOW TO CUT PVC?

If your hardware or plumbing supply store can’t make the cuts for you and you have access to a miter saw and know how to use one – then go ahead and use that. If you have no idea what a miter saw is or how to use one, don’t worry, I didn’t use one.

I used a simple hacksaw and the video above shows you exactly how I did it. I simply measured a length I needed, marked this with a permanent marker and laid the pipe onto a couple of chairs for support, and then used the hacksaw to cut the pipe where I had marked. Use steel wool or a scourer pad to quickly clean the cut edge of debris.

You can also use this same technique to cut your wood, especially if you buy a longer beam and want to see how much length you can get stably with these legs. I would advise having the wood held more securely in clamps or a vice to a sturdy work desk or something similar before attempting to saw it. The video also goes through a variety of other techniques most of which could be used to cut your wood as well.

Step 3: Assemble the fittings, Wood and PVC pipe

The image above should hopefully give you a good visual on how to put all the pieces together and the video gives you a step by step walk through of how to do it as well…..but if you would like to read the instructions, on how to build this approximately 41″ tall ballet barre that I think is great for both kids and adults to use keep on reading here.

Start with the feet.
Grab one elbow fitting and attach a 10 inch piece of pipe to each horizontal opening. Put a tee fitting on the other opposite end of each pipe. The single opening of the tee should face upwards and the two elbows downwards. You should be able to stand this structure now on the floor. Follow these instructions to create another foot exactly the same and place it about 3 feet away from the first barre foot you made.

Insert the legs
Insert one of the 36.5″ pieces into the tee fitting that is facing upwards on one of the feet. At the other end of the 36.5″ fitting push on a tee. The tee should make the shape of a capital letter T with the single hole attached to the leg and the two openings horizontal to the foot. Make your second leg.

Insert the Barre
Insert the barre into the opening of the two tee fittings on top of the legs. Make sure you push the barre through so there is about 2 inches of barre on the outside or other side of the cross fitting

Step 4: Screw and Drill the wooden barres in place

Measure and leave around 2″ of barre overhanging on the outside of your fittings. Then drill one hole underneath each of the fittings where the barre passes through. Drill the hole through both the fitting and into the wooden barre – Making sure the barre hasn’t moved and there are still 2 inches of overhang on the outside of the fitting. Then using your screwdriver, screw in your button screw to secure the wooden barre to the fitting.

Drilling a hole and then screwing a screw in by hand are just some measures I take to ensure I do not split the wood, as although this has not happened yet when making ballet barres it has occurred on some other projects when I did not take the same precautions.

Step 5: Secure the rest of the fittings together with a rubber mallet, glue or screws

If you do not want your barre to keep falling apart, either use plumbers glue or cement to create a strong bond between your PVC. You also have the option of making holes in all the fittings and screwing them together, although I have found that using plumbers glue develops extremely strong adhesion and adds sturdiness to your barre!

When gluing I would advise you to not glue the legs into the feet so that you can either swivel them to the side or take them off for storage. But note that this does tend to make your barre a little less sturdy so if you have the space to leave your barre out, glue them in as well!

Step 6: Clean and Paint your PVC and wood barre.

Most PVC glues will leave colored marks around the fittings – my glue was green and so there were green marks in all the joints. I did try other glues which are clear but found the PVC plumbers glue created a really strong bond that made the barre sturdier overall, so you might want to paint your barre to hide these marks as I did.

Use a paint made for plastics and follow the directions on the paint. I used spray paint to do mine. Also, make sure you have removed the wood to ensure that you don’t get paint all over your barre.

For your wood, you should sand it down with fine grade sanding paper and then either use wood oil or varnish to finish off your barre. I used a clear varnish and coated my wood three times and I am really happy with the results! This will help to ensure it stays smooth and does not splinter. It also makes it easier to clean and allows the hand to move smoothly along it.

TOP TIP:

Mark each drill hole on your ballet barre with a number. Write the number right next to the hole – it really doesn’t matter if you can see this through your paint as the PVC fittings will cover it. Also mark the corresponding holes on the inside of your PVC with the numbers. This way when you go to put your wooden barres back in it will be much easier to put the screws back in and realign your holes. I did not do this and it took me ages to work out which side of the barres and holes matched!

Step 7: Your DIY Ballet Barre is ready to use!

If you have glued your PVC together and taken the wood off to paint it, reassemble your barre and then it is ready to use. Just remember Ballet Barres are used for balance and for stretching not for hanging off or for gripping as you just might find

ALTERNATIVE DESIGNS

If this particular ballet barre isn’t what you were after check here for the DIY Ballet Barre home page where I have instructions on how to make single ballet barres, barres from galvanized steel, and others using wood. I also have a few suggestions on different styles of feet as well as on how to weigh down your barre so it doesn’t move or what to put under the feet so they don’t scratch wooden floors.

About the Author

Samantha Bellerose

Samantha is a wife and mother of four kids aged 1-9. She danced and acted from the age of 5 and performed in film clips, on television, and in musical theatre professionally. She also taught dance, but after leaving the profession to backpack through Europe, Canada and the USA with her husband for three years, she then completed an Education Degree and taught within primary schools in Australia. Today she is a business owner with her husband and the creator and writer for Dance Parent 101 where she hopes her previous experience as a dancer, current experience as a dance parent and the research and writing skills she gained completing her education degree will help enlighten parents on their journey with their child through the world of dance.