DIY Balance Beam for $30 or Less!

DIY Balance Beam Easy My Little Me

Last night my daughter accomplished something during her gymnastics class.  She did her first ever pullover on the bars!  She was so excited.  She kept doing it over and over, and the instructor let her write her name on the wall to commemorate the achievement.

This morning I wanted to make something to show her how proud I am of her and her sister. Something that can help them throughout the week to improve their chosen extracurricular activity.  I would have loved to make some bars for them to swing around on, but that’s a harder project for a more ambitious day.  (Or my husband.)

Below are a few pre-made balance beams I found online in case you’re not confident in your handyman skills:

DIY Balance Beams

diy balance beam

Instead, I came up with the idea to make a balance beam for my little gymnastic girls.  I was so happy to take my plans to Menards and find out that all of these materials only cost $30.  I used a drill and a staple gun, but already had those things on hand.


balance beam supplies

The supplies I bought were:

  • 1 – 4″ x 4″ x 8′ – around $8
  • 1 – roll of foam padding (not sure what it’s used for) – around $5
  • 8 sq. ft. (mine was 12 sq. foot) of carpet – I found some for around .50 cents/sq. ft. – $7
  • 2 – junk ‘value’ 2″ x 4″s – .49 cents each – $1
  • 4 – 3 1/2″ L Brackets – $4
  • 16 wood screws 1 1/2″ long  – around $5

So, I got out the drill, (and I honestly had to call my husband to learn how to use it) and pre-drilled holes for the screws to attach the 2″ x 4″s to the beam on both ends.  I didn’t really measure anything, but if you want to be more precise, feel free.

balance beam l brackets

After drilling the holes, I hand screwed the screws into the L brackets as shown in the picture above. I did this for both sides of the beam.

I then (and I don’t have a picture) stapled the foam padding directly to the top of the beam.  It fit perfectly and there was plenty to run the whole length of the beam.

After the padding was stapled, I started on one side of the beam and stapled the carpet along the whole side.  I wrapped the carpet snuggly to the other side as I stapled it. No staples on top!

diy balance beam

I also stapled some carpet on the ends to make it look more finished. And the above picture is what it looked like after I finished with it outside.

I did get all material that could be used indoor/outdoor, so the balance beam can be used anywhere.

The girls wanted to bring it inside, so I did and I also wanted to wrap some carpet around the 2″ x 4″s  to protect their feet a little if they fell off onto them. So, I just stapled more carpet around each side of them as you can see in the picture below.

diy balance beam cats

You can also see that my cat has discovered it and claimed it for her own.

But, this is the real reason for a little time and money to make this DIY balance beam for the girls.

diy balance beam kids

They love it!

I enjoyed making it.  It was actually fairly simple (after a crash course in drill usage) and only took an hour or two.  I’m thinking of adding some fabric letters to the side of the beam also!  Think they’d look okay?


If you make one of these for your kids I would love to see it!  Leave a comment below with your link so I can check it out!

In case you do not have much time on your hands and are looking for something quick ans simple, here are my favorite pre-made balance beams:

Nichol - July 25, 2014

Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to have my hubby get the stuff for this as my daughter wants to join gymnastics next year. I love this!

    Frida - April 25, 2017

    I just bought the stuff at Home Depot and we are building it right now

Angela - December 10, 2014

Can you tell me where you bought the padding?

    Jennifer Dickison - December 11, 2014

    I bought everything at menards. If you don’t have a Menards nearby, you could probably get it at a Lowe’s or Home Depot.

tonygreene113 - February 24, 2015

Hey Jennifer, just checking in to see if you’re still getting residual and direct traffic to your site from the pin I made on Pinterest. Please use my comment email to reply. Take care.

Mike L - May 17, 2015

I made this today, thanks!!!

    Jennifer Dickison - August 19, 2015

    I would love to see the finished project!

Alicia - May 31, 2015

We are making this today. 🙂 Not using the carpet as we live in a rainy state but this looks so easy & great!

    Jennifer Dickison - August 19, 2015

    I would love to see the finished project!

Kim - June 14, 2015

We had to improvise on some of the items… Couldn’t find the padding so we cut up a yoga mat instead and spent a little more letting our daughter pick out the material to cover from a fabric store! Thankyou for posting this! We we are making our right now!

    Jennifer Dickison - August 19, 2015

    Awesome! I would love to see a picture of the finished project!

Alayna Miranda - August 11, 2015

Did you use pressure treated wood? I’m just asking because I know pressure treated wood is toxic.

Gymnastics dad - October 30, 2015

Built this balance beam last night – your instructions were awesome. You made my 6 yr olds budding gymnast birthday! She loved it. Team USA 2024! : )

mj's mom - December 13, 2015

Can you tell me which section of the store you found the foam padding in?

Chelsie - May 1, 2016

We just made ours!! Love it!

Rebecca K - May 22, 2016

We went and got the supplies yesterday. My husband made it today for my daughter’s birthday, took him about an hour. Not bad at all. The supply list and directions were easy to follow. We did buy the padding because we had extra left over from when we put our floors in a year ago so we just used that. Thank you for sharing this. Made our lives easy and man we saved a boat load of money. The cheapest one I found on line was $70 and didn’t include shipping. My daughter’s b-day is Tuesday! We are hiding it in shed. I am very impressed, again thank you.

    Rebecca K - May 22, 2016

    I meant to put we didn’t buy the padding!

Jami - July 11, 2016

Thank you so much for posting this. I’m going to follow your instructions. what’s really ironic is that my daughter is 5 and all she wants for her birthday is a balance beam ,some bars and of course a good matt .I had pulled out materials I have on hand which I have plenty of due to my love of refurbishment antique furniture as well as many other things!! Lol,
As I prepaired to build my own I found everything I assumed it would take was just about everything you had on your list .
When I’m finished I will send you a picture of the finished product!
my oldest daughter is into competitive dance but my 5 year old it’s all about gymnastics .
The Olympics grabbed her attention since she was 3. if you have any connections where to get a gently used Matt ,please I would appreciate any help! thanks again I can’t wait to finish this project!!!

kelly - August 3, 2016

Wow. Thanks for sharing. Just made one for my daughter & she loves it!!

Gymnastmom - August 30, 2016

Thanks a lot for sharing this. Your instructions were perfect. I got everything in the list. The beam came out great

Jes - October 31, 2016

Great idea! I want to make one for my daughter but having hard time finding the foam padding. Do you know where to find it? Or what department you found it in? Thanks!

    Amber - December 18, 2016

    Hubs and I searched Home Depot–every isle!– and couldn’t find the padding. I didn’t really know what to ask for, either. So we may skip that step ?!

      Jacque - December 22, 2016

      Try carpet section for carpet padding… most places that sell carpet have the padding to go with it… there are different thicknesses too.. lots of luck:) it’s important to have so that they don’t hurt themselves…

Evie - November 10, 2016

I made
This today!

Julie G. - December 22, 2016

We used padding like that, it was left over from building our house. I think it is used when doing stucco, so check that area of hardware stores. We bought and indoor/outdoor carpet, but had to scrap it because it was to stiff to use. We are looking at commercial carpeting today. We opted for a 12 foot beam since our daughter is almost 8, her cartwheel is almost 8 feet long. Something to keep in mind if you want it to grow with your kids. Thank you so much for your instructions. The only other thing we changed was that we used contact cement for the padding so there were no staples on the top at all. We live in AZ and the heat and then rain in summer does a doozy to wood. We will probably have to recover it in a few years, but the cost is still cheaper than buying pre-made.

    Admin - March 7, 2017

    Very creative and smart! Thank you for sharing!

mahjong gardens - February 8, 2017

We had to improvise on some of the items… Couldn’t find the padding so we cut up a yoga mat instead and spent a little more letting our daughter pick out the material to cover from a fabric store! Thankyou for posting this! We we are making our right now!

    Admin - April 12, 2017

    What a great idea to use a yoga mat! That works perfectly!

Michael Terry - January 15, 2018

Thanks for the inspiration!

We made an indoor trainer beam:

The bottoms have low profile stick-on furniture feet.

We decided to skip the padding because the beam at her gym doesn’t seem padded and the carpet is certainly easy on the feet.

Merinda - February 21, 2018

Just asking, does this beam live outside?

We have a small house and zero room inside to do a normal cartwheel. I would like to be able to have a safe beam outside. But does it not get ruined in the weather?

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