Making McKenna's Balance Beam on a Budget


Since our visit to the American Girl store at the Mall of America Zoey has been talking about asking Santa for McKenna's Balance Beam for Christmas and that made me start thinking about a way to make one of our own on a smaller budget than what is listed in the catalog.  A trip to the hardware store and the dollar depot was all we needed to get started. Bonus...when we went up to the counter at ACE today, we got a scratch off coupon and saved 20% off all of our items.  :)

Supplies Needed: Duck Tape (in colors of your choice), small tack nails, scrap wood packs (the pieces of wood that we used were sized 3 1/4 in. x 24 in.'s and 2 - 2 in x 4 in.'s), and a hammer.


First I taped up the ends of the long piece of wood and the edges along the side taking care to make no bubbles or creases.


Then I adhered long strips of tape on the larger flat sides of my piece of wood.


I then did the same to the smaller blocks of wood.  Taking care to note which side would be on the inside of the balance beam (not show) and which side would show (be on the outside) just so I would be sure that it would look nicer.


Now that  you have all of your taped pieces of wood you can arrange your blocks under the larger "beam" and get ready to nail them together.  I used two tack nails on each end.


When I was finished Zoey added some fun foam star stickers that we found at the Dollar Depot and we were done.  She couldn't wait to see how McKenna would like her new balance beam!



It's safe to say that she loves it!  She was showing us tricks right away of course!




Zoey is thrilled too and now I am thinking about how it is that I can re-create McKenna's bar.



Check out McKenna's handstand!  Pretty impressive eh?




Of course, if we were giving something our full attention than Leo had to come and check it out.


This was a fun and pretty easy craft to work on this rainy afternoon.  After it was finished Zoey said that she couldn't believe she had a mom that could do this...made my heart happy that something so little can make her so happy.

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Tobey said...

how about small plumbing piping for her bar???? love the balance beam, wonderful to be able to make her extras and have them come out so adorable!!!

Homemade With Love said...

Thanks so much for posting this. Going to make my daughter one next month. She and my son just started a summer Autism STAR gymnastics class so she'll be thrilled to have this

Megan said...

cool!! and Jen~ where did you get the pink rug under the bed? or did you make it, if so how did you make it or where did you get it at?

Sarah said...

That is awesome! Way to go mom!

Jennifer Davis said...

Thanks for the kind comments everyone! Great idea Tobey regarding the plumbing piping! I'm going to look into that for sure, thanks. Megan, the pink rug I actually picked up at Wal-Mart in the bathroom's a small bathroom rug! The dolls pink garbage can was a toothbrush holder from the same set! :)

Horseykidd2012 said...

Awesome. I have heard ways to make the bar out of PVC piping and wood, but not sure how it all fits together.

Denise said...

you are a crafty minx Jen!!

Anonymous said...

Did you make the doll bunk bed in the background?

Jennifer Davis said...

I didn't make it, it's a combo set of two different brands of doll beds that I found online, one is by Badger Basket (if you google that you should find it) and I'll try and remember what the other one was and comment again. I think I answered this in another comments post too but just can't recall at the moment! :)


T. Wolak said...

Thank you so much! Do you have another picture of the bed on your website? I'm having my father in law make one like it for my 3 year old.:)