January 07, 2013

Balance beam for American Girl doll

Dimensions 20" W x 2 1/4" H x 3 1/2" D

See my other free Gymnastic tutorials


What you need

  • 2 x 2 x 20" lumber (actual size will be 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 20")
  • 1 x 4 lumber scrap piece (2 slices 1" wide)
  • 2 letter size pieces of felt (or one continues piece min 8" x 24")
  • Glue (e.g. Elmer's glue)
  • 4 small nails (min. 1 1/4" long)
  • optional 4 wood staples

How to make the balance beam

I will add more pictures as soon as I have them

1. Take the 2x2 and evenly distribute glue on one of the long sides

2. Lay felt pieces on table (if two line them up on the short side as close as possible together

3. Place 2x2 with glued side down in the middle of the felt, make sure felt will be able to wrap around 2x2 completely (make sure the felt pieces form a barely noticeable seam)

4. Put glue on either side of the glued side and pull fleece around

5. Let dry

6. Glue last side, cut felt to form a barely noticeable seam (fold one side in then fold the other over, take a ruler and place along the center, then take a sharp knife and cut along ruler through both layers of felt. This should give you a perfect seam)

7. Let dry

8. Fold in both ends to for a nice end and glue and optional staple it

9. Take the scrap 1x4 lumber and cut two 1" slices. You will then have two pieces  1 x 4 x 1
(3/4" x 3 1/2" x 1" actual size) that will form the feet for the stand

10. Mark each slice the following

11. Cut the corners off, that are marked with a red X

12. Sand and round off all corners, you can also clear finish or paint it at that stage

13. Place one of the feet 2" from the edge on the underside of the beam (the side that has the long seam all along) and pre-drill 2 small holes through the foot and into the beam

14. Nail in place

15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 on the other side with the other foot

You are done !!!

For more Gymnastics items see my blog


  1. Thank you for being so generous with your ideas. We have a snow day today and I'll be making this since, in anticipation of the snow, I bought the supplies for the balance beam yesterday. Another idea...I went to a used sports equipment store and bought a yoga mat for $10 which I will be cutting into various sizes for the mat and gymnastics routine area. I'm going to edge these with purple, sparkly duct tape! From Jan in Franklin,TN