Friday, January 4, 2013

Making McKenna's Balance Beam on a Budget

[Originally posted here.]

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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  1. How exciting - an American Girl balance beam! We are totally going to make this on the weekend!

    We are designing our own gymnastics fabric for our American Girl Doll Beds, check it out at

  2. Adorable! Where did you get the bunk bed from in the background in one of the pictures? I've been looking for a nice doll bunk bed, and I love that one!

  3. Cute! I like gymnastics. This is a great long-weekend project! Crafting time!


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