Ballet Barre for dolls

So, I'm very excited about this week's craft! To round out our mini-series of ballerina/dance crafts, I thought it would be fabulous to make a barre -- there are almost no tutorials online about how to make your doll a ballet barre, and this version is sturdy, looks great, and goes together pretty easily!

Want to get started? All you need is a few things from the hardware store. 

I'm using 1/2" PVC pipe for this project. One 5' length should be plenty! You'll also need two T joins, two 3-way elbow joins, two 45 degree joins, two straight connectors, and two end caps. This goes without saying, but make sure all your fittings are the right size for your pipe, and that they're all 'slip joins', not threaded.

Next, cut your pipe into sections. You can use a hacksaw for this, but I like to use a ratcheting pipe cutter. It's much cleaner, safer, and tidier. (And you can do it in your living room, instead of having to resort to the garage!) 

Cutting the pieces above will get you a basic barre. If you want to add the second, lower barre, you'll need another piece of pipe 17" long.

I wanted my barre to look rather fancy, so I painted my pipe and fittings.

If you want to add the second, lower barre, now's the time to add some extra, special fittings! You'll need something that looks and works rather like this (I believe it's called a 'split ring hanger'). Drill a hole in your straight connectors, and attach the split ring hanger.

Next, lay out all your pipe pieces, as shown in this picture. Start putting everything together!

And, if you're doing the second barre, go ahead and attach that using the other half of your split ring hanger fittings.

And there you have it! A finished ballet barre, just the right size for your 18" doll! 

Happy dancing, and be sure to let us know in the comments if you make this!

Melinda


13 Comments

Honey
Honey

January 03, 2015

Your thnnikig matches mine – great minds think alike!

Mike
Mike

December 20, 2014

Melinda,

My wife saw this and wanted me to make it for our granddaughter, I just finished the final assembly. Your instructions were excellent, parts list was accurate and everything fit together perfectly. A friend had a ratcheting pipe cutter and it made for clean, accurate, and quick cuts. I can suggest some ideas for attaching the second bar and painting.

I got all the parts you suggested including the split ring hanger. The split ring hanger is actually threaded so I picked up two short bolts that were short enough to slide down inside the coupler. I drilled the hole in the middle of the coupler big enough to allow me to slide the bolt into the coupler and push the threads out the hole, then just threaded the hanger onto the bolt threads sticking out of the coupler. It was a snug fit, a screw head instead of a bolt head might have been easier but it worked perfectly. I have pictures I could post if there is a way to do that.

The big challenge for me was the painting. I got spray paint specifically for plastics and did not think I would need to do any surface preparation, it didn’t work out so well. The paint wanted to slide off the slick surface of the PVC pipe. When I got ready to paint the assembled fittings I took a sanding sponge and knocked the shine off the fittings and they held the paint perfectly. I would suggest doing this or sanding the PVC pipe as well, just enough to kill the shine.

Two other tips on painting that I learned the hard way. I just spray painted each pipe but then to assemble I needed to scrape or sand the ends of each one to be glued to make them fit back into the fittings, do yourself a favor and cover the ends to be glued with masking tape so you can just cut it or pull it off after painting. Also some spray paint got into the fittings and I had to sand them lightly for everything to fit, I suggest stuffing some paper towel into the fitting openings to keep paint from getting in.

We painted ours silver and pink in the same paint scheme you used and it really turned out well.

chris
chris

December 03, 2014

What type of PVC pipe and fittings did you use? I am having an issue (at HD and Lowes) finding all of the fittings, there are no 3 way joins in the type I chose, so I went to a different purpose/type PVC (electrical I think the man said) and they had a 3 way elbow but the top hole was smaller than the bottom 2 holes, I tried to fit the other hole with the original type of PVC to no luck.

Thanks for your help

Lorraine
Lorraine

October 25, 2014

When using spray paint tell the sales person in the hard we are store what you need the paint for and,they can make recommendations for yo to use. Now with this being said I don’t remember the brand name but,there is a spray paint made specific for plastics this can be used for those big ulgy play structures for the back yard.
This might be a spring project for the grands.
Love your ideas.

Barbara
Barbara

July 11, 2014

can’t wait to make one

Cathrine
Cathrine

June 29, 2014

This is like the cutest thing !!!

Cathrine
Cathrine

June 29, 2014

This is like the cutest thing !!!

carol Moger
carol Moger

April 17, 2014

What kind of paint do you use? I’ve made other things from pvc pipe and it always chips so easily. Love what you made! Carol

IRIS
IRIS

April 03, 2014

I can’t wait to get started on this. Bothe my youngest GD and both my Great GD’s have been in dance since Day 1. Their AG Dolls have many dance outfits. This is a perfect accessory.

Melinda
Melinda

March 28, 2014

Hi Sewbig! I sanded the pipe and fittings lightly and used a spray primer before spray painting. I just used ordinary all-purpose spray paint and let it cure, but a sealer might not be a bad idea!

Kasi
Kasi

March 11, 2014

This is AMAZINGLY creative!!!! I’m rushing to the hardware store RIGHT NOW!!! I am so excited to make one of these. Thank you.

Annette
Annette

March 09, 2014

Having been a ballet dancer, I want to make this for my doll! Great work, and your barre looks authentic. Except we did not have blue barres, but ugly old I don’t even know what color they were, barres! LOL!

Sewbig
Sewbig

March 08, 2014

I love the colors you chose. What type of paint did you use? Did you have to use a primer? Or a sealer?

What a great tutorial. I’m Pinning it now!

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