DIY Ballet Barre and How to Hang a Heavy Mirror
Are you getting tired of the frilly pink little girl posts?
I really hope not because I’m having a blast making over Livie Bug’s bedroom. I really wonder how much she’ll despise frilly pink by the time she’s 10 just because of this. Maybe she’ll be like me and go on a pink strike in middle school only to love it all over again by the time she has a daughter of her own.
Regardless, my inner child is kind of jealous of her newest bedroom addition, a ballet barre!
This was one of those projects that looked so simple in my head but the technical stuff made it not so easy. If you’ve ever tried to hang something heavy but there isn’t a stud on the center of the wall, it’s tricky business.
Supplies Used: (Affiliate links are provided below. For more info, see my full disclosure here.)
- 18″ Hangman hanging system
- Large mirror- Ours is 35″x45″ (This one is close to the same size and style.)
- Power drill (We use this one all the time.)
- 2″ wooden dowel
- 2 stairway handrail brackets
My parents had given me this scrolly mirror back when I moved into my first apartment in college that originally had hung in their dining room for much of my childhood. It was black with gold leafing but I gave it a dose of silver spray paint.
Let me tell ya, this mirror is heavy. And I didn’t want to hang it on Olivia’s wall within her reach unless I was totally confident it wouldn’t fall over on her. We’ve hung our hallway chalkboard and bathroom window with these heavy duty picture hanging systems called Hangmans, and they’re super strong. So I knew it was the perfect solution for this massive mirror.
And of course, Olivia wanted to help.
We screwed one of the plates from the Hangman on the back of the top of the mirror, and we made sure it was level.
For the second Hangman plate, we positioned it where we wanted on the wall between two studs and marked it, a screw hole on each end of the plate positioned on a stud.
Without the hanging plate, we would have to choose one of the studs to hang the mirror on instead of centering it between the two, and it would have driven me nuts to have a mirror off center on the wall.
The plate on the wall angles out as a lip to hold the plate on the back of the mirror.
That big guy is going nowhere! Or else this mama would not be cool with it.
And okay, come on. It called for a selfie moment. (To be honest, the selfie thing doesn’t happen very often with me.)
Then it was ballet barre time! (Inner ballerinas rejoice!)
Robert and I had the same concerns for making sure the barre could handle some weight, and we wanted to make it for as inexpensively as possible…like always.
A 2 inch wooden dowel and a couple of stairway handrail brackets set us back about $16.
Since we had centered the mirror between two studs, we were able to position the barre brackets the same distance from the mirror on studs too.
Robert predrilled holes in the dowel to attach to the brackets (with Olivia supervising of course).
Robert’s sister Ann was visiting us over the weekend and lent us a helping hand with attaching the dowel to the brackets. We put our guests to work sometimes…so wrong of us, I know. She was a good sport.
Just so you know, this is how we break up the tension in the middle of projects. This face:
Okay, but seriously…let’s do this.
And there she is all ready for plies, grande batments, arabesques en pointe and any other random ballet term you can think of.
My dad used to kid with me when I was younger that a “yoplait” was a dance move. Insert pre-teen eyeroll. “That’s yogurt, Dad.”
Definitely puts the ballet theme in motion, wouldn’t you say? I’m not usually one for “theme-y” rooms, but I can’t wait to see how the rest of it unfolds. How cute it that ballerina applique pillow over there?
This barre is exactly like the one I used to have when I danced ballet as a girl at a dance studio.
To this day, if I hear Nutcracker music during Christmas at the mall, I want to run screaming…or start up my old ballet choreography. I can never decide what to do. Listening to it during rehearsals for 4-5 months every single year will do that to you.
I think it’s safe to say that Olivia is a fan.
Now to teach her a thing or two. This girl has some dance moves of her own for sure though.
Once the mirror and barre were up, we had a dance party in her room for a good hour. “Swan Lake” is cool and all, but “Uptown Funk” was on repeat for this dance session.
To see where else we’ll be heading for her bedroom, you can check out the full makeover plans here.
Update: See the full bedroom makeover reveal here!