American Girl Knock-Off Balance Beam (How To)

American Girl Knock-Off Balance Beam

Learn how to make a knock-off American Girl balance beam for a McKenna doll.

Just before Christmas a good friend asked if Mr. SP could make a balance beam for her daughter’s American Girl doll for Christmas.  After a quick look at McKenna’s beam and bar on the American Girl website on my phone, I knew that Mr. SP would have a blast building this.  (Little did he know that I would insist on helping.)

McKenna's Beam and Bar


We were able to complete this project by using materials that we had on hand.  We started by finding a chunk of wood in Mr. SP’s wood stash that would work.

Wood for Beam


Mr. SP then used the table saw to cut it to an more appropriate size for the doll to use as a balance beam.

Cutting Wood with Table Saw


It was then sanded smooth on all sides.

Sanding Beam


For the legs, Mr. SP traced a peanut can onto a piece of wood and we used the chop saw to cut the long piece into three equal sized ones.

Beam Legs


I held the pieces together while cutting them out with the band saw.

Cutting Beam Legs


The pieces were sanded smooth.

Sanding Legs


Mr. SP sanded off the top of the half circles to make a flat edge for the balance beam to rest.

Sanding Tops of Legs Flat

Legs Roughly in Place


The beam was painted hot pink and the legs silver.  (A spray paint trigger keeps my hands clean.  If you don’t have one of these, you need one!)

Spray Painting


Mr. SP made supports for the legs and they were glued in place.

Legs Glued on


To make sure that the beam’s legs wouldn’t fall off, Mr. SP screwed them into place.

Legs Screwed on


What little girl who loves gymnastics and loves American Girl dolls wouldn’t want to play with this.

American Girl Knock-Off Balance Beam2


We’ve heard that the recipient is telling people that “real live elves” make a balance beam for her doll.

American Girl Knock-Off Balance Beam Side View

We like being “real live elves”!  It was a privilege to make a little girl happy at Christmas.

Sharing With:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now
Grace at Home at Imparting Grace


  1. “Real Live Elves” is a great name for a little crafting business. You’d be a hit at all the craft shows.

  2. I love it!! You all did such a wonderful job, Paula. 🙂 I love the idea of “real live elves.” 🙂

  3. THIS IS SO COOL, Paula! What fun to be real live elves! And I know you made both the recipient and her parents very happy. Great job!!

  4. What an awesome idea! I love that “real elves” mad her balance beam!!!

  5. What an awesome idea! I love that “real elves” mad her balance beam!!!

  6. That’s so cute. Lucky little girl!

  7. I remember how expensive all of the American Girl merchandise was when my girls were little. What a gift to parents everywhere that you’ve shared this wonderful diy!!!

  8. lynn cockrell says:

    Great job! You guys are so smart and talented.

  9. Love it!! And I love the comment about the elves making it! How fun!

  10. Clever clever clever!

  11. Do you remember the dimensions you used?


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