Introduction: Padded Leather Balance Beam for the Kids

About: Instagram: oregonwoodworks. Dental school class of 2019 DIY-er.




Nail Gun

Chop Saw

Sandpaper/sanding block

Screws. 2.25" and 2"


Leather (I got mine from the back of our old couch)

2X4 I used mist of a 16' 2X4

Walnut wood stain


Step 1: Cut the Wood

I cut the wood just about 6 inches shorter than the length of the leather piece I had. I really didn't measure anything, but the Top piece is an estimated 4-5 inches longer than the support piece so the end of the balance beam will hand out over the legs. This gives you room to upholster it on the ends. The length of the finished balance beam must be around 5 feet in length

Step 2: Cut the Feet.

The feet here were cut at a 45* angle on the chop saw and then shortened til I liked the height. Since my kids are only 1 and 2, I kept it as short as possible, so the suport beam is atually touching the ground too. Once I had the length for one piece, I just traced it to the other 3 cuts. Drill some guide holes for the screws, and screw it into the support beam!


If you use the same screw location for the feet they will hit each other from opposite sides, so on the left foot I put 3 screws high low high, like this... ( '.' ) then on the right foot I placed 3 screws low high low, like this...( .'. ) This way, the screws don't touch each other in the support beam.

Step 3: Add the Top

This is a side view. The top piece hangs over about 1.5 inches, (again, I really didn't measure anything) to leave room for uphostery. I just placed 5 holes with a drill across the top into the support beam and screwed it down with 2.25 inch screws.

Step 4: Measure Batting and Leather

The leather I have is jsut the back panel of this couch we had for a year. We replaced the couch and I suddenly had a ton af leather on hand. Lucky me. We originally bought it from goodwill for 30 bucks.

I cut the batting and the leather just big enough to wrap around the top 2x4 on all sides. The batting is quilter's 80/20 batting and it is folded over so it's a stack of 8 layers of batting. about 2 inches tall, un-compressed.

Step 5: Attach/Trim Batting

In this step, I pulled the batting tight, and stapled it to the edge of the 2x4. Then, I trimmed it with scissors so there was no batting hanging past the bottom of the 2x4.


to attach the batting originally, I did tack it to the bottom of the 2x4, but pulled those staples out after I had it tight and stapled around the sides. There's no batting attached to the under-side of the 2x4. That space needs to be saved to attach the leather.

Step 6: Attach the Leather

In this step, I folded the edge of the leather down, and stapled through 2 layers of leather, leaving a folded edge exposed. On the end, I folded the end in first, then the sides down 45* then straight down. Staple it tight all the way around so The leather doesn't get pulled up. I also had to check the top quite a lot to make sure my seams in the leather were staying straight. I did both left/right together going tdown the 2x4 so it stayed tight the whole way.

Step 7: Finish It.

The first picture is with no finish, while the second has one thick coat of walnut minwax stain on it. Ideally I should have done this before doing the upholstery work, but it turned out ok anyway. Hope you enjoy, and post a pic if you end up making one!

Tandy Leather Contest 2016

Participated in the
Tandy Leather Contest 2016