Build Your Own Easel Stand

Build Your Own Easel Stand – Encourage your child’s inner creativity by building an easel with them. Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how.

1 of 5 Easy All the parts are easy to make and fit together, but cutting and drilling hardwoods can slow things down

Build Your Own Easel Stand

One of the best ways to encourage your children’s creativity is to give them a place to practice their talents. This sturdy and portable artist easel is compact, but holds colorful paints, brushes, pencils, markers and more. And since it has two sides, your children can enjoy drawing and painting with friends and siblings.

Simple And Cheap Art Stand/easel

The frame is cheap to build, but dry erase boards can add to costs. To keep the price down, use ¼-inch plywood and cover it with chalkboard or magnetic paint.

Once you’re done, place the easel in the corner of a bedroom or playroom to create an artist’s nook and keep your mess all in one place. It’s a perfect way for your little ones to discover their inner Picasso!

The basic construction of this trestle is simple: hinged, square-cut boards form the legs, while cross braces and side braces hold it together. All the materials to make it can be found at a home center and at a home goods or stationery store. But since the easel is made of hardwood, parents will have to do the cutting and drilling. Children can help by measuring and marking the pieces

Using a tape measure, mark the midpoints (4 feet) of two 8-foot oak or maple 1x3s to make the four legs. Using a combination square, mark a cut line at each of these points.

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On a third 1×3, measure and mark four shorter lengths: two 24-inch sections for the cross-keys and two 14-inch sections for the side supports.

Hey, kids! A combination square helps you make a straight line with a perfect right angle. Just hold the ruler part over the wood and hold the square head against the edge as you mark your line.

Put on your safety glasses and clamp a 1×3 to a work table, making sure the cut mark hangs over the edge of the table. Using a jigsaw, carefully cut the frame pieces, stopping to move and re-fasten the boards before each cut.

To parents: It’s best left to an adult, but kids can help by catching the pieces as they fall. Just make sure they are away from the saw and don’t let them stand up on the wood while you cut, as this can pinch the blade.

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Build An Artists Easel

Each side bracket will rotate on a single screw and be locked in place with a slot that slides over a second screw.

Attach a stand to your work table. Measure ¾ inch from each end of the bracket and, using a combination square, make lines at these points. Then find the center of each line and make a small cross mark. Make a third cross mark in the center of the entire backing.

Using a drill/screwdriver fitted with a 3/32-inch bit, drill a pilot hole in the center of the cross mark on one end of the bracket.

At the other end of the bracket, extend the cross mark into a quarter-inch-wide slot that runs from the middle to the bottom edge of the bracket. Using a drill/screwdriver and a ¼-inch bit, drill a hole at the cross mark at the top of the slot. Do this for both parentheses.

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Using a jigsaw and with the bracket clamped to the work table, cut the slot lines to find the ¼ inch hole. Repeat this process with the other support.

Attach the backing to the table so that the cross mark in the center of the piece hangs over the edge. Using a drill/screwdriver fitted with a 1¼-inch hole saw, drill a large hole centered on the mark. This will fit the dowel that holds a roll of paper in the middle of the easel.

Hey, kids! The hole saw cuts the small plugs; don’t throw them away. Paint them with your favorite designs and stick a magnet on the back. Now you have decorative magnets for your easel.

Line up two 4-foot legs end to end. Attach a strap hinge to the ends of the hinge, leaving room for the hinge knuckles, and mark the wood into the hinge holes. Using a drill/screwdriver fitted with a ⅛-inch bit, drill pilot holes at your marks. Then attach the hinge by driving ¾ inch screws through the hinge holes and into the wood.

Kids Art Easel

Place the two sets of hinged legs about 2 feet apart. Find the vertical midpoint of the legs at 24 inches. Align one of the cross braces on the face of the legs so that the ends are lined up with the outer edges of the legs and the top is at the midpoint mark. Drill a 3/32-inch pilot hole at each end, through the crossbar and into the legs. For the best holding power, the holes should be diagonal. Attach the junction with 1 ¼ inch screws. Repeat with the other cross strip.

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Raise the trestle and open the legs wide enough so that the ends of the side supports line up with the ends of the cross braces. Mark the legs through the two holes in the bracket (the pilot hole and the slot hole). Using a 3/32-inch bit, drill pilot holes in the legs at these marks.

To attach the side brackets, slide a 1¼-inch bolt through the pilot hole, then slide a washer over the stem on the back. Insert this screw into the leg, leaving it loose enough for the bracket to pivot.

Insert another screw directly into the opposite leg; leave about ¾ inch of the bolt sticking out. The bracket slot should slide over this screw.

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Place a dry erase board over the legs, its bottom aligned with the top of the junction. Using a ⅛-inch drill bit, drill pilot holes through the four corners of the board and into the legs. Place the board through these holes with 1¼-inch screws.

Align the plastic trays to the cross braces on the front and back of the easel and mark the trays where you want to attach them. Place the plastic trays on a piece of scrap wood and, using a ⅛-inch drill bit, drill through the marks on the plastic.

Use the holes in the plastic to mark the cross braces for the pilot holes, then drill them with a ⅛-inch drill bit. Attach the trays to the cross braces with ¾ inch screws fitted with washers.

Slide the dowel through the hole in a side stand, through the roll of paper, and out the other side. Then pull the paper up through the opening at the top of the easel and down onto one of the boards. Secure it with the magnets you made and you can paint and draw!

Unique Garden Art Easel Ideas

Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks and DIY Smarts projects from our experts straight to your inbox. I needed easels for an activity I was helping with at church. I had a bunch of 1 x 5/8″ cut “sticks” that I decided would work perfectly to make my own set.

I made medium and large easels for anything 11×14 inches and larger. These sizes have an adjustable ledge so that smaller items can be placed on top and larger items on the bottom. The screws that hold the cornice board have wing nuts on the back that allow you to easily make a change.

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Larger easels can also be adjusted for how much they tilt. There is a bow in the back that can be moved up for a more upright horse…

I’m guessing the cost is only about $2 for the small easels and $3 for the larger ones.

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*The dimensions of your “sticks” are not critical – mine ended up being 1 x 5/8” – if you are making strips of 1×2 furring and have a table saw, I would recommend ripping off each long edge to clean it up and do – square it*

Each easel has 3 pieces of legs of the same length and a piece of cornice. Cut the sizes you need according to the diagram above, or customize your pieces to whatever you like (this project is very forgiving)!

To make the angled cuts for the 2 side legs of the easel, you want your miter set to 17 degrees for the small easels and 13 degrees for the medium and large easels.

The widest part of the wood should be at the base of the miter saw. Set up and clamp your square so that you cut a wedge of wood that is halfway across the top of your board. Do this for 2 boards… the third (middle leg) stays square.

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Arrange your 3 pieces like this. The center leg should be about 1/4″ above the side legs. Measure and mark a line 1-1/4″ from the center leg, across the 3. This line shows you where to drill for the screw.

Bring the marked lines to each side of your boards and mark the center for easy and accurate drilling.

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