Introduction: Tabletop Art Easel

A few years back I tried acrylic painting. I got too frustrated and my supplies sat fo a long time before I decided to give it all away thinking I’d never touch art again. Fast forward a few years to now and I find myself with the desire to paint again-maybe nor acrylics, but something. Art supplies can get expensive so since I am venturing into this again I want to keep th cost minimal. I tried just painting on a desk but after a few hours your neck begins to hurt and if you already have a bad neck the pain almost is unbearable. So I started to look for DIY easels.

My requirements were, it needs to be strong because you push pastels into paper, and I wanted it to be storable. I have too many hobby’s so I needed to be able to put this away when needed. And of course it needs to be inexpensive and materials easy to come by.

I found a plan on YouTube by The Frugal Artist. It looked like something easy to build, low cost and sturdy. But there was only plans, and he talks about what he did but there were not any pictures of the final product. I’m a person that loves pictures, so it a bummer I couldn’t see real pictures of this being made.

Now that I’ve made this easel, and used it (which works beautifully), I thought maybe I should share the details.

Many thanks to The Frugal Artist on YouTube! He has lots of other DIYS so check him out!

Step 1: Materials

I made my easel 20”x20”. You can make this any size you want however.

You’ll need:
(2) plywood sheets 20x20 I used 11/32” because that’s what I had laying around. I would suggest 3/8” as the smallest as a 1/4” isn’t thick enough and I don’t think would be as sturdy.
(3) 1x2x4
(3) Hinges (two for the plywood, one for the prop piece to hold it up).
Quarter round or some other wood that you can use as a stopper for the prop piece.
1 thinn piece of wood for pencil ledge ( I used a yard stick and cut it down)

Step 2: Cut the Wood!

Cut the 1x2’s to 20”

Step 3: Screw 20” 1x2’s to Each Board on the Bottom Edge.

It will make sense in a minute, I promise!

Step 4: Screw Hinges Into Plywood

Screw hinges into the one of the plywood pieces on the backside of the 1x2.

Step 5: Add the Pencil Ledge

Place the pencil ledge flush with the 1x2, and so it hangs over the plywood piece, screw down.

Step 6: Add the Other Plywood to the The Hinge!

Place the other pice of plywood up against the other with the hinge with the 1x2 on the bottom and below the hinge and screw together.

Step 7: Cut the “prop” Wood.

This and the next step will take some customization based on what you like for angles. I cut my 1x2 approximately 16”. Screw the hinge into the 1x2 and then onto the plywood.

Step 8: Create Your Stops

I cut 3/4” square balsa wood into 4” strips and placed in various spots. You can use quarter round, but balsa was a bit less expensive , and only 2’ long versus quarter round which was 6’. Again this is based on your needs.

Step 9: Set Up and Start Painting!

Viola! You now have an inexpensive useful, strong easel that might have cost you about $20.