Kids Outdoor Acrylic Easel




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Today I’m sharing another great outdoor project, this time for your kiddos. This Outdoor Acrylic Easel is a great project for the kids to get messy outside with their paints and then just hose everything off for clean up (the kids too :)

The whole project is made from just 3 2x4's a 1x6 and some trim. Add in a sheet of acrylic plexiglass and you are off to the races. Also check out how I customized my acrylic and made an acrylic painter's palette with a CNC laser.

If you like this project please vote for it up in the top right.

Tools (affiliate links):


  • (3) 8′ 2×4 pine boards
  • (1) 8′ 1×6 pine board
  • (4) 68″ 11/16″ quarter round
  • (1) 36″ x 30″ acrylic sheet 0.093″
  • 3″ wood screws
  • 2″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • 1-5/8″ wood screws
  • 1″ brad/pin nails

Read the instructable here and you can also get downloadable plans over at my website:

Step 1: Assemble the Base

From 2x4's cut the following:

  • 2 frame legs 54″ long
  • 2 frame rails 36″ long
  • 2 feet 24″ long (cut 45 degree chamfers on the top ends)

From a 1x6 cut the following:

  • 2 supply shelves 36″ long

Assemble the frame rails to the frame legs to form a 36" wide by 30" tall opening. Use pocket holes and 2" pocket screws for connecting the pieces. Attach the feet to the bottom of the frame legs with 2" pocket screws.

Step 2: Shape the Supply Shelves

Using the 36" supply shelves, layout an arc on the front edge of the boards. My arc went from 3" on the ends to full width at the middle.

Layout and cut 3" holes to hold cups and supplies. The outer holes are centered 9" from the ends and 3" from the back edge. The middle hole is 3-1/2" from the back edge.

Round over the edges of the supply shelf and the holes for a smooth feel.

Step 3: Add Braces and Install Supply Shelves

From 2x4 material cut braces with 45 degree miters on each end. The brace should be 8" along the long edge. Install the braces between the frame legs and underneath the lower rail. Center the brace on the boards and use 3" screws to attach them.

Use glue and 1-5/8" screws to attach the supply shelves to the underside of the lower rail. The shelves should butt up against the braces.

Step 4: Install the Trim and Paint

Cut 11/16" quarter round trim to the following:

  • 4 at 30" long with mitered ends
  • 4 at 36" long with mitered ends

Install one set of trim in the opening with the round over facing out. The other set will be installed after the painting and acrylic is installed.

Sand everything to 150 grit and paint with an exterior grade paint, including the extra set of trim.

Step 5: Customize the Acrylic With a Laser

I wanted a fun slogan on the acrylic, so I used a FSL Hobby Laser to etch "ARTISTS AT WORK" on the acrylic. I wanted the front surface to stay smooth so the paint wouldn't get caught in the etching so I did a mirror image on the back of the acrylic. I took off the bottom of the machine to laser the large sheet.

I also designed a painter's palette and cut it out of 11"x14" acrylic sheet which we later loaded up with paint and it looked awesome. I'm attaching a pdf of the laser file for your use.

Step 6: Install Acrylic and Get Painting

After the paint is dry, install the acrylic sheet in the opening and push the extra set of trim tight against the sheet and secure it with 1" brad nails. Fill the holes with spackle and touch up paint them for a seamless look.

Fill it up with paint and let your kids have a great time!

Thanks for reading! You can also get downloadable plans over at my website:

And if you liked this project please vote for it on the top right!

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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Such a fun project! And perfect for summer. Thanks for sharing!


    2 years ago

    This is a really great idea!


    2 years ago

    Great idea... I'm gonna have to build one of these for my kid!

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Vote button on the top left? It's on the top right of the screen for me... :)

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh, I see that you got confused only on the last step.