Over the Door Easel - $8




About: I enjoy photography, horticulture and carpentry, and am almost always doing something relating to of those things.

After making my 30 Second Whiteboard, I needed somewhere to put it as I use it. Thus, the Over the Door Easel was born. It takes after clothing hooks that go over the top of a door. Mine cost me $8 in supplies from Home Depot.

While I built mine to hold my whiteboard, it could be used for painting, drawing, or any other easely purposes.

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Step 1: Supplies


  • Ply wood - I got a $2 board from the cull cart at Home Depot.
  • 4 "U" brackets - These are in the same section as the lumber. Mine cost $0.76 each
  • 2 hurricane straps, they're basically strips of metal with holes in them. Same section as the U brackets. Mine are 2ft long. Mine cost $1.15 each
  • 14 screws shorter than your wood is thick


  • Hot glue/wood glue
  • Felt pads


  • Circular Saw
  • Sandpaper or Sander
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Carpenter's square (I used a free sample of carpet)
  • Tape measure
  • Vise

Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once

Determine how big your easel needs to be. If you're using a frame, don't use the number they give you, that's just the glass. Measure the actual width of the entire frame. I suggest making the actual easel slightly larger than you need. The height doesn't matter much. Draw a line for the width.

Next you have to decide where to put the brackets. I put one 8 inches up on either side, and two on the bottom, each 5 inches from the center. Use your square to align them and mark two screw holes for each one.

At this point you can cut out your wood. I also cut a 2 inch strip of wood to use as a ledge on the bottom.

It goes without saying to observe all safety standards when using power tools.

Step 3: Sanding

Hopefully you have an electric sander, it will make things a lot easier. Sand down all of your wood. The electric sander also allowed me to round the edges and corners. This would be the time to stain the wood, if you want to. The sanding didn't remove all of my pencil marks, but it may be hard to see them if you're painting it. Just keep that in mind.

Step 4: Attach the Brackets

Use a drill bit slightly smaller than your screws to make a hole on each dot that you drew. Screw in all four brackets. It helps to bend the bracket back some to give you better access to the holes.

Step 5: The Hangers

Measure how thick your door is. Draw two lines on each strap with the thickness of the door between the two lines. The distance from the edge to the first line is how much of an overhand you want. I used two inches. Make sure that your lines are perpendicular to the edge.

Use your vise to bend the strap on each line. Tighten the jaws on the line and bend it by hand.

Now that you have two candy cane shapes, feel free to run around and have fun with them. They're great for opening fridge doors and...not much else.

Put the hooks on a door and hold up the easel to them, in order to determine how far down they need to be screwed in.

Flip your easel over and find the center. I put them each 5 inches from the center.Use the square to align them and mark the screw holes. Drill and screw them in.

At this point, your easel is done. I opted to add a ledge to mine, if you did, too, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Ledge

Find the center of the ledge and the center of your easel, line the two up. Pull the ledge out an inch or two (if it's too far back, your board will cover it). Mark the holes from the bottom of the brackets onto your ledge. Drill and screw.

Step 7: Optionals

Two things that you might want to do is add a ledge to your ledge and add some felt pads. A ledge ledge will stop things from rolling off. Mine is just a line of hot glue around the ledge.

Adding felt pads to the back will stop the easel from scratching the door behind it. Pads on the brackets will stop the screws from scratching your frame/work.

Enjoy your Easel!

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    21 Discussions


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Plumbers strap is different, it's more bendable. Hurricane strap is rigid.

    I thought you were using a "hurricane strap", found with the other Simpson tie products. This is a piece of galvanized stamped steel that is stronger and stiffer with prepunched holes for nailing used to nail to decks or wall framing to keep it from ripping apart due to high winds or earthquakes. The plumbers strap stuff should just be flexible rolls of steel strapping to hang and support pipes that you cut to length. You really couldn't make a strong hook out of it as it would bend as soon as you put weight on it.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well, plumbers strap IS similar, as in they bothe have pre-drilled holes and are made of a form of steel. Yes Nacho, I agree it is probobly labled like that in the store. However, caitlinsdad, it is'nt THAT bendable.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    . I'm not sure what the name of W'burg's straps are, but they appear to be for structural use. c'dad's "hurricane strap" is probably correct or at least close. These types of straps are fairly hard and don't bend very easily (although, as thin as they are, it's not that difficult).
    . Plumber's strap is made from soft steel and is very easy to bend - it's made to be bent by hand (no Bender robot required heehee). If much weight were put on his hanger made from plumber's strap, it might "unbend."
    . Plumber's strap might work for this project (it would certainly be easier to form), but I think W'burg came up with a better solution. His straps are probably 10x stronger than they need to be, but there may not be many easy options between his straps and plumber's strap.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I meant you couldn't really make a good hook with the flexible stuff and a reliable sturdy hook with the stiffer stuff. The hurricane strap is stiffer and needs to be bent with a brake or vise. You can do it with pliers but I don't think it is meant to be bent at sharp angles too many times as you can snap it off. The offset holes are a clue it is no ordinary pipe hanging strap.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You could wrap your hangers with a bit of electrical tape or duct tape at the top to keep from scuffing up/slipping on the door. I think when you try to open your bifold doors, it will bumpus into your whiteboard. If you put too much weight on it, it will pull the bifold off of its pin and maybe send it crashing down. Mount a mirror on the back or frame a Picasso so you can flip it over for dual use.

    4 replies

    Yeah, it can be tricky to get on and off because it's a bi fold door. That's just the closet, though, so I can leave it there for a while without a problem. I might move one of the hangers so that they both fit on one plank of the door. That would make it easier to put on/take off.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    . Wow! Those metal straps are as ugly as homemade sin, but it's a great project and a great iBle. Fantastic job on the photos. . I'd suggest using a sealer on the wood, even if you don't stain it. It will reduce splintering/dusting and provide a little protection for the wood.

    2 replies