How to Build a Portable Easel for Art Class

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 75-150
What You'll Need
2 wood pieces that eachmeasure 2 inchesby 3 inches by 42 inches
1 piece of wood that measures 2 inches by 3 inches by 40 inches
1 piece of wood that measures 2 inches by 3 inches by 24 inches
Cordless drill
Wood stain or paint
Paint brush
Drill bits
Circular saw
Carriage bolt nuts
2 4-inch carriage bolts
1 8-inch carriage bolt

Building your own portable easel for an art class can be a good money-saver, allowing you to free up more funds for paint, brushes, canvases and other art supplies. This easel is an easy do-it-yourself project that can be done in short amount of time using only a few tools. Before beginning any building, make sure that you have your wood pieces cut to precise measurements.

Step 1 - Make Front Easel Legs

If you have unpainted wood pieces and would like your easel to have a more polished look, paint 1 to 2 coats of your choice of paint or stain. Do this before attaching any of the pieces together and be sure to allow plenty of drying time. Start with your 2 wood pieces that are 2 inches by 3 inches by 42 inches. Use your circular saw to cut a 15-degree angle at one end of each; these will form the two front legs of your easel. Make sure you have the circular saw on the correct 15-degree setting as imprecise cuts can cause these wood pieces to fit together incorrectly.

Step 2 - Fit Back Easel Leg

Lay out your wood piece that measures 2 inches by 3 inches by 40 inches. Place your 2 front easel legs on either side of it. Move the front legs so that the angled cuts are flush against the wood piece in the middle. At the point where these three boards connect, drill a hole through the wood pieces with your cordless drill and a drill bit that will create enough space for the 8-inch carriage bolt.

Step 3 - Connect Easel Legs

Attach your easel legs together by screwing the 8 inch carriage bolt through the hole you drilled in step 2. Secure the bolt in place with a correct sized bolt nut. Move the front legs of the easel approximately 12 inches apart and add your wood piece that measures 2 inches by 3 inches by 24 inches. Lay this wood piece across the front legs and drill a hole for the 4 inch bolts on either side. Screw this in place with these bolts and nuts. This wood piece create the shelf for your canvas.

Step 4 - Fold up Easel

When you are ready to transport your easel, loosen each of the bolts. Fold the front legs and back leg together so that one of the bolt holes lines up through all of the bolt holes. Hold the legs together by placing the 8 inch bolt through this hole and securing it with a nut. Attach the other two carriage bolts to the remaining holes and screw them in place as well. This will keep the easel legs from accidentally coming apart and possibly becoming damaged in transit between home and your art class.