How to Build an Art Easel for Painting

  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-75
What You'll Need
3 pieces of 2 by 3 wood (2 measuring 6 feet 10 3/8 inches and 1 at 6 feet 9 inches)
2 x 4 piece of wood approximately 4 feet long
A piece of plywood measuring 48 inches by 33 inches
(2) 3/8 inch carriage bolts that are at least 7 inches long
(1) 3/8 inch carriage bolt 5 inches long
A few 2 1/2 inch nails
Wood glue

The cost of pursuing your passions as an artist is unavoidable, but the cost of an art easel is not one of them. Whether you are an art student, a hobby painter, or you just want to give your kids another activity, you can build your own easel and reduce the cost of painting. As an added bonus, it is a great project to do with your kids.

Step 1 - Prepare for Assembly

The two front legs for your art easel are the longer 2x3 pieces. The top of each piece needs to be cut at a 15-degree angle so that it will be stable. Be sure to cut carefully so as not to cut too steep an angle. Also use caution and be safe. Next, drill a hole straight through the front legs at about 78 inches from the bottom. Drill two holes in the back leg. These holes should be drilled to fit your carriage bolts and should be made at 39" and 74" from the bottom.

Step 2 - Assemble Legs

To assemble the legs, lay all three together on the ground with the back leg in the middle. Lay them so the holes you drilled toward the tops of each line up. Once lined up, stick a bolt through the holes and secure loosely with a washer and nut. Because of the angle cut, you should now be able to spread the front legs. They should open to about 45 inches apart. Then, tighten the nut.

Step 3 - Finish Assembly

At about 39 inches from the bottom, drill a hole through the center of each front leg. These holes should then be used to attach the horizontal cross member to the legs. The cross member of the art easel should be your last remaining stick of wood. Next, glue and nail the plywood securely to the front legs so that it rests on the cross member. While the glue dries, stand the easel up and spread the legs until it sits at an angle that works for you. To keep the art easel legs from spreading further apart, simply tie a rope through the second hole you made in the back leg and attach the other end of the rope to the cross member with a screw. Once the paint is dry, you are ready to go.