How to make a homemade artist's easel

Updated November 21, 2016

Easels are used by artists to hold work-in-progress, or can be used within the home or office to display artwork. Artist's easels can be expensive even for the simplest designs. A three legged easel that will be great for beginners can be assembled very easily with little money spent.

Cut a 2 x 3 for the rear leg. Make the piece slightly longer than the desired height of the easel.

Cut the two front legs out of the 2 x 3s slightly longer than the rear leg. Angle the end cut to 15 degrees so that the front legs will form an inverted "V." Cut a larger degree angle for a bigger span between the front legs.

Put all three legs together, with the rear leg in the centre. Drill a hole the same size as the bolt through all of the legs a few inches from the top on the widest size of the lumber.

Place the bolt through the holes, then cap with a washer and nut. Determine the angle of the easel by moving the rear leg back and inclining the front legs before tightening the nut.

Use the 2 x 4 for the tray that will hold the canvas on the easel. Cut to any length suitable, but a standard size such as 24 inches to 48 inches will suffice.

Use wood screws to attach to the 2 x 4 a little less than halfway from the top of the easel. Again, this can be placed anywhere desirable.

With the easel standing and at a good angle, use rope and screws to attach the rear leg to the 2 x 4 canvas tray. This makes the easel more stable.

Sand all edges.


Use 1 x 2s or even 1 x 1s to make a small table-top easel to hold small canvases or small framed photos.

Things You'll Need

  • One 2 x 4
  • Three 2 x 3s
  • Wood screws
  • Bolt and nut
  • Washer
  • Saw
  • Hand drill
  • Rope
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