How to make a cheap tabletop easel

Tabletop easels come in many shapes and forms. They may be made to look like large standing easels, or they can be made out of material as simple as a cardboard box. The easel holds the canvas in place so you can paint or draw on a vertical rather than a horizontal plane. The best tabletop easel is one that stores easily and provides a stable holder for the artist's work. You can determine the dimensions of the tabletop easel by the size of canvas that will be used.

Set the blade of the table saw to 1/2 inch. Set the fence on the table saw at 1 inch. Place the 8-inch side of the 2x8-inch board against the rip fence. Make a pass with the saw blade cutting into the board 1/2 inch. Move the rip fence to 1 1/8 inches. Repeat the process of passing the 2x8-inch board over the blade. Repeat this process until a 3/4x1/2-inch groove has been cut in the wood.

Set the rip fence of the table saw to 1/2. Place the 3-inch side of the 2x2x3-inch board against the rip fence. Make a pass to cut a 1/2-inch line into the board. Move the rip fence 1/8 inch out and repeat the process. Continue moving the rip fence and making the cutting passes until there is a 3/4x1/2-inch groove cut into the wood.

Sand the edges and surface of both pieces of wood to remove all splinters and rough areas.

Cut the hook ends off the bungee cord. Tie a knot at each end. Attach one end of the bungee cord to the center back of the 8-inch board using a staple gun. Secure the bungee cord by stapling on the cord above the knot so it is held in place. This will be on the side that does not have the groove. Attach the other end of the bungee cord to the center back of the 3-inch board.

Place the easel on the table. Place the bottom edge of the canvas in the groove of the 8-inch board. Pull the bungee cord and place the 3-inch board on the top edge of the canvas.


Double-staple the bungee cord to the blocks of wood to ensure proper securing.

Things You'll Need

  • 2x8x10-inch board
  • 2x2x3-inch board
  • 12-inch bungee cord
  • Table saw
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Sandpaper
  • Canvas
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."