Folding Easel for my daughter

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Project by ErsatzTom posted 2418 days ago 2498 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first non-shop project. I saw this being built on New Yankee Workshop and got the plan out of Norm’s book The New Yankee Workshop Kid’s Stuff. The original plan calls for chalk boards but my wife and I decided that we’d rather use white boards.

The frame on one side has slots that the paper rides through both holding the paper against the board and making it easy to tear off the last painting/drawing:

It folds up like this:

I originally planned on painting the easel when done. Since it was going to be painted I just used some wood I already had on hand, mostly poplar with a couple of small pieces of maple. When I finished it, though, my wife thought it would look better natural, so I started messing with it to try make the wood match up a bit better. To make a long story short, I let the sun turn the green of the poplar turn more of a brown and lightened up the darkest parts just a bit with bleach. I could have made them lighter but I was afraid that it would be difficult to blend the bleached and unbleached areas if I got too aggressive.

I didn’t like the way the poplar and maple stained. I got a lot of good advice on how to better adjust the colors but I just didn’t have the time or experience to make a good match. Instead, after bleaching I just finished it with wipe on poly.

I made plenty of mistakes and had to make more than one part over again but I’m pretty pleased how it came out. I can’t wait until my daughter gets back from her grandparents and can break it in.

-- Tom, Southwest Florida

14 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile


14375 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 2418 days ago

That is a great looking easel and your daughter should be quite pleased with it. Good work.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2939 days

#2 posted 2418 days ago

Good looking project. Glad it came out paint free, but hopefully your daughter changes that!

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 2430 days

#3 posted 2418 days ago

I do think that easel is good-looking enough to go into the “too good-looking for the kids” box. Great work. It looks real rugged, and your daughter should love it.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2499 days

#4 posted 2418 days ago

Nicely done. How much better to have your daughter doing something creative at the easel than vegging out at a computer game. Good job.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2785 days

#5 posted 2418 days ago

excellent job.
“Folding” is super for storage!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Critterman's profile


595 posts in 2434 days

#6 posted 2418 days ago

You did a great job, you daughter, I’ll bet, is ver excited. Toys that allow freedom of the mind are always loved and appreciated. And the finish looks well done also, it will probably end up with an artists version later on anyway….LOL. Great work.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2587 days

#7 posted 2418 days ago

Great job, Tom. i’m sure she will get a lot of use out of it and a lot of fun as well.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View ErsatzTom's profile


104 posts in 2430 days

#8 posted 2418 days ago

Thanks everyone!

-- Tom, Southwest Florida

View Lip's profile


158 posts in 2674 days

#9 posted 2418 days ago

Great job Tom … I’m guessin’ nobody will ever know it wasn’t originally intended to be painted unless you told them … came out really nice … and I’m sure she’ll love it!

-- Lip's Dysfuncational Firewood Farm, South Bend, IN

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 2931 days

#10 posted 2418 days ago

Super and even better paint free, I like al the natural colors. Great work.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Blake's profile


3437 posts in 2499 days

#11 posted 2418 days ago

Looks really nice. That will be in the family for generations. I’m glad you left it natural as well. We all love to see the wood!!!

-- Happy woodworking!

View TreeBones's profile


1823 posts in 2648 days

#12 posted 2417 days ago

I would be pleased also , this turned out great. Nice work.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View ErsatzTom's profile


104 posts in 2430 days

#13 posted 2417 days ago

The artist showing off her latest creation:

Artist Gracie

-- Tom, Southwest Florida

View jeanmarc's profile


1886 posts in 2341 days

#14 posted 838 days ago

very nice work congratulations to the artist

-- jeanmarc manosque france

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