Introduction

building an easel
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Age Range: 8 and up

One of the best ways to encourage your children’s budding creativity is to give them a place to practice their talents. This sturdy, portable artist’s easel is compact but holds colorful paints, brushes, pencils, markers, and more. And since it has two sides, your kids can enjoy drawing and painting with friends and siblings.

The frame is inexpensive to build, but the dry-erase boards can make the costs add up. To keep the price down, use ¼-inch plywood instead and cover it with chalkboard or magnetic paint.

Once you’re done, set the easel up in the corner of a bedroom or playroom to create an artist’s corner—and keep the mess all in one place. It’s a perfect way for your little ones to discover their inner Picasso!

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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • bar clamps
      Bar clamps
    • hand clamps
      Spring clamps
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 3/32-inch and ¼-inch, and -inch drill bits and a 1¼-inch hole saw
    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses

    Shopping List

    1. Three 8-foot oak or maple 1x3s

    2. Two 23x23-inch magnetic dry-erase boards

    3. 1-inch dowel, 3 feet long

    4. Two 4-inch strap hinges

    5. ¾-inch #10 wood screws and eight washers6. 1¼-inch #8 wood screws and two washers

    7. Two plastic trays or kitchen drawer organizers

    8. One 2-foot-wide roll of paper