Folding Easel for my daughter

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Project by ErsatzTom posted 01-06-2008 05:22 AM 4251 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


14578 posts in 4631 days

#1 posted 01-06-2008 06:00 AM

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 4880 days

#2 posted 01-06-2008 07:10 AM

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

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 4371 days

#3 posted 01-06-2008 10:14 AM

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 4440 days

#4 posted 01-06-2008 11:31 AM

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


18619 posts in 4726 days

#5 posted 01-06-2008 12:36 PM

excellent job.
“Folding” is super for storage!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Critterman's profile


601 posts in 4376 days

#6 posted 01-06-2008 02:05 PM

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

4444 posts in 4528 days

#7 posted 01-06-2008 03:32 PM

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 4371 days

#8 posted 01-06-2008 03:48 PM

Thanks everyone!

-- Tom, Southwest Florida

View Lip's profile


158 posts in 4615 days

#9 posted 01-06-2008 05:37 PM

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 4872 days

#10 posted 01-06-2008 05:54 PM

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

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4440 days

#11 posted 01-06-2008 07:54 PM

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


1828 posts in 4589 days

#12 posted 01-07-2008 06:13 PM

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 4371 days

#13 posted 01-07-2008 10:17 PM

The artist showing off her latest creation:

Artist Gracie

-- Tom, Southwest Florida

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4282 days

#14 posted 05-04-2012 07:34 PM

very nice work congratulations to the artist

-- jeanmarc manosque france

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