Build-It-Yourself Painter's Easel DIY

Sarah Brown
by Sarah Brown
2 Materials
7 Hours

Honestly it only cost me about $60 including wood and hardware to build this Easel. I scaled it to be tall, like many of the Painter's easels I have been looking at in catalogs which run into the hundreds of dollars.

As a Artist myself I felt the need to share with others how I built my own Easel. It is customizable, and overall heights can be shortened or made bigger, based on your tastes and needs.

I will attempt to give a accurate supply list, forgive me if I forget something. I do offer detailed measurements of the easel I built from scratch. All wood is high grade Pine unless stated otherwise. You can nail this together but screws hold much better.


*I recommend a Drill press to construct base with dowels.

Drill, screwdriver, jigsaw or other saw. Wood clamps. hammer


1- 1" x 2" x 72"

6- 1" x 3" x 72" (6ft)

(+ 1 additional 1" x 3" x 72" if using Easy Base option)

1- 2" x 2" x 36" (standard Base)

1- 2" x 4" x 72"

3/4" corner trim (looks like a 'L' from side)

scrap plywood 6" high and 25.5" long for back of paint tray.

4' ft of 2" wide Lattice

decorative trims, paint or stain.


2- 1 1/2" or 2" (cheap) corner braces

2- 2" strap hinges

2- thumb screws and matching nuts (1/4"-20 x 1 1/2")

1 1/4" Wood screws (buy a box of 25+)

1- specialty knob and matching nut

I got a fluted knob w/ male stud (5/16-180x 1 3/4")

2- 1 1/2"x 1/4" bolts & nuts, make sure they can fit into the corner brace holes.

Wood Glue,

2 - 2" wood screws to attach support brackets

one- 1/4" inch dowel for building spine.

lots of metal washers (1/4" holes)

*Optional: 4- 2" caster wheels (2 reg/2 locking)

Standard Base- 4 thick 1/2" or greater dowels 4 inches long for base

Easy Base- 12-16 extra wood screws

Side view of the Paint Tray and showing how the support brackets attach to the side of the easel.

When setting the height for your paint tray make sure to give a good allowance for comfort when you are sitting or standing. Measure from the bottom and use a level and clamps to make sure it doesn't move before drilling from the center of the reverse of easel. You can always add one or two more position hole setting later if desired

Rear View: You can see the hinges at the bottom of the easel and how the corner braces are used to attach base and spine of the easel and allowing it to tilt back.

close-up photo of the clamp I built using references I found online as a jumping point.

Behind that smaller square that the bolt goes through is a nut, that is inset or buried in the wood of the clamp structure. This allows me to make the clamp rise, lower and tighten into position on my easel mast.

Quick view of Printable Supply list. Sorry if I left any supplies off.

the side and center mastes of this easel are all 6'ft long, making the easel at a over all height of just over 7' ft tall. It is a bit awkward through doorways.

measurements for the base and Painters tray.

measurements for the Clamp and some of the wood cuts needed to start construction. Be careful, you might need to adjust some as you go. Once you build your base and Spine, the measurements of the clamp and tray go from that.

Hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you need the full resolution schematics that are

printable on 8.5 x 11" paper please let me know. for PDF files.

Suggested materials:
  • Wood   (Home Improvement store)
  • Hardware   (Home Improvement store)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • 1977153038 1977153038 on Oct 13, 2016
    Can I get the plans for this? My wife would probably like me to build one for her.
  • Connor Connor on Sep 19, 2018

    can I get a plan for this too please?

Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • Duncan Duncan on Sep 27, 2022

    Where do you use the dowels,I ask as they are not shown in the finished item. Maybe have a set of assembly instructions.


  • Sarah Brown Sarah Brown on Sep 27, 2022

    Hello Duncan,

    The Dowel connects the spine of the back of the easel frame. On the drawings you will see a place in the lower section of the 'spine' where two pieces of wood connect in an inverted T shape, I used the dowel there. I thought it would look nicer than overlapping and screwing it to cross piece of the frame. Good luck.