I've received lots of email over the last several years with feedback on the design and photos of easels built from the design. I've posted a few of these below. Some of these realizations contain some clever enhancements that others might be interested in attempting. If you want to send me a photo of your easel for inclusion on this page, please see the contact section of the author page.

Dear Sir,

Thank you so much for your kindness. God bless you and your families. From your web give me a lot of hope to learn about drawing
many, many thanks

C., Thailand



I just built a copy of your easel as a gift for my sister-in-law.  I made a couple of improvements.  I cut a relief in the top clamp to help hold the canvas in place.  Instead of chiseling a relief for a square nut, I used a Tee nut that you just hammer in place.  I'm also planning to mount a 1-1/8" thick block on the middle cross brace on both sides of the vertical rail to help support smaller sized canvases.  I'm also going to mount a 29 1/2" long AX 5 1/4" HE AX 5 1/4" WE box under the lower shelf
to hold brushes & paints.  I agree with your assessment on using the larger wheels.  If you have any additional hints, please let me know.
Mike Regimenti

Hi Benjamin,

I am going to try and build the easel for my wife who wants to take up painting again now that her kids have moved out of the house she has time and space to set up an art room again.

We had a look at some shops to buy an easel but they are so expensive that for the few materials you need its better to make one yourself.

Thanks for making the website and sharing your knowledge (for free).

Henri S.

Hallo !

I want to thank You for making that useful site - "building your own easel". It really helped me a lot in my moneyless situation. It is the best site on this topic that I could find on all of the net, and well made too - I`m telling You that as a The Golden Web Awards winner myself. It should be more sites like yours on the net.
With thanks from Latvia.

Thank you for the free easel plan I will build myself one.

Steven S., Ville de Léry, Quebec, Canada.

I just built a easel based on your design but with a bunch of changes to adapt it to what I needed.I used Oak, so I ended up spending about 40 dollars more. I needed it to be a lot lighter because the room I use to paint also serves as a guest room and when my family comes to visit it needs to go in storage. Anyway, here is a picture of it and Thanks again for posting those instructions, they were very helpful.

> (question by ben) How does that method for raising and lowering the shelf work?
So far it seems to work OK, I haven't had to move it a lot yet. This a view from above. I'll probably turn the bolts around so the wingnuts are inside, that way I can tighten at the same time.

Alberto M.

Hi Ben,
Thanks again for the instructions on how to build an easel. This was built with old scrap wood and a total investment of $20 for the wheels and bolts. Now its time to start the mini version for inside the house.
 Best Regards,
Gordon C.
 I had to chop off the top two feet to make it fit inside the studio. . .(oops)  :0 )

Dear Ben,
I just wanted to say THANKS for the easel instructions!  I am an artist who is currently working with the homeless and we need easels and so I have decided to try and build a few to have at the shelter.  Sounds wacky but we think it just might empower some folks. 
I just wanted to say how wonderful and refreshing it is to see that someone posts something on the web out of the goodness of their heart.  I wish you great success in your art.
Dawn W., USA


Thanks so much for providing the plans for building an easel not to mention the inspiration of your art. I'll let you know how it turns out. The easel will be a great addition to my studio. Thanks!

Fred M.
Olympia, Wash.

As you can see I am already using it and it works great. I only had an old jigsaw with a crocked table to cut out the slots for the crossmembers but all in all it doesn't look bad considering I'm not much of a carpenter. I modified the top clamp as you can see to make it easier for me to build. I also added an aluminium angle bracket to the shelf to support the base of the canvas from falling through. Sorry for the picture quality. I couldn't stand back far enough in my area. I think I will also add another bolt above the present bolt on the vertical supports to hold them al little better. They probably won't be adjusted too often by very much anyways so I'll put
the second bolt about 6 inches above the existing one. Thanks again for the challenge, I expect this to last me the rest of my life (0 to 25 yrs). Anymore of these project in the works? IE: Paint box. ETC.

Pat K.

I have completed it.
Ray F. Sr


Thank you for posting your easel plans on the net. Based on those plans, I built my daughter one for a college graduation present.

Since you indicated on the page that you are interested in feedback, I thought I would drop you this email. I built the easel to your basic specifications but modified it slightly and added a few features. I chose oak for the material of construction which increased the cost considerably, but my daughter considers it a nice piece of furniture in addition to a painting tool and displays it proudly in her living room. The vertical rails I got from Home Depot; they are milled stair rail. I added a bottom to the base, so she could store paints and stuff there. The shelf is has adjustable brackets that use thumbscrews to provide a pressure grip to the vertical side rails. The shelf is made so she can throw brushes and stuff into it. The tilt adjustment rails have a bolt with wing nuts that is slotted through the mated piece, but I also used a keyway router bit to slot the top piece where a hidden screw slides along the keyway to hold the tip of the rail opposite the bolt together with it's mate. Your suggestion to use 3-in. casters was a good one.

I've attached pictures FYI. Let me know if you have any questions about what I did.

Again, thank you for providing the basic design and inspiring me to take up
the project!

Charles G.

Dear Benjamin,

Many thanks for your plans.

They have proved to be excellent.

My son is doing an Art and Design course in Bristol, England.

He needed an easel for his course. The largest paintings have been five feet
by five feet and as small as thirty inches by twenty four inches.

Your design is simple, elegant and adaptable.

I scaled the main frame down to thirty inches by seventy two inches.

I used twenty millimetre by seventy millimetre, planed all round, pine for
the construction.

I did have some difficulty in sourcing the Thumb screws and 10 millimetre
coach screws. The solution I adopted was to use wooden drawer knobs and glued
the nuts into the counter bored drawer knob. I also used the same drawer
knobs for the Top Support and the dowel pegs.

I used two casters for the back of the lower frame and fixed blocks at the
front of the frame. It is quite stable yet can be manoeuvred quickly by
lifting the front of the frame.

Thanks again

Alan B.

Hi Benjamin,

Just a note to thank you for an excellent site. I recently built an easel to your very efficient design and my son - in - law, the artist for whom it was intended, is quite thrilled.

I made one or two minor adjustments as follows. I had to break down the easel for ease of transportation via ferry and 'bus so utilised 2 x 3 for the uprights and 1 x 4 for the base and cross braces, (spruce), for lightness. The shelf supports seemed a little bulky to me so instead of wood I used two metal joist hangers which wrapped around the uprights nicely and slide easily up and down, for the shelf I used 3/4" plywood as I had some lying around. The clamp to hold the top of the canvas was made from an old nylon cutting board,(1/2"), which responded nicely to cutting, is
strong and slides easily. The thumb screw was inserted in a hole drilled directly in the nylon and self threaded itself as it was screwed through the hole.

All in all the finished product is light, strong, and aesthetically pleasing. It was also inexpensive, cost for the whole thing was approximately $65.00 Canadian, about US$45.00.

Thanks again for the great design and for sharing it with the world.


Richard W.

> ben asks for some elaboration on the design...

Hi Ben,

Further to the cutting board for the clamp. The nylon or plastic or whatever the material is that they use for these things is extremely strong. The cut-out to slide on the centre support was made exactly the same as yours and the hole, for a 1/4" thumbscrew, was drilled in the centre of the 1/2" edge. This left 1/8" of material each side of the hole. I know this sounds very little but due to the strength of the
nylon it is quite adequate. The thumbscrew tapped its own threads as it was inserted in the hole and these threads provide the friction to hold the clamp when the screw is tightened. It seems to be holding up well. There doesn't appear to be any need to tighten the screw overly tight as the clamp holds the canvas snugly once in place. A spray of silcon on the uprights enables the joist hangers to move
quite smoothly, especially if the hangers are not screwed on too tightly against the supports.

Hope this is hepful.

Again, thanks for the design,

Regards, Richard

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I had begun pricing easels because I am taking painting classes at the local community college and needed to work at home in a large format. There was
nothing available that I could afford after purchasing the oils in large

Your plans were a life saver. My husband did the building (with some help from me) and our supplies cost $65. It is just wonderful. It will serve for lots of years. The only change I want to make is a small 1/4" ridge at the back of the shelf because sometimes the masonite boards that I paint on want to slide off. When I go to stretched canvas I'm sure it won't be a problem.

I really appreciate your generosity in sharing these plans and in the time it took you to prepare such clear and complete explanations for the process. Would include a picture of the finished easel but my digital camera has gone missing and I've quite gotten out of the habit of film........

Thanks again,
Karen W.

Thanks for the instructions. You have saved us a lot of time or completely ruined my next month! Although I have been using a tripod easel for even 6x4 foot paintings, I have now been offered a studio and need an easel that looks proper. If it's completed we will send you an image for your easel gallery.

Best wishes
James and Kate, UK.


Proceed to the plans, resources, or faq.