I’m knee deep in about 12 different holiday posts, so this is a random ‘possibilities are endless’ project that I made earlier in the fall and totally forgot to post. It’s the simplest wooden easel that I made for the kids’ preschool so they could advertise during their enrollment months but no reason it couldn’t be used as an art display or a chalkboard. Best part? Took me less than 2 hours. Promise.
4 1x3s (or whatever size board you’d like for your legs…)
2 thin pieces of plywood. For this sort of project, I use the precut stuff that’s at the end of the decorative wood trim aisle at Home Depot
screws (these will depend on the width of your legs… you don’t want anything so long that they come out the other side… duh)
2 x regular ol’ hinges
2 x locking hinges… the type you’d use on a trunk or toy box lid
I started by cutting my plywood to size… I chose to use one full sheet and just cut it in half. I clamped a board to it to use as a guide and then just went over with my jig saw since that’s what I had on hand (a circular saw would totally work).
Next, I measured and cut the 1 x 3s. These will be the legs so decide how high you’d like your easel/ sandwich board to be. Place the plywood on top of both legs and screw it in place down through the plywood (I used L brackets to give a little more stability, but that’s up to you). Carefully measure the 1x2s and cut these to fit between the 1×3 legs. These will be the top and the bottom of your easel/ sandwich board frame. Screw these in the same way. See what I mean? Sooooooooo simple.
Repeat these steps to make the other side of the easel/ sandwich board.
I used 2 hinges across the top to connect the two sides, but if you opt for heavier wood, you might want to add a 3rd hinge.
Figuring out the safety hinges for the sides was a little tricky. It’s not super intuitive and the packaging wasn’t much help, but I got there. Eventually. These are the type of hinges that lock in place which I liked for stability purposes, but no reason you couldn’t just use a chain if this is going into a quieter spot… My hinges will keep it from collapsing shut, and a chain would keep it from sprawling open. So… all depends on your purpose.
At the preschool, we’re using this for marketing purposes, so I put two screw eyes and a carabiner under the top edge so a PVC sign could hang as advertising. (They also painted it to preserve the wood since it will be outside much of the time.) Another finishing detail was a handle I screwed along one edge to help carry this inside when it’s folded up.
But… you could paint the plywood with chalkboard paint and make your own chalkboard sign. You could screw in 2 hooks and hang banners or flags or a large pad of drawing paper. You could glue a dry erase surface to the plywood… this is the skeleton for lots and lots of different ideas.
If you needed to buy everything from the hardware store, it shouldn’t cost you much more than $50. And pinky promise, it took me less than 2 hours! In a weekend, you could make a whole fleet of these!
Wanna see some other crafts I’ve done for a kids’ art space?
You might like my Kids Art Center:
Or this fun upcycled file box I’m using for Eleanor to store her art!
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