DIY Distressed Wood Easel

I built this easel for purely decorative purposes. Clearly, I am not an artist and will not be using this easel to create any kind of masterpieces. It does, however, lend itself to a variety of purposes. That’s why I love easels – they are so versatile. I could use it in the dining room with a chalkboard to showcase a menu for a dinner party, or I could display some of my daughter’s finer artwork in the family room. Or I could display a family photo in our master bedroom. I could even scale down the design to make a tabletop easel … perhaps to hold a cookbook? So many possibilities!

A couple of months ago, Steph wrote a really great post on the various ways to distress wood, which came in very handy as I tackled this project. I used a couple of the techniques described in the post to give the easel a slightly weathered look.

What You’ll Need:

2 60-inch 1x2s
1 56 inch 1×2
1 26-inch 1×3
1 46-inch 1×2

1 1/4 inch screws
wood glue
wood stain of your choice


Start with your two 60-inch pieces. Depending on the tools you have available, this step is probably the most difficult part of the process. You’ll need to create a 15-20 degree angle at one end of each of the two pieces. You can do this using a protractor, or eyeball it. Make the cut using a miter saw, a table saw, jig saw…basically whatever kind of saw that you have available.


Mommy’s helper
Join the pieces together with a screw on each side (two screws total)
Next, take your 26″ 1×3 and lay it on the floor, under your A frame. Attach with screws from the back, to avoid having holes to fill. I used two screws at each connecting point.


Move your A-frame upright, apply glue to the top of the 1×3. Attach the 1×2 as shown. Clamp for 30 minutes, until set.



Finally, cut an angle your supporting back piece. The angle will vary depending on how upright or leaning you want your easel to stand. I eyeballed it and it looks like about 20-25 degrees.


This next step really could have been done prior to assembly – I went back and forth trying to decide if it would be better/easier to rough up the wood before or after I built it. In retrospect, I probably should have done it prior to assembly. I used chisels, a heavy weight chain, a hand planer and sandpaper to wear/weather the wood. Remember to sand down any really rough spots.


When you’re satisfied with distressing, prep for staining. Wipe down the easel with a wet cloth to remain any dust/bits. Select your stain. I used Provincial (same stain I used for the chunky wood shelves).
Paint it on, let it sit for a few minutes and then rub it off with a rag. Allow to dry overnight. Add a second coat of stain if necessary (I used only one coat for my easel).
DIY Distressed Wood Easel