March 9, 2012

Child's Art Easel {From a Garden Trellis!}

The first round of American Crafter is all about Hardware Store Gems. Intriguing and limitless in potential, don't you think?!

I went into my local Home Depot with a vague notion of what I'd make. And, walked out with a whole 'nother plan. Plan A just didn't pan out. But, when I saw a garden trellis for under $9, visions of a sweet art easel began to form in my noggin. With these visions came images of my adorable punkin creating chalk masterpieces, whilst I gazed on lovingly in nary a hint of stretch pant or pony tail.

Yes, my vision was magazine-perfect. 

My execution? Eh. I only saw this face once (ish). And, to be fair, chalk really does look tasty and she merely wanted one, tiny nibble.

Models are so temperamental. But, let's still call it a success, shall we? 

You're probably wanting the nitty gritties, huh? Well, let's start with the supplies.

For the easel:
*One-4 foot garden trellis ($8 at Hardware Store)
*One 16x20 picture frame, without glass or backing (FREE from my stash)
*One metal hinge ($2 at Hardware Store)
*Yellow spray paint (from my stash)
*Scrap plywood and scrap wood from old garage shelving (my stash)
*Chalkboard paint (my stash)
For the accessories:
*Old cookie sheet (stash)
*Scrap fabric and mod podge (stash)
*2 Galvanized metal buckets ($1/each at Target dollar spot)
*2 White cup-hooks (stash)
*Roll of masking paper ($2 at Hardware Store)
*Ribbon for bunting (stash)
*Ribbon to hang paper (stash)
*Stack of various colored paint chips

I gathered wood scraps from my own personal stash. You probably have access to different wood scraps. For the chalkboard, you'll need a piece of MDF, particle board, etc to fit the inside of your frame. For mine, the hubby cut a piece of plywood to fit into my existing frame and then gave the surface a nice sanding. After my plywood was cut, sanded and painted with chalkboard paint, I glued it into the frame using gorilla glue.

The trellis got a coat of yellow spray paint and then I sanded it bit. You'll want to sand your trellis for sure! The wood is very rough. But, if you don't like your paint looking so worn, go ahead and sand it pre-painting.

To assemble, I turned the trellis on it's head and used the cross-beams as a shelf for my framed chalkboard. The shelf carries some of the load, so I simply attached the frame with heavy duty velcro.

For my trellis/chalkboard to become an easel with a folding stand, my hubby cut an old 1x4 piece of shelving to the desired height and then I painted the entire piece with chalkboard paint. When it was dry, we attached it to the trellis using a simple hinge.

I decided to add a magnetic piece, so I coated a cookie sheet with chalkboard paint (front and back!) and then mod podged a scrap of fabric to the center. I, once again, used velcro to attach this to the trellis! 

The masking paper is strung with ribbon and then tied around the trellis stakes. The bow can simply be untied to change the paper! On the bottom cross-beams, I added two cup-hooks, from which I hung my metal buckets...perfect for chalk storage!

Of course, I had to throw is some paint chip fun, so I cut 10 circles from various colors and strung those together with ribbon...the perfect Hardware Store accessory for this whimsical easel!

All-in-all, this was a fairly quick project to make (thanks to help from my dear hubby!) and cost me around $15. Not too bad for an easel that has multiple chalk surfaces, coloring paper...AND a magnetic surface, to boot! I think my daughter will grow into this and use it for years to come!

If you haven't already, head on over to look at the other 14 projects and vote for your favorite! The voting goes on from now until Sunday! And, then on Monday we'll find out if I've made it on to the next round.

Wish me luck!

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  1. This is awesome! You never cease to amaze and inspire!!! I am pinning this and hopefully you will see our version on day soon!

  2. Oh. my. word. Seriously??? I can't believe (well, yes I can) that you came up with something so creative and amazing (and stinkin cute!!) Wow, you are definitely moving to the next round! Completely awesome. I so voted for you!

  3. OMG! You are one amazing crafter! Who would have ever though of THIS?? Paper, magnets, buckets - this thing has it all!

  4. AWESOME! HOw clever!!! Already voted for you, I have no doubt you will make it to the next round!

  5. Good luck, Emily! This is such an adorable and creative craft -- you did a fabulous job! I'm rootin' for you!!

  6. This is SUPER FUN! Creative and adorable!!! Love it and of course I voted!!! XO, Aimee

  7. I love's amazing! You'll definitely make it to the next round! :)


  8. Pure genius! I love how it turned out, and out of a garden trellis no less!

  9. i tagged u in a post over at my blog!

  10. Pretty sure this is the best project ever! I have to make one {when I eventually have room for one}. Thank you for linking up to this week's Pinteresting Party! Totally pinning this one!

  11. Oh my crafty goodness!! I love this! Can you make me one and ship it down? All the details are so awesome.. my little monster (aka Ryley) would love this. I may get my hubby on it.. that is if I dont get one in the mail ;)

    Going to vote for you NOW!!

  12. Ok.. I lied.. I dont know where to vote. I see the links in the post but I cant find anything on the site. Booo! Help!

  13. There must be some easy food chalk look alike so that sweet baby can have some to eat!


  14. This is magazine - worthy! Sooo pretty, I think if I were you I would have kept it for myself! *egoisticme*


  15. Thanks lot for this useful article, nice post

  16. Thanks lot for this useful article, nice post

  17. Emily, you have such awesome ideas! This is beautiful!

  18. Congrats on making it to round 2. I LOVE this project and am cheering for you! Gave you a shout out!


  19. Whoah! $15, N.I.C.E. Thanks for linking up at Burlap & Denim.

  20. I guess everyone needs to try chalk once... :( lol I featured this today in my wrap up!!!

  21. That is so creative!!! I love it. :) Megan

  22. I hope that your project for this week is going well! I'm looking forward to seeing it Friday!

  23. Thanks for linking up friend! Im sharing this on my twitter and facebook today :)

  24. Very Clever....and I LOVE your little model ♥ Sharing the blog love from Paula @

  25. Absolutely PERFECT! Featuring you tomorrow! XO, Aimee

  26. What an amazing idea!! :)
    I hope you'll share this post over at my "Unveil Your Genius" Link party!

    Happy Weekend!!

  27. You are so inventive! It is beautiful, too! Thanks so much for sharing with us this week! We can't wait to see what you will come up with next week!

    Take care,


  28. Yes it is true every children is an artist, it's reason is they dose work stretch free and for a passion.


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