Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear Pottery Barn, I'm breaking up with you...

Let's create a Pottery Barn inspired Display Easel!

I've posted a few times that I'm working on getting plans for you. And I really was! But the thing is... my dear friend can't measure anything for her life. Ok, I'm being dramatic.  I asked her to take measurements of the easel for me, but that didn't happen.. So... I did the next best thing.

I broke into her house and stole the easel back!

HAHahahaha... PLEASE tell me that you believed me!!! 

I didn't steal the easel, but she rearranged her room, and there wasn't a place for it anymore. So, I went over and picked it up (WITH permission!). And I was finally able to take the measurements so that I could throw this into sketch-up. How much do you love me?

For this super cheap, super easy Pottery Barn knock-off, you'll need:

4 - 1 x 2 x 8 (furring strips are under $1 each - and if you have a 10" scrap, you'll only need 3!)
2 - 1 x 3 x 8 (furring strips are under $2 each)
1 - set of 1" hinges (like these from Lowe's)
2 - eye hooks
1 - 12" (approx) of string or picture hanging wire

*Note - you can buy a picture hanging kit that has the wire & eye hooks for about $3, but I was unable to find it online. 

BEFORE WE GET STARTED! Let me tell you that it will make your life immensely easier if you sand all of your boards prior to cutting. And AFTER you cut, stain them. THEN assemble. That way you don't have to get into a ton of crevices...

Cut List:

2 - 1 x 3 @ 29" (top shelf's back and bottom)
2 - 1 x 3 @ 37" (bottom shelf's back and bottom)
1 - 1 x 2 @ 29" (stop shelf's front)
1 - 1 x 2 @ 37" (bottom shelf's front)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 53 1/4", both ends cut at 20 degrees, parallel (outside legs)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 50 3/4", both ends cut at 10 degrees, parallel (middle legs)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 37" (stand sides)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 9" (stand dividers)

Step 1:

Build your shelves by attaching the back and front to the bottom using glue and 1 1/4" finishing nails. You COULD use screws, but that just means more to fill.

You should have done this twice

Step 2:

Lay the legs on the ground so that the tops and bottoms are even (I had a straight board at the bottom that i slid them up to in order to make them even). The tops should be 2-3" apart. Put the shelves on top and glue/nail into place. Make sure you nail into all legs on both shelves.

Step 3:

Build your stand. Using pocket holes, screw the dividers into the sides, as shown below. If you do not have a pocket hole jig, you CAN pre-drill through the sides. Drill slowly and carefully and countersink.

Step 4:

Attach your hinges to the top of the stand and then to the back of the legs of the easel. I attached mine just under the top shelf.

Step 5:

Screw eye hooks into the middle divider of the stand, and the middle of the bottom shelf. Tie a cord into both hooks.

Step 6:


See? Wasn't that easy!?

And look how awesome it is!

This location actually makes me want to keep it! (my room is NOT that beige - it's overcast and the light's all weird today).

*Update: November 9, 2011 - Please see this post with a few notes about the easel.


  1. I was so thinking of making something like this for my new art piece that I will be getting from VinylCrafts. Now I have a plan to follow. Good work G!

  2. I am so dropping my current project(s!) and working on this. Thank you so much for putting this up!

  3. That is such a great idea & one I could definitely use for displaying my art at some shows. Thanks so much!

  4. Nice post. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Just use L shape molding... you can vary the height from the floor, too. Tack the molding to the stand parts and voila - a long rail type display. I use L molding with clips on masonite as an easel...