One of my favorite parts of DJ's play area is the wall mounted art easel. My husband made this for DJ for his 2nd birthday/Christmas and I can't be happier with how it turned out. And it has inspired a lot of free form art from DJ as he's able to access writing tools (crayons, colored pencils, markers and paint pens) and paper whenever he wants. He can also see art supplies like paint, glue and scissors at all times to inspire him to ask for them whenever the mood strikes.
As with many DIY projects, it's a good idea not to start from scratch, but to first check the internet to see if it's already been done. I knew we wanted a wall mounted art easel (to save floor space) so I started surfing the 'net and came across this wonderful post at Infarrantly Creative. This was exactly what I was looking for! If you're looking to do something similar, her post has the nitty gritty details of materials and process.
However, since I am not as thrifty as the mom at Infarrantly Creative, I did not find a perfectly good shelf on the side of the road for free. So I went to my favorite place to buy things, Amazon.com, and I found this great starter shelf: Hidden Storage Decorative Wall Shelf. It doesn't appear to be available anymore, but I paid $20 for it.
The rest of the materials were purchased at our local Lowes Home Improvement Store with one exception. You'll notice in the original DIY version by Infarrantly Creative, that she had a simple ledge at the bottom to hold supplies. After her original post, she did a follow up post explaining that the ledge drove her crazy as everything just fell off of it. So she replaced it with a bar and four buckets from Ikea. Well, Ikea is great, but it's more than an hour drive from here so we had to come up with our own alternative. I went to Office Depot, looked around for ideas and came home with four of these wire mesh pencil holders.
My talented husband then cut four perfect circles into a wooden board. The lip around the top of these cups is perfect to keep them from sliding right through.
And here is the final product along with some high quality art by my son. Given the potential for DIY fail, this turned out so much better than I could have hoped for and my son loves it. I know he'll be using it for many years to come.