Make your own rustic mini easel from tree branches

I was running out of mini easels for displaying my ceramic tile paintings, so I decided to try making my own. There were some broken-off branches lying around on the ground in my yard, so I collected a couple of the straightest ones I could find. I used a small garden clipper to clip three 7.5” long pieces, and one 5” piece to act as the display ledge.
Choosing the three longest sticks, I used a drill with a super-fine bit to drill holes about ½” down from one end of each stick, where I would be binding the three together. Then I drilled holes about an inch from the bottom of the two front sticks, where I planned to attach the 5” display ledge stick. I also drilled holes at either end of the ledge stick.
Next, I held the three large sticks together in the tripod-style position I wanted them to be in, and I ran thin wire through the holes, winding it around to bind them together. It was very fiddly and I had to redo it a couple of times to get it right. Once I was finished, I squeezed carpenter’s glue in between them to secure a better bind.

I placed the ledge stick against the bottom holes and slid toothpicks covered in carpenter’s glue through the holes to bind them together. Once the glue was dry, I clipped off the toothpick parts that were sticking out. I discovered that using toothpicks to secure the pieces together is a lot easier than using wire, so I plan to change the way I secure the top part of my next easel.

To cover up the wire at the top, I wound a raffia ribbon around and tied a bow.

Voila! A rustic mini easel for displaying mini artwork.

Below, I’ve included a couple more acrylic on ceramic tile paintings I finished recently. One is of a mischievous fairy who has fallen partially into the cookie jar. And the other is of one of my favourite birds—the beautiful Cardinal.


Hmmm… What to do with some plain old rocks?

Why not turn them into colourful owls!
First, I drew a pencil outline on each rock.
Next, I used acrylic paints to fill in my outlines.
Then I outlined everything in fineline black marker.
Next, I used my paints and a fine brush to fill in each area with doodles and dabs.
Once the paint dried, I sprayed each rock with a matte preservative.
Now, what to do with those painted rocks?
Really, you can put them anywhere—on a table, in a garden, etc.
I decided to frame mine.

Since the owls themselves are so “busy,” I decided that the background should be plain.
I painted a black tree silhouette on a plain white canvas.
Once dried, I used heavy-duty construction glue to glue each owl in place on the canvas.
Again, to keep the focus on the owls, I used a plain black frame to box them in. And there you have it. Instant art from rocks picked up on the Lake Ontario shoreline.
As always, my little partner in crime hung out with me to “help.”

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