Yesterday I decided to figure out a way to build an easel for myself without spending lots of money. I sat at the kitchen table for awhile, sketching ideas, wandered out into the garage and shed to see what wood scraps were lying around, and finally (I think) figured it out. I've been using the easel for two days now and really like it.This isn't a fancy easel, mind you, but it works--hold my canvases upright so I can paint without hanging onto the canvas.
To build this, I first screwed together a square of four wood pieces.
Next I held up my vertical long board to see what angle I wanted it to rest at. I measured (roughly) from the board to the bottom of the back of the box, and cut a board that length. The idea was that I would make a triangle (and, since I used to teach geometry, I'll point out that because of the Side-Side-Side Theorem of Triangle congruence, there's only one way this triangle can go together. I know you needed to know that). After I cut that piece, I marked where the brace would rest on the back of the long board, and then glued and screwed in a piece of wood there.
Below, you can see how I took a big piece of cardboard and taped down my substrate--this way I can work on four pieces at a time!