How to Turn an Art Easel into a Television Easel
We had big plans to mount our TV over the mantel in the new house. I even pulled out the built in corner cabinet that was in there so that our floor guys could sand and refinish the floor underneath. And then we moved in and realized that the area over the mantel was… solid concrete. Could we have mounted the TV? Sure… but it was a little high, there was no power box and… we didn’t trust ourselves to safely deal with all of this. I started going down the road of finding a piece of furniture to hold the TV but they all just felt big. Restoration Hardware makes TV easels that are amazing but also… like a LOT of money. So I spent a fraction of that to MacGyver our own tv easel and it works GREAT. Here’s how I did it.
Retrofitting an Art Easel to Fit Our TV
Note: I was dealing with a broken camera at the time, so there are process shots missing, but hopefully you can still see how I did it and apply the same logic to whatever easel you try to retrofit!
Originally I searched Craigslist and FB marketplace for an old vintage easel. I found a couple that would have been amazing but they were a little pricey (like a couple hundred dollars) and they were BIG. Like the stand alone was 3+ feet wide. Just for sh*ts and giggles I searched online and found one on sale for just under $100. (I got this one here.) One of the reasons I was confident with this plan was that we have a VERY skinny TV. When we moved, we cut the cord and now have YouTube TV so no cable box or anything which makes this much easier. You can still see the cord down the back of the easel but I don’t really notice it.
Build out the support tray for Underneath the Television
The one and only step is to build out the tray that will support the TV on the bottom, and the brace that will hold the TV in place on the top. Your easel may look different, but for mine, I used poplar craft boards because they were about the same width as the other boards of the easel. I started with one board deep enough to accommodate the TV. With wood glue and brad nails, I attached another board to the front to stop the TV from sliding off. Lastly, I glued another piece of poplar on the bottom so that this rig would fit snuggly onto the easel tray. Once this was all dry I was able to screw it in place down onto the tray of the easel.
Our television has the sensor right on the bottom so I had to cut away a few inches of the wood support. If I’d noticed this at the beginning I would have just used two separate pieces of wood for the front edge.
Build a Top Brace for the Television
Just as I built the bottom brace to hold the TV in place, I build a similar brace for the top of the TV using wood glue and brad nails. I screwed it in place and it was able to slide back over the easel as intended but now with the added piece.
Support the Bottom of the Easel Tray
The easel is adjustable and has metal grooves that hold it in place. But it’s designed to hold a canvas so I didn’t want to risk this giving out. I added L brackets underneath the the tray to give it some extra support.
You can see in these pictures that the wood I added didn’t match the wood of the original easel. It’s possible I could have sanded the poplar and tried to match the stain of the easel, but… I actually didn’t love the way the stain of the easel looked with the color of our floors. I also believe in ‘going big or going home’ especially when it’s with something like a $100 easel. This blue is the same blue as our living room ceiling and one of my favorites: Jet Ski by Behr.
I love that the television easel props up the TV just like we needed, but it doesn’t feel like a big piece of furniture in the corner. In fact, it’s not on wheels, but it can easily be angled or moved back into the corner as needed.