Here’s a great solution for making your art easel easy to clean (and cute!) My sweet friend who teaches down the hall from me shared this idea with me last year. It held up all year and still looks great going into this year. This easel cover will wipe clean with a wet wipe or washcloth. Even if the paint is dried, you can spray some cleaner on and wipe it off, or use a wet wash cloth.
I bought black and white polka dot wrapping paper and clear vinyl. The clear vinyl is sold by the yard at places like Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s, and Walmart. I don’t recall the exact weight of my clear vinyl, but it was a medium weight (not too thick, not too thin). You will need to measure your easel boards to find out how many yards of vinyl you will need to buy. (I covered the back and front of mine.)
The first thing to do is remove the boards from the easel. The boards are usually attached to the easel stand with screws.
Step 2: Wrap the boards in the wrapping paper. I chose the neutral black and white dotted paper so it will match any colors I use in the classroom. You just wrap them like you would wrap a gift. I taped the paper with clear shipping tape.
Step 3: Spread out the clear vinyl and lay the easel boards down. Cut the vinyl to the size you need (this is just like wrapping a gift). Fold over the vinyl and tape it with clear shipping tape. Make sure all of your seams– the wrapping paper seams and the vinyl seams– are on the back of the boards. I covered the whole board, front and back with vinyl just in case paint drips onto the other side.
Step 4: Place the boards back onto the easel frame. Match up the holes in your easel boards with the holes in the easel frame. The holes are covered up with wrapping paper and vinyl, but you can feel them with your fingers. I used the pointy end of a drafting compass to punch a hole through the paper and vinyl where the holes were. Tighten the screws to reattach the boards to the easel frame.
That’s it! Now your easel will wipe clean easily. All those years I spent covering my easel with bulletin board paper which doesn’t wipe clean… shaking my head. 🙂
I also used some spray paint (the kind that is made for plastic) to paint the paint trays this pretty aqua color so they would match my classroom. What you see on the wall in the photo above is a plastic shower curtain (from Walmart). I attached this to the wall so the children wouldn’t get paint on the wall. I actually had a child paint the wall one year and couldn’t completely get the paint off the cinder block. This protects it and it matches the room really well.