This is a review of Ikea Mala Easel, Mala Chalks, Mala Whiteboard Pens, and Mala Drawing Paper Roll.
Every time R goes to his friend’s house, he plays with the easel there. This was him using it. His friend’s easel was really well made and has a nice honey finish.
He liked it so much I decided to get him one. Also hopefully getting him an easel would discourage him to doodle on the walls. I searched online for children’s easels and the most affordable one I could find so far was the Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel at Walmart for $56.99 plus tax, with free shipping.
I remembered that Ikea has some products for children that are surprisingly affordable so I checked its website and I was not disappointed.
Ikea’s Mala Easel is only $19.99 at the time of this writing. The nearest Ikea was a forty minute ride, depending on traffic, so I decided to drive by there with R to check out the easel and other Ikea products in general.
There were so many great products at Ikea and their showrooms were beautifully designed. Ikea makes cheap products look ten times expensive! I wanted to buy a lot of items but I reminded myself that I still have to declutter so I made up my mind to get just the Mala Easel.
We found the Mala Easels at the Self Serve Furniture Area and picked one up. We also picked other Mala items.
We had a quick lunch there in Ikea as well before heading back home. R had a pizza slice which he finished all by himself (It was delicious!) and I had a hotdog sandwich. We both had raspberry tea.
Enclosed in plastic, it was 24 ½ ” (62 cm) wide, 1 ¼ ” (3 cm) thick, and 46 ½ ” (118 cm) tall. It weighs 8 lb 10 oz (3.90 kg). It fit in the front of my compact car with the passenger seat all the way down. I was excited to assemble it so R can use it.
Here was how it looked. It is made from solid pine with a clear acrylic lacquer. This was the side with the dry erase board.
The chalk board side was smooth. Board part was made of acrylic paint, fiberboard and polyamide.
This is the dry erase board side.
Here were the other products from the Ikea Mala series that we bought. The Mala drawing paper roll, Mala chalks, and Mala whiteboard pens. The drawing paper roll is 45 cm or 17.71″ in width and 98′ long. It is good quality paper, thick enough that it won’t tear easily. The chalks are of assorted colors. There are one each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, and there are three of white. There are four whiteboard pens: red, yellow, green and black, and they come with an eraser that doubles as a storage case.
We tore through the plastic and looked at the instructions. There were some plastic parts to connect the two sides and four screws to connect the plastic parts to the tops of both sides of the easel. Instructions clearly stated at the back that kids are not supposed to climb the easel.
Once screwed, it was easy to hook the plastic parts to each other, insert the drawing paper roll into the caddy, and wedge the caddy between the two sides of the easel. And voila, easel was assembled!
This is how it looked from the side.
I liked that the caddy was red. It would be nice if the caddy was on both sides, but the drawing paper roll made up for it.
R likes the easel so much. He used it right away. His favorite is the red whiteboard marker. Here is R’s portrait of our family, doesn’t it look great? And in case you were wondering, that was a space rocket on the bottom edge.
All in all, the Mala Easel is a great buy. It is well made, seems sturdy, and of appropriate height that R could use it for a few more years. It has a dry erase board on one side, a chalkboard on the other, and a paper roll to drape over. It also has a caddy for the chalks, markers and eraser. It is wooden, well sanded, and comes in a nice natural finish. This would make a great gift to a child. Kids will definitely enjoy it. I am already thinking of making the whiteboard magnetic. The caddy is also stable enough that it can easily support small to medium sized canvas frames for painting. I will update this blog after a few months of usage and see how it stands up. The other Mala products were also great, except for the eraser. Unfortunately the eraser was too thin and the plastic case was wider than it, which made it not erase all of the whiteboard marks, and difficult to use in general. We use paper towel for now and would definitely buy a better eraser. On the other hand, the markers and the chalks are vibrant in color. For other Mala products, check them out here.
I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and leave a comment below.