Okay, so I am NOT crafty, but this was fun and it turned out great! Tiny house (and currently for sale) so no room for an easel. Came up with this idea...
Step # 1: train table (ours a $30 Craigslist item we've had for some time - great for play and storage)
Step# 2: flip over the top (ours only had a one-sided scene)
Step# 3: chalk paint $8 - and we only used 1/4 of it (or if you have paint, any color - simply mix 1/2 tsp unsanded tile grout to every 1/4 cup paint)
Step# 4: 3 light coats, super fast dry
Step# 5: $1 egg chalks from Target = super fun!