How to make a tri-fold display board

Written by louise harding
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How to make a tri-fold display board
Many school exhibitions encourage the use of tri-fold displays. (Coccarda image by Eagle from

You can make a tri-fold display board at home in a minimal amount of time by using a product known as foamcore board. Foamcore board consists of a layer of polystyrene between layers of coated paper. This durable layering provides a tri-fold display board that is lightweight, sturdy and easily cut or folded. Different sizes and colours of foamcore board can be purchased at office supply, craft and discount shops.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Foamcore board -- 60 by 75 cm (24 by 30 inches)
  • Table
  • Metre rule
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife

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  1. 1

    Place the foamcore board onto a table with the 75 cm (30 inch) long edge positioned horizontally. Using a metre rule, measure 20 cm (8 inches) from the left outside, bottom corner and make a dot with the pencil. Repeat this step, measuring in from each of the remaining three corners.

  2. 2

    Draw a straight, vertical line with the rule that connects the dot pairs made on the foamcore board in Step 1. These 20 cm (8 inch) sections on the left and right of the foamcore board will serve as the wings of the tri-fold display board and will balance the display board when standing upright.

  3. 3

    Cut along the pencil line drawn in Step 2 with the craft knife, carefully cutting through the top layer of paper and through the polystyrene layer. Do not cut the paper layer touching the table; doing so will cut the board apart. The uncut paper layer is what holds the display board together, allowing it to stand upright and to fold on the cuts. Repeat for the other pencil line to create two cuts/ folds. You can watch from the outside edge of the board to see how deeply the blade is cutting. Cutting too shallow, is preferable: You can always recut.

  4. 4

    Stand the tri-fold display board upright on one 75 cm (30 inch) edge, with the uncut paper layer facing you. Gently bend the wing sections of the display board toward you to form a half-square. This will create two wings measuring 20 by 60 cm (8 by 24 inches) and one middle display section measuring 35 by 60 cm (14 by 24 inches). The cut side of the board is the back of the display board.

Tips and warnings

  • Glue presentation papers onto the foamcore board with school glue, craft glue or rubber cement.
  • Foamcore board can also be purchased in multi-packs if you anticipate the need for multiple projects.
  • Use extreme caution when using a craft blade. The blades are very sharp and can break away from the core blade along the scored edges when pressed too hard. Young children should use craft blades only under close adult supervision.

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