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How to make a trifold poster board

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you are in school or out, you most likely will need to use a trifold poster board for a presentation at some point. Trifold poster boards are self-standing, stable boards made out of either cardboard or foam core. These boards are perfect for mounting science or school projects, displays, photos and more. You can purchase these boards at any arts and crafts store, but making one yourself allows you to design it to the size, shape and colour that fit your specific needs.

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  1. Determine the size of board you wish to use and purchase either the cardboard or foam core. The typical size of trifold poster boards are 48 inches wide by 36 inches tall, but you may need yours to be a different size.

  2. Lay the board upside down on a protected flat surface. If there is no obvious front or back, simply choose the side that looks better for the front.

  3. Measure out the panels. When it is upright, the board should be wider than it is tall. You will have three panels, with the middle panel being wider than the two equal outside panels. Starting from the bottom left, measure and mark 12 inches -- or desired length -- from the edge. Move upward about 10-inches and do the same, then repeat until there are three marks 12 inches each from the left edge. Do the same for the right side of the board.

  4. Use a straight edge to make a solid line for the panels. Line the straight edge up with the 12-inch marks and draw a line from edge to edge for both panels. The board should now have three distinct panels marked.

  5. Cut down the board, following the lines, with a utility knife. Use a straight edge to keep yourself from cutting outside the line. You are not cutting all the way through the board, but only through about one-third. By doing so, the board can be bent, but will still be one piece. Do not apply a lot of pressure to the knife, and slice lightly into the board. Test the board by bending a panel. If you have sliced into the board, even slightly, the panel should bend.

  6. Set the board up by bending the panels inward on the front of the trifold poster board. You can now start decorating the board.

  7. Tip

    If you want more stability, you can apply duct tape to the back of the board where the panels are bent.


    Wear protective gloves and keep your hands away from the blade of the utility knife.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard or foam core
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Long straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape (optional)

About the Author

Krista Lee Childers has been actively writing since 1998. Her work, both creative and journalistic, has been featured in several school-affiliated publications including "Euphemism" and "The Indy." Childers' favorite subjects to write about are arts, crafts and hobbies. She received a Bachelor of Science in print journalism from Illinois State University with a minor in technical writing.

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