How to Make Portable Display Boards

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(Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Portable display boards can help you showcase a product, service or even yourself at presentations and other events. These boards are usually displayed on a tabletop and stand up based on their own support. They are inexpensive and simple to make, although the homemade variety will not last as long as the commercial variety does. The most important part of a portable display is what you put on it, so take your time arranging your display for the greatest visual impact.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 pieces colored foam core
  • Tape measure
  • 1 1/2-inch wide cloth tape
  • Scissors
  • Display items
  • Archival photo corners

Select three large pieces of foam core board (at least 2 by 3 feet) in a color that will enhance your display materials. Black is best for a board that will be reused for future displays, while selecting a color found in your photographs or charts for a single-use portable board will make the matching color in your images stand out.

Lay the boards out on a table with their long sides next to each other and the sides you want to use as the front facing down. Space the board on the left 1/2-inch away from the center board, and space the board on the right 3/4-inch away from the center board.

Cut a piece of cloth tape the length of your boards using a sharp pair of scissors for a straight edge. Cloth tape comes in a variety of colors and can be chosen to match or contrast with your foam core board. It is similar in look to duct tape but with a matte rather than shiny finish. You can find it at theatrical supply shops, party stores and over the Internet under the name "gaffer's tape." It provides strong, flexible seams for your folding display.

Attach the boards together with the tape, evenly spacing it across the 1/2-inch gap on the left. Cut another piece and do the same for the 3/4-inch gap on the right. Flip the display boards over and repeat on the front sides of the seams, cutting the tape longer so you have an extra inch on each end. Once the tape is firmly pressed into place with the front and back pieces sticking together in the gaps between the boards, fold the excess tape over to the back sides to complete the "hinges." You can also apply tape around all edges of the board for a finished look.

Arrange your display items, such as high quality photos, charts and text documents, on the front side of the boards until you are happy with the layout. Apply archival photo corners to each corner of each item by sticking them to the foam core. Photo corners are available in peel-and-stick and moisten-and-stick formats, and either will work for this project. Make sure the sticky part is only on the foam core, not the photo, so you can remove and replace photos if necessary.

Fold the left side of the board over the center, then the right side, to close the board for transportation. For display, set it upright on a table, angling the side panels inward until it stands up on its own.

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