How to Pod: 4’x8′ Sheet Goods

Photo by Erica Ciccarone.

 

This guide shows you one way to make a foamboard Modular Art Pod. The instructions are extendable to other sheet goods like pink foam sheeting and paneling.

Total cost: $30 to $60

Materials:

Optional (for painting):

  • Posterboard or other thick paper sheeting
  • Spray adhesive

You can get all of the materials from Home Depot, Lowes, or other home improvement stores. Remember to bring or buy some twine to tie the sheet goods to your vehicle.

Step 1: Cut 2 of the sheets in half to make four 4’x4′ sections.

Measure and mark in a few places down the line, draw the cut line with the yardstick and magic marker, then cut with the utility knife. Put cardboard underneath the foam to protect your floors. Use the yardstick against the knife to help make a straight edge.

Step 2 (Optional): Make the floor and ceiling

If you elected to make a floor and ceiling (highly recommended), take the final sheet and cut a 47 1/2″ section and a 48 1/2″ section.  Now take the 47 1/2″ section and cut 1/2″ off the 48″ side. That leaves a section that is 47 1/2″ x 47 1/2″. This will be the floor.

The remaining piece measuring 48 1/2″ x 48″ is the ceiling. A perfect ceiling would need to be 48 1/2″ long AND wide, but this will do.

Pod with floor and ceiling

Pod with floor and ceiling

Step 3: Cut the doors.

Cut doors from two of the wall sections. The doors should be centered on the wall. The minimum door dimensions are 28″ wide by 38″ tall (or 10″ from the sides and 10″ from the top.) Remember nothing inside your pod that attendees will crawl through should be smaller than the minimum door size.

Step 4: Line the foam edges with tape.

Foam tends to be messy, so line all the edges with duct or Gorilla tape. You can get duct tape in all sorts of colors.

Edges lined with white duct tape.

Edges lined with white duct tape.

Step 5 (Optional): Are you painting?

If you want to paint your pod, there are a few extra steps. Foam sheeting doesn’t hold paint very well, so we recommend you use spray adhesive to attach poster board (dull side out) or other paper sheeting to the surfaces. Then you’ll have a final surface that takes paint very well. Or you could just leave the inside the shiny silver color that the foam comes in. We think that looks pretty cool.

If you’re using pink foam sheeting, remember to first peel off the thin clear plastic lining. It’s hard to see, but if you don’t remove it, whatever you add will eventually peel off.

Step 6: Assemble the four walls.

Find out if you’re making a straight or a corner pod, then tape the walls together so they butt against each other like so:

MAPsSheetGoodsHowTo

Straight pods doors are parallel. Corner pod doors are adjacent. The final pod dimension will be 1/2″ over 48″, but that’s well within the approved range (No smaller than 47″x 47″. No larger than 49″ x 49″).

Corner configuration.

Corner configuration.

Remember that you’ll be disassembling and reassembling your pod many times, so don’t tape it too well. You can also explore other ways to quickly disconnect and reconnect (Velcro, L brackets, etc).

Step 7 (Optional): Add the floor and ceiling.

Place the 47 1/2″ x 47 1/2″ section inside the bottom of the pod. The floor rests inside the walls. The walls don’t lay on top of the floor. Secure with tape as desired.

Floor

Place the 48 1/2″ x 48″ section on top of the pod. The ceiling rests on top of the pod. The 48 1/2″ direction will lay flush. The 48″ direction will be 1/4″ short on both sides, but that’s ok. Secure with tape as desired.

Step 8: The fun part!

Make some art and customize the pod as desired.

 

Photo by Sara Lee Burd

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