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Arlene's Folding Blocking Board
This page was last updated on: July 9, 2017
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Last updated on: July 9, 2017
Copyright Arlene Hahn, 1999

Finished board measures 5’x 6’x 3/4” when open and measures 5’x 2’x 3” when folded and will fit behind a door.

Styrofoam insulation board, ¾” thick (usually pink or blue)
This comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets for $10 available at home improvement/lumber stores like Home Depot.  One sheet can be used to cut all three panels but one of those panels will need to be pieced – you might prefer to buy two sheets and split one with a friend or make other individual blocking boards of various sizes from the extra.

Fabric for decorative side: 1 twin flat sheet (66” x 96”) or 3 ½ yds. of 45” fabric.

Gingham check fabric for grid side: 3 ½ yds., 45” wide.

Free Patterns

To Make Fabric Cover:

You will be sewing a giant pillow case, turning it right side out and then sewing 3 pockets to hold the Styrofoam panels.  You may want to add a cotton mattress pad as an underlining layer under the gingham to create a padded surface for pressing. 

- Cut gingham into 2 pieces, each one 45” wide and 63” long.

- Open one of the 45”x 63” pieces and lay flat, right side up.


Use a craft or exacto knife to cut the Styrofoam board into 3 panels, 2’x 5’.

To get all 3 panels from one sheet see drawing at right.
Use white household glue and bamboo skewers for reinforcement to piece the third panel.  Allow to dry and cut off any bamboo skewers that extend beyond the board.

Small scrap of insulation board can be used for a small blocking board – great for swatches.
- Cut remaining piece into 2 pieces that measure 18”x 63” and place these on top of the larger piece, right sides together and long edges matching.  Be sure to match the gingham checks and rows.

- Sew long sides together with ½” seam allowance.

- Open up the fabric panel and press seam allowances toward the sides.

- Repeat the above steps with the fabric yardage for the decorative side if not using a large flat sheet.

To make the large “pillow case”

Lay the flat sheet open, right side up (or decorative fabric is using) and place the gingham on top, right sides together.  Cut sheet/fabric and gingham (if necessary) to measure 79” wide and 63” long.

- Sew ½” seams along both 63” sides and one “bottom” edge.

- TURN RIGHT SIDE OUT and clean finish the raw edges along top edge.

- Mark sewing lines for pockets/hinges with air soluble marker – these lines are sewn 25 ¼” from each long side.  Now draw and sew the second pocket/hinge lines 26 ¼” from both long edges.  This should give you 3 pockets that measure 25 ¼” wide and 63” long with a fabric “hinge” of 1” between each of the pockets.

To insert Styrofoam:

Wrap bottom edge of Styrofoam panel with plastic (like a trash bag) that can be slid off and pulled out once panel is in place.  Slide Styrofoam panel into each pocket (be sure to remove the plastic after inserting each panel).

Fold open hem edge over as needed to inside of pockets and pin in place.  Slip stitch closed, folding over more at hinge section as needed.

Use of  Blocking Board:
Use gingham side of board as your blocking grid.  Fully opened the board will fit on top of a double bed.  It can also be used vertically against a wall once items have been pinned on.  Use folded for smaller projects.

When not in use the blocking board can be folded up and stored behind a door or used partially opened as a decorative screen/room divider or to create a changing area.