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How to get a 4x8 foot graphic recording wall onto an airplane

I have been noodling with the idea of getting my graphic recording board onto an airplane. My most recent travel has forced me to buy boards in the cities I land in and then leave them there, creating a lot of waste. I sat down and did some measurements, and some shopping online, and came up with a perfect package that will easily check onto an airplane. Here's what I did:

Buy it: 

  1. Buy a 4 x 8-foot piece of 1/2 inch thick foam core from an art store, like Blick.
  2. Buy 3 extruded aluminum c-channels in 4 foot lengths:
  3. A cheaper alternative to the c-channels is to use large binder clips to secure the seams
  4. Buy these lightweight easels:
  5. Buy this keyboard case from
  6. Buy strong painter's tape to secure the board to easels.

Make it & pack it: 

  1. Using a large carpenter's square, score the foam core every 16 inches, alternating sides to create an accordion. Be sure not to cut through the whole board. You will want the paper to act as a hinge.
  2. Fold up foamcore and check for fit in the keyboard case. You should have a couple of inches of wiggle room.
  3. Additionally, you can use gaffer's tape to reinforce the folds and edges if you'd like. I haven't don't this, and it seems to be holding up so far. 
  4. Get yourself an old Amazon box or some other corrugated substrate and create end caps to protect the edges of your board when it is in the case.
  5. Put a piece of thin foam core or cardboard on top of your folded board inside the case to protect it from the easels.
  6. Place the easels on top with a roll of paper and tape, and you are ready to travel.
  7. Pack all markers and refill inks in a separate suitcase.

Set it up:

  1. Set up both of your easels. Make sure that they are close enough that one of the 4-foot c-channel bars will rest on the easels, effectively creating a bridge between the two. Then set aside.
  2. Unfold your board and put it onto the easels. It will be a little unstable until you get the c-channels on them.
  3. If you're using binder clips instead, you can clip the board before you put it on the easels.
  4. Take two c-channel bars and feed them along the top of the unfolded foamcore. This will create a strong, supported board.
  5. Feed the third c-channel onto the bottom. (Note: I don't believe it matters if you have two on top and one below or the other way around. I found it was easier to put on the top two c-channels first and then followed up with the bottom one. See photo.)
  6. Finally, secure the board to the easels with painter's tape on the back. If you purchase black foamcore it will tear with tape, so put duct tape down where you are going to connect the painter's tape to the back of the board.

There you go! I hope that that inspires you to build your own portable graphic recording wall.

Here is a Video that Brian Tarallo of Lizard Brain created of him making and setting up this board:

If you have any questions shoot me an email at