From Donna: We bought 30 (20′ x 30′) foam boards from Real Deals ($1 each). They were perfect for bending without creasing. We made a template with one board and marked all the rest on the sides to show exactly where each tape should be placed. In this case, being exact was important for uniformity.
It took 7 rolls of one-inch wide electrical tape ($1 per roll at Real Deals). It takes 2 people to place the tape. One at each end of the board. When the front was done, the board was flipped over. The electrical tape ends were secured with clear shipping tape. We used thin, cheap tape to avoid expense. The electrical tape will experience tension when bending the board and we did not want one of them to accidentally pull off.
The frame for the boards were made from 10-foot and 8-foot (3/4′ x 1 1/2′) lengths. In the middle of each of the full length board, a ten-degree angle groove was cut with a table saw. The groove was cut a little wider than the foam board so it could slide in the groove easily. On the back of each panel are three cross pieces (3/4′ x 2′ x 29′) with ten-degree angles cut on each end. These angles allow the uprights to tip out to better fit and hold the foam boards in place. Each cross piece was secured with 2 (1 1/4′) sheet-rock screws on each end. The foam boards were spaced 4 inches apart.
Each panel was hung in the center of the top cross piece by 35 lb. test fishing line from an existing wire and eye bolts in the wall.
“Lady Liberty” is made from a 4×8 foot one-inch thick green insulation board (bought for $18 at Lowes). Black and white clip art for Lady Liberty was found on the internet. We projected it with an opaque projector drawing the lines with a sharpie marker. Getting the lines as exact as possible will help to get the proportions correct while painting it. The face, of course, is the most important detail.
The form was cut out with a fine blade on a hand-held jigsaw. Dust the edges. One half pint “flat” black enamel paint was used ($5 at Lowes). We added height by extending the flame a few inches and by adding the book in her hand. Actually, the book was cut out of leftover insulation board. It was secured to the front of the main board with glue and toothpicks.
On the back, we put a 6-foot (3/8′ x 2′) board on the back glued and taped for strength. We draped a gray bed sheet over a 5-foot aluminum opened step ladder. To keep the figure as upright as possible it was secured with string. No hardware was visible to the front.
For the patriotic theme, we used 2 Red can lights and 2 Blue can lights on the floor aimed at the white boards. Notice the convex bend in the boards.
The total cost of this project was approximately $70 (excluding lights and wood).