We LOVE to do outdoor movies! Of course this time of year, we definitely do them less (see – not at all), because… Utah. We always plan the party, and forget one of the most important parts. The screen setup. We seriously leave it to the last minute every time, and usually end up with something like this…
It was always a total pain, and would never stay put no matter how much duct tape we used. Also, there was the pesky lines from the fence that would always show through too. Since we got a brand new Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 600, we decided that it was time to get a real projector screen for our outdoor parties.
After looking into it, apparently projector screens for outside are EXPENSIVE. We knew we could do it much cheaper! We also wanted something that would be easily stored during the winter, and not take up a ton of space. Here is how we built our projector screen!
PVC pipe cutter or something to cut the PVC pipe.
20 feet of rope ( I used Paracord)
6 1” PVC pipe 10 feet long
8 1” 90 degree elbows
2 1” 45 degree elbows
1 straight connection
6 1” T connections
6’x8’ white tarp
Total cost was about $40, depending on the cost of your tarp it could be more or less. I got mine on amazon for about $10. PVC fittings were about half the price if you buy in packs v.s. individual pieces. Our screen is going to fit a 6’ X 8’ foot tarp.
Yes I built this in my living room for 2 reasons. 1) it is February and as I mentioned before… Utah (we have the greatest snow on earth don’t ya know). 2) We are indoor enthusiasts so building it inside just feels right for us nerds. 😀
You will need to follow the cutting instructions so pay attention, or you will not have enough to do the project. Hopefully the picture will help you see what You should end up with about 6” of pipe left over. We are using every bit of the 60 feet of pipe. There will be no gluing until all the poles have been dry fitted so don’t go all glue crazy yet.
1. Pipe 1 and 2 – cut the first 2 pipes to 8 feet 6 inches long, which will be our top and bottom cross bars. You will save the remaining 1 feet and 6 inches for support in the back.
2. Pipe 3 and 4 – we will cut to 6 feet 6 inches these 2 pipes will be our side supports. We will save the 2 pipes that measure 3 feet and 6 inches for the back support.
3. We will take the 2 pipes that measure 8’ 6” and 6’ 6” and add 90 degree elbows to make a rectangle.
4. You will then measure in from the top corners in 2 feet and add a T connector on the right and left sides, both on the top and bottom cross bars.
5. the top T connectors will be at a 45 degree angle.
6. The bottom T will be at a 90 degree angle.
7. Measure in 4 feet 3” and place a T right in the middle of the top and bottom cross bars that are at a 90 degree angle. these T’s will be a center support.
8. Take your 3’ 6” piece that you saved from Pipes 3 and 4 and they will be placed on the bottom cross piece on the one end you will need a 90 degree connector
9. Place your 1’’ 6” piece saved from cutting pipes 1 and 2 into the 90 degree elbows that you just fitted.
10. Take poles 5 and 6 and cut them to approx 6’ 3 inches and connect the top rail 45 degree T’s to the bottom support.
11. Take the remaining 3’ 9 “ pipes from pipes 5 and 6 and use your straight connector and make a pole that is 6’ 6” tall. You are ok to glue this one together. You will add a 90 degree elbow to both ends and a small 3” piece to connect to the top and bottom center supports. I purposely made the middle support go back a few inches so when the screen is in place you don’t have a pole pushing forward in the middle of your screen.
12. Now you will go through and glue all of your T’s into place (make sure you glue both sides of the T’s. You will glue Your 90 degree and 45 degree elbows in place but you will only glue one side of the elbow leaving one side just fitted (no glue) so you can disassemble the thing for storage.
13. I then color coded each movable joint joint so there was no guess work into the reassembling.
14. I drilled a hole near the bottom of the side rails and pushed some Paracord through on each side. This was to have some string to tie down the bottom edge.
Total build time was about and hour and a half.
In hindsight, the tarp we used is a little bit thin. Not quite as thin as the white sheets we’d used in the past, but we are looking for something a bit thicker now. We are going to try some blackout fabric that you would use on a window, and see how that does, but the tarp is definitely going to be your cheapest option.
The new Epson projector was awesome on it though! This is a great, affordable projector that promises to be perfect for outdoor movies (again, we haven’t been able to test it outside yet). The brightness of the projector (3,000 white lumens and 3,000 color brightness lumens for those wanting specs) means that in Utah, during the summer, when the sun doesn’t actually go down until around 9:30 PM, you can start watching a movie outside earlier, and still be able to see it.
We seriously can’t wait to use the new screen for our next outdoor movie party! Hopefully the weather will be warm enough by spring break coming up so we can take it for it’s first test run! We’ll be sure to Instagram the party so follow us on Instagram to check it outhttp://familyte.ch/1Moy0NI!
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