Build Your Own Projection Screen


Projectors are expensive, but what can really gall someone is buying that super-expensive projector and having to spend a ton of money on the screen as well. While nothing can replace a high-tech projector, with a few supplies a projection screen can be built for under $100 and function just as well as a store bought screen and look just as good too. Here is a supply list as well as the places that will have to be visited to buy said supplies.

Supplies:

Super-white seamless paper 53″

Wood for frame

L bracket and screws

Velveteen fabric in black

Elmers Glue

To obtain the super-white seamless paper the best place to visit is a camera store. This paper is used as a backdrop for photographers and happens to be the perfect size for projection screens. The wood frame, L bracket, screws, and Elmers Glue can be found at any local hardware store, and the velveteen fabric can be found at a  craft or fabric store.

The wood frame needs to be made of 1×4 poplar wood. Poplar wood is strong, lightweight, and smooth enough not to catch on the fabric. The 1×4 wood will give your screen a border that is 3.5″  around. Have the hardware store employees cut two of the boards to a length of 55.25″ and the other two to 93.5″.  Once this is done, see if it is possible to have the ends cut to a 45 degree angle, and if they are unable to do it at the store, take it home and cut it yourself with a handsaw.  While at the hardware store, pick up four flat L brackets that are six inches long on both sides and  twenty four 3/4 Philips wood screws. After the hardware store, the last stop is the fabric store. Pick up three feet of black velveteen fabric to wrap your wood frame in.

Step one

Cut the boards to the correct lengths and angles if not done at the hardware store. 55.25″ for two of the boards and 93.5″ for the other two, ends at a 45 degree angle.

Step two

Cut the fabric into four 6.5″ wide strips, with two  58″ in length for the sides and two strips for the bottom and top edges  being about 96″ in length. Lay the fabric on a flat surface with the board on top and wrap the fabric around the board stapling it into place as you go. If the fabric slides, use a little glue to hold it into place until the fabric is fixed to the wood all the way around. Carefully cut the fabric to match the 45 degree angles and glue in place if necessary.

Step three

Arrange the fabric-covered pieces of board in a rectangle, placing an L bracket at each corner. Holding the two boards firmly in place, screw six of the screws into the L brackets. Repeat for each corner.

Step four

Lay the super-white paper over the frame and keep it taut. Starting at one of the 55″ sides staple the paper into place, one staple every 9″ is sufficient. Once the paper is secured, trim it up around the edges so it doesn’t hang over the frame.

There you have it! The finished frame should look professional enough to be mounted on the wall for meetings or even at home for a home theater. The total cost of the supplies should be under $100 and it should look like it came side by side with your new projector.

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