How to Build a Movie Screen

For a backyard movie night, you can project a film onto any light-colored background. Or, create your own screen with a few basic supplies.

DIY Film Screen

Outdoor movie projector David Tsay

what you'll need
Staple gun and staples, white blackout fabric, two 10' 2x4s, 4 screw-in eye hooks, rope, tall buckets or garbage pails (ours were 22" high), 2 to 4 bags of .5 cubic feet pea gravel, 4 tent stakes

make it

  1. Staple white fabric to one 2x4, leaving a few inches of board exposed at the top. Staple other end of fabric to second 2x4.
  2. Attach anchoring ropes: Hand-screw two eye hooks into either side of the top of each 2x4, then tie ropes (each at least 15' long) to hooks.
  3. With the help of a friend, stand one 2x4 up in a bucket and pour in gravel so 2x4 will stand upright. Repeat with second 2x4 and bucket.
  4. Stretch fabric taut by moving the two buckets away from each other.
  5. To stabilize the screen, pull ropes out at an angle and tie to tent stakes, then push stakes into the ground.

 

Originally published in the July 2014 issue of Parents magazine.