Instructions To Make A Projector Screen
Build Your Own Projector Screen Like This One
Our method is similar to a giant artist's canvas: a wooden frame with the screen material stretched over it, and with a black contrast-boosting border placed around the edges for a professional look.
- Choose Aspect Ratio – Learn more about the native aspect ratio of your projector.
- 4:3 TV/Standard Size | 16:9 Widescreen/HDTV | 2.39:1 Wide Scope
- Choose Size – Learn more about the optimum size for your seating area.
- Select A Material – Use our material comparison chart to learn which fabric is right for you.
- Make Your Own Projector Screen — Let's Get Started
- Gather Your Supplies
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For demonstration purposes, these directions will be for a screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, because it will be used primarily for HDTV and it matches the aspect ratio of most home theater projectors. The size will be about 5'x9' as that is our most popular.
- You have chosen your aspect ratio, size and screen material & gathered your tools
- Determine viewable dimensions
- The material we have chosen is 110" wide. We will leave ourselves 5" of fabric to stretch over our wooden frame, so we'll have a viewable width of 105". Using the aspect ratio we must determine the height.
- 105" x 9/16 = 59.0625 or 59 1/16"
We have our viewable dimensions of 105" x 59 1/16"
- An aspect ratio of 4:3 would be 105" x ¾ = 78.75 or
- Calculate dimensions of wood frame
- Measure the black felt tape (It should be approximately 2".)
- Measure the back band trim (It should have an overhang of approximately 3/16" though this varies.)
- Take the viewable dimensions and add the width of the black felt tape and the overhang on the back band trim all the way around.
- Taking our viewable width of 105" and adding 2" twice and 3/16" twice, we get a total frame width of 109 3/8".
- Taking our viewable height of 59 1/16 plus 2" twice and 3/16" twice we end up with 63 7/16".
- Our frame dimensions are 109 3/8" x 63 7/16"
- Cut two pieces of pine that are exactly as long as the frame
(our width is 109 3/8")
- Cut three boards that are 7" (twice the width of the 1x4's: 3 ½") shorter than the exact frame height (these will measure 56 7/16") - one piece will go in the center for stability
- Assemble the frame using your joinery method of choice. We prefer to use pocket screws and a simple pocket hole jig
- Fasten the floor joist braces in each corner for added strength (optional)
- Lay the screen material over the frame
- Using heavy duty staples, start on the top and place several staples in the center (1). Move to the bottom and place several staples in the center (2), stretching the fabric straight across.
- Move to the right side of the frame and place several staples in the center (3), stretching the fabric out from the center. Move to the left and place several staples in the center (4), stretching the fabric straight across.
- At the top add a couple staples, about 2-3 inches to each side of the original staples (5 & 6). Make sure to stretch with even tension out from the middle. Repeat at the bottom (7 & 8), right (9 & 10) and left (11 & 12) sides.
- Add 3 staples, again 2-3 inches apart, at the top of the frame (13-15 & 16-18). Repeat at the bottom (19-21 & 22-24), right and left sides. Again make sure to stretch with even tension out from the middle as shown in the diagram.
- Continue adding 2-4 staples, evenly spaced and rotating to opposite sides until the screen is completely secured all the way around the frame. Do not staple in a circle around the frame, always rotate to the opposite side with even tension.
- Cut the Back Band Trim with a Miter Saw or Miter Box/Saw to fit your frame. Back Band Trim is a piece of wood moulding that surrounds the exterior edge of the screen to create a professional looking frame.
- Spray paint the back band trim black and allow to dry
- Nail the back band trim to the frame
- Add the black felt tape, on top of the screen material, cutting with a scissors or utility knife – do NOT stretch the tape
- Hang on the wall using the picture hangers of your choice
- Grab the popcorn and a cool beverage (optional)
- Pop in your favorite movie or video game and enjoy!
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View Steps 9 - 12
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