Most television is broken. In this instructable, you'll learn how to fix your TV with everyday household materials.


To fix your TV, you will need the following:
  • A functioning television set, large or small, old or new, cable or antenna or satellite.
  • A thin, translucent medium such as wax paper, available from any grocery store.
  • One to four lightweight rods such as a coat-hanger, depending on the structure of your TV's housing and any furniture it might be in.
  • A non-sticking tie or fastener such as wire ties, hair ties, hook-and-loop strap (Velcro), gaffer's tape, zip-ties, etc.
  • Something to cut with, such as a pair of scissors.

In this instructable, we will fix TV with wax paper, a coat hanger, a pair of scissors and wire ties.


Please ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the TV set work, that is, can it receive and display a cable, antenna or VCR/DVD signal? In other words, does it need to be fixed? For our purposes, it does not need to be expensive, new, or high quality but it does need to have a reasonably "watchable" picture.
  • Do you have permission to fix the TV set?
  • Is the TV set accessible? If you need a ladder, get one.
  • is the TV set upright, such that the screen is perpendicular to the floor? If the screen is inclined at a steep angle, you will have to secure the wax paper at top and bottom.

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, proceed to the next step. If not, get creative.


  • Turn on your television and tune it to a working channel (or recorded input).
  • Turn the volume down to zero.
  • Cut three or four sheets of the wax paper that are twice as long as the TV is high. Drape the sheets over the coat hanger like a pair of pants, hanging equally on each side.


Note: it helps to to turn of the lights at this stage.

  • Stand in front of the TV within arm's reach. Hold the coat hanger up about 10 cm from the screen and look through the wax paper at the TV. The TV image through the paper should look like blurry, colored blobs.
  • Close your eyes and change the channel. Open your eyes. Can you recognize what is on the screen? If so, try moving the sheets further away from the screen or adding another sheet. If the image looks like one big blob, take off one or two sheets or move them closer to the screen.
  • When you are satisfied that the TV has been sufficiently obscured, proceed to the next step.


  • Use the wire ties to secure the hook(s) of the cost hanger(s) (laying flat) to the top of the TV.
  • Add more sheets of wax paper until the entire screen is obscured.
  • If the cost hanger is not wide enough to obscure the entire screen when viewed from in front, get creative. Try taping two coat hangers together and cutting a slit in the back of the sheets so they will hang neatly around the arms of the hangers.


Opinions differ on whether to fully mask the screen, though it is preferred that at least the view within 30 degrees of center is masked. You decide.


Change the channel until you find something that looks beautiful to you. Enjoy your fixed television as a light show, play some music. Or leave it on as ambience while you do something else.


When you are ready to watch broken television again, simply unfasten the cost hanger from the TV and hang it within easy reach for later use.
What's GISPAT stand for?
We have a be nice comment policy,so I wont say anything about the waste of my time except you did a really good job at doing it,well done,great job!!
hi justin can you fix my tv?
can you fix my tv please?
I don't get it. But then I always have trouble with things that are simple.
Does anyone know how to fix the vision on the TV? As our's keeps sticking and blurring and that. We've tried unpluging the TV then plugging it back in but it still won't work...?
this is perfect.
You could take advantage of waxed paper as a decorative medium. For example, in the fall, you could iron colorful leaves between some of the sheets, or cut out a turkey silhouette and iron it in place for Thanksgiving.
 Absolutely amazing!!  I'm going to do that, and I think it will be the best thing that I have done for my life in months!!!!!!!!
Alternate Title: What to do when you are not watching (insert name of favourite crime/medical drama here)<br/><br/><sub><sup><sub><sup><sub><sup><sub>NCIS FTW!!</sub></sup></sub></sup></sub></sup></sub><br/>
i think i just felt my IQ fall...
This is really funny! lol I thought I was about to get smarter...
one thing <em><strong>W.T.F.</strong></em><br/>
how is this 'fixing' your tv? This should be titled 'making a light show' or something of the such. There's no actual 'fix' for anything, I mean, come on man.
Not everyone has the same sense of humor, but I thought it was funny. TV is a brainwasher and that's his point.
was that the point...ahh...um....ok then...hmm. I musta missed that part where it was trying to be a joke instructable then. Look, i don't mean to be sarcastic, didn't mean to come across that way in my comment, but when i saw the title i expected something of value not "another way to make a radio".
you were watching bones when you took the picture haha (its a good show) and this is a pretty nice project
this is a great project, but you really need to give credit where due - it is based on an installation piece by Brian Eno called &quot;Paintings and Sculptures,&quot; viewable<br/>at <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKRd9tb1yBQ">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKRd9tb1yBQ</a><br/>
You're right -- it isn’t original. Lots of people have covered televisions with translucent stuff to make them into light boxes: Brian Eno to name just one. Thanks for the link! I've always wanted to see that. :-) Someone else sells a thing you can hang on your screen that divides the screen up into little boxes like pixels — I can’t remember the name. I decided to do it on the cheap so that other people could do it as well.
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/06/tvfilter.html">http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/06/tvfilter.html</a><br/><br/>The original was called &quot;channel one&quot;. I can't remember the artist's name though, maybe Nancy Frank.<br/>
The Graffiti Research Lab did something very similar to TVs in the NYC streets i think.
they laser cut out Lexan sheets and taped them to all the ads to show how they didn't like them.
The Graffiti Research Lab did something very similar to TVs in the NYC streets i think.
Actually, the grammar used by the author was correct, most people just didn't read the instructable or simply didn't get the "joke". If you look at the instructable from the standpoint that modern television (or "T.V.") is flawed or "broken", the instructable makes perfect sense. The title may be a little misleading, but depending upon one's view regarding whether televisions is flawed, this might actually be considered a repair. I think it was a well made instructable, technically, and I personally enjoyed the sarcasm. Good job.
Writer's Strike Made Me Do It sounds good lol, And yeah like nature233 says please post it as an art thingy,I also thought this was about how to reapair a tv
Some people just don't get it no matter how you explain it. This is an art piece; clever, funny and bordering on poetic. Come on people stop being so literal. Tv= Bad Beautiful,ingenious lamp= Good!<br/><br/>And for the language critics: Grow up! you probably wish you could speak another language half as well as this person. Obviously he is not a native English speaker yet he cares to share something funny with us. Your loss.<br/>
whoo boy...there's a few minutes I'll never get back, dude next time.....PLEASE post it as an artsy kinda thing,I thought this was a repair section entry
Good instructable from the purly step by step with photos point of view. Bad instructable from the what the hell point of view.
You know... fix your TV... just like you'd fix a cat or a dog ;)
fix a cat? oh I get it "honey were is the cat?" "In the lab" "the lab?" "I hope its not the....." "c,mon you are getting you're bladder removed!!" "crash boom" "damit you little....." " I DID IT I MADE A URINE LESS CAT" "holy crap!" "doint you know the kidneys are needed?"
The first line of step one requires "A functioning television" How is anyone to 'fix' a functioning television? I think I failed to understand this one...
i think it means that the tv itself works, just the screen is broken. like when the monitor is unplugged on a computer
although upon reading the project, ithink it was sarcasm
Wouldn't it be easier to wrap the wax paper around your head? Then the whole world's "fixed."
or the opposite...go on a fixing rampage and tape waxpaper to everyliving thing in a 3 mile radius
If you're lucky enough to require glasses, just cover them with fingerprints. No wax paper required. If you're really lucky, like me, and need Coke-bottle glasses, just take them off and everything more than 6" away is fixed.
cute... kill t.v.
TV is supposed to be bad. You are shown all the bad stuff, what environments are likely to get you raped, robbed, conned and/or killed. All we do is relax in a safe place on a couch. With a little common sense, we can tell what is real and that is experience without all the work. Good TV is like watching the evening "Good News" (No news is good news)
I'm glad you look satisfied. Possibly next time use diferent color paper. Reds for that western you hated. Or cut out holes in black paper cover the holes with wax paper... paterns on your walls.
tv is the creator of lameness...that is why we have instructables,use the brain for entertainment!do stuff!
great stuff. i kno i need to do more instead of watching as much tv. i think ill start working on some projects that keep putting off right now. thanks
Hi,<br/>I think this project is great, but I would also suggest some expert help, there are some great tech support site. Here is a page for <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.fixya.com/support/browse/standard_televisions">TV Tech Support</a><br/>Jon<br/>
i dont know dewd.... i bought my tv to watch it.... maybe im wrong....
I like the intent of this project (i.e. I hate random tvs in every conceivable public place), but I wish it was really about repairing a non-functional tv.
I think it's social comentary, kinda Max Headroomish, also kinda ironic if it is, the evils of TV from someone who has a expensive flat panel.
Expensive? LCD screens are pretty cheap now. And if I'm going to have a TV, I'd rather it not take up a lot of space -- I live in New York City. ;)
LCD TVs aren't cheap at all compared to tube TVs. At ~$300 for 15" Sharp Aquos, it is obviously expensive. Instead of spending your money on an expensive light show box, you should have spent the money on patching up your scarred up drywall and giving it a good coat of paint.
Apparently weed was in low quantities the day of this creation.
A fine solution to a vexing problem. We permanently fixed our TV by giving it away; now we have windows.

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