Picture of Outdoor Projector Screen on a Budget
Outdoor movies and video games can seem like a niche activity, but it's a unique experience that is a great crowd pleaser if you have a large outdoor space. Once you start using it, going back to your old TV seems different altogether. It's quite fun to set up an X-box and play Guitar Hero or Call of Duty outside in a larger-than-life screen, with surround sound and room to move around. Plus movies are always better on a bigger screen and when you save money on snacks out of your home kitchen (and drinks), this investment pays for itself in a few uses. 

My friend Dan and i bought a projector for around $550 (Epson 5210X I think) in place of buying playoff hockey tickets last year which were priced about $250 each. We watched the game at home on his wall and had a blast, but we decided we needed a better long term outdoor solution. 

This is a really simple design, and the materials cost around a total of $150 for the screen. It was an investment, but a worthy one, because the robust nature of PVC piping holds up to a lot of winter weather conditions, and is fairly easy to assemble and disassemble for storage.

ToothlessDragon made it!28 days ago
great build. Made this for my backyard projector and its perfect. only complaint is that it is difficult to use grommits on sheets, I ended up using hundreds of safety pins and just layering the sheet which worked really well and gave it a smooth look. Great instructable! Thanks for sharing!

Cats Science Club made it!1 year ago

We used some of your ideas and others to build our own. We used thinner pvc 1" but would recommend the 2" as you describe.Tried to save a few pennies but ended up with some bowing pvc.

We had
a great time outside with this screen! Very cool to see it showing a
movie. We also set up Photo Booth. Kids took pictures of themselves on
the big screen. Great Fun!!


your screen looks great, could you share what you did,I like the curved screen. What materials did you use?

Thank you! We used 1" pvc pipe but basically followed the instructions on instructables. We ended hanging the screen on a pop up canopy frame.
hey, awesome build! thanks for sharing; and i'm glad you had some outdoor movies! The photo booth is also a cool idea, and it's great to see others running with and improvising from these builds.

Great stuff, and thanks for commenting!
If the feet are glued and capped, you could fill them with water to temporarily stabilize it.
To help stabilize the whole thing, I would recommend filling the lowest pieces with sand, or cement.
linrodann2 years ago
Looks great! I plan to make one at some point for doing interactive light shows. I'm thinking it would be easier to stitch a casing on the top and bottom (like what curtains and wall hangings have) rather than installing snaps. Then you just slide the poles in and out. Do you think that would pose any problems? I also plan to use rip-stop nylon: tough, lightweight, and fairly cheap with a coupon.

Thanks for posting! :)
xNerdiusMaximusx (author)  linrodann2 years ago
Great ideas. I think that making the hem would work as well. You would need to disassemble the frame if you wanted to remove the screen but if its the rip stop nylon that should be fairly robust in the weather. Post some pics when you build it! And the garden stakes are a clever solution I'll have to try out as well. Thanks for the comments!
linrodann2 years ago
And I think some U-shaped garden stakes would be an elegant way to hold the legs down.
bajablue2 years ago
I woke up this morning thinking about building an outdoor patio theatre (seriously!)... and here's your Instructable. In 2 words: WOW & weird!

Thanks for sharing your build!!!
cool idea, thanks!
This is pretty great. I wonder if I made it out of steel pipe if the it would be more wind-sturdy....
xNerdiusMaximusx (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
The design would work in theory with any pipe material. I chose PVC mostly because it was cheap, weather resistant, and durable. My best recommendation for improving stability (using any material) would be to widen the legs. If you expand the support polygon, the screen will be more stable.