Introduction: Tyvek Projector Screen

Picture of Tyvek Projector Screen

Make a projection screen very quickly and very cheaply with TYVEK, a PVC pipe, rope, and plumbing pipe.

Step 1: Choose the Size of Screen You Wish to Make.

Picture of Choose the Size of Screen You Wish to Make.

I started out thinking I'd do 16' x 9' then realized that was too large, so went with 9' x 7'. Remember you want a roughly 3:4 height to width ratio for most video formats.

unprinted tyvek might be better for rear projection.

Step 2: Obtain a Roll of TYVEK House Wrap to Your Size Requirements.

Picture of Obtain a Roll of TYVEK House Wrap to Your Size Requirements.

Home Depot has it, as do others. Roll out on a clean surface (or clean side up) and cut to your required dimensions.

Step 3: Choose a Pipe a Little Wider Than Your Screen

Picture of Choose a Pipe a Little Wider Than Your Screen

I used 10' length of plumbing glavanized steel.

Note the printed size is face down on dirty floor. Buttered side up !

Step 4: Tape the End of the TYVEK to the Steel Bar.

Picture of Tape the End of the TYVEK to the Steel Bar.

I cut a much longer piece of TYVEK, 16x9, and rolled the extra onto the bar. this is good for 2 reasons, a) if ever i need a white backdrop i have the extra length b) rolling the tyvek up gets rid of the invariable kinks that occur when taping. Large diameter PVC might be stiff enough to be straight, but not the 1-1/2" stuff i had which is why i went to steel.

Step 5: Weight the Hanging End.

Picture of Weight the Hanging End.

At the other end (that will hang down) I used just plain PVC, 1/2
I have been using packing tape. Works a treat for this application though TYVEK tape might also be good (let me know)

Step 6: I Use Two Quick Clamps at Top to Determine Hanging Length.

Picture of I Use Two Quick Clamps at Top to Determine Hanging Length.

Because I cut the roll way long (16x9) and am only using (9x7) i stop the rest rolling off by clamping at the top with quick clamps. Allows flexibility in projection size.

Step 7: Thread a Rope Through Top Pole, Hang, and Voila.

Picture of Thread a Rope Through Top Pole, Hang, and Voila.

Your very own large projection screen. I had the printed TYVEK, so not good for rear projection, but excellent image quality for front projection.


pappy77 (author)2010-09-07

here is a link to another do it yourself screen that looks pretty easy to put together..I think tyvek would be the best option for the fabric...

MadScott (author)2009-12-13

Try reflective paint - Krylon makes a spray on version - for a few bucks you can crank up the performance.

solipsism (author)2009-12-08

strangely enough, it seems every thrift store I have ever been to,  will have an old 1950's portable screen for slide projectors hanging around in the back of the store in a cubbyhole. They are built like tanks and usually reflection coated, and since they were rarely used, they are usually mint. Prices range from a few dollars to probably 20.  Even if you don't want the stand it is a great way to get the screen and coil mechanism.

knightofni79 (author)2006-03-18

does anybody have any ideas on how to make a store bought projection screen swing out to caddy corner when in use and stay flush against the wall when not? I am racking my brain here and cant come up with anything thanks

solipsism (author)knightofni792009-12-08

if you have room, 3 hooks.

Hook A across the corner on wall 1, B mid room wall 2, C other end of room 2 AB for watching, then unhook one end and BC for storage, plant hooks in the ceiling should work well. Would have to be changed manually, but not too hard.

0.775volts (author)knightofni792006-03-29

do you mean that the screen would store flush against one wall, and then span a corner when in use? you could try mounting slides to each end of the screen, and attaching tracks to each wall, then us a linear actuator to push/pull the screen into position. that's my best guess, would take a bit of tinkering. it would probably be easier to hang a retractable screen in the desired poistion.

imrobot (author)2009-11-11

Hey, in the last picture the hand drawn picture in the corner, is it a howtoon? It kinda looks like one...

instructables4ever (author)2009-11-11

Hey how are the graphics on this size screen?

rogers236 (author)2009-11-11

Great Instructable, I like how you made the screen adjustable in height.
I tried something similar before, except that I only duct taped the Tyvek to the basement wall: less effective.

nerd158 (author)2009-05-09

Theres a tyvek based paper banner material i used anyone who knows someone in printing should be able to find this stuff very cheap

matconweb (author)2009-02-24 Concepts is a Tyvek distributor and we have some customers who have purchased Tyvek from us to make projection screens. We offer (non- Homewrap) Tyvek styles that don’t have the printed logo on either side, and don’t wrinkle like HomeWrap, so they work better for this application.

We just made a post on our Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog about the use of Tyvek for projection screens.


CementTruck (author)2008-01-02

I made mine out a white 12 gauge vinyl shower curtain, stretched over a light wooden frame. Works like a champ. Cheap too (under $15US to build).

baysidedrivein (author)2007-07-30

My question is how good is the tyvek as far as picture? the photo on top show ok but shaken but that happens with dark or night shots. On a scale on 1-10 for a first screen what would you give it?

deceiver (author)2006-07-24

I made a screen by mounting a large opaque windwoshade (homedepot) inside a 3 inch piece of PVC pipe with a slot cut the length of it with my table saw. I capped the ends put eye hooks in it and it's a pull down so it goes up to the ceiling when not in use.

MArlauckas (author)2006-07-05

Thanks for the how-to! I build one of these over the weekend for a first-time outdoor movie. I used a 10' length of 2" DWV PVC for the top pipe, and a 10' length of 1" electrical PVC for the weight pipe, because it's what I had in the garage. I scrounged the Tyvek from a local contractor. He gave me a 5' width roll (cut-off) that had about 30' remaining. The only cost was $4 for a roll of good packing tape. The screen works fantastically, and once the movie started, the horizontal seam disappeared. I've already had two family member ask to borrow it. Guess I should build a protective bag or tube for it. Thanks again!

peterman921 (author)2006-04-19

Blank tyvek can be bought from some sign supply warehouses its used for making outdoor paper banners I know that Northwest Sign Supply in Portland OR and Seattle WA carry it

bboyes (author)2006-02-15

Another option, better for a screen and still cheap: blackout cloth, available at most fabric stores. I found some in white at a local store. It's very dense and smooth. It's used to line drapes so is opaque. Also I have bought screen material from eBay. These are also good for white backgrounds for photography where a high reflectance helps the background later be removed digitally.

michael (author)2006-02-04

Hey Saul. This is great. I was just googling for "DIY Projection Screen" and a Make-blog reference took me here. Tyvec is a fantastic idea. -Michael R

ashembers (author)2006-01-20

Fantastic idea! Does Home Depot sell blank Tyvek or did you have to go somewhere else. I like the idea of making a pseudo wall & seeing it on both sides.

fjr122 (author)2006-01-16

I made mine out of a pvc pipe frame and some curtain backing cloth. Cost ~$15

cokebottle tuque (author)2005-12-22

So I made a similar screen about 8 by 10 feet. I used two pieces and taped them together instead of one large piece,the line is only noticeable if you are looking for it. I used 9 small office clips to hold the screen to piece of nylon cord instead of a pipe. So far I like the results it has a much brighter image than the sheet I was using before, though the wrinkles stick out more. I have my speakers tucked away behind the screen along with some storage space, it works nicely.

cokebottle tuque (author)2005-12-17

cool I just got finished building my own projector, for the 90$ I paid for parts its working realy well. I have all the lcd pats mounted on a plexiglass panel so it can easily be removed to use the overhead projector normaly, maybe ill do write up on it.

cokebottle tuque (author)2005-12-09

you can see the tyvek logo showing through, how bad is it wen in use? I imagien you could clamp to the rope in such a way that it wouldent let the pipe spin, geting rid of the wrinkleworst case is you just drill a hole in the pipe.

saul (author)cokebottle tuque2005-12-15

the tyvek logo does not shine through when projecting, only when there is ambient light both sides. i should have taken a photo..

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