Introduction: DIY- Homemade Projector

Picture of DIY- Homemade Projector

i will show you how to make a homemade projector using mostly things you can find around the house. (remember to read the whole thing before you start because i am adding new info at the end as i learn more, im a beginner 2)

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

you will need a large cardboard box, i used a cornflake box, you need a fresnel lens and a regular magnified glass i found the fresnel lens at a shop advertised as (credit card sized magnifier) for about 5 bucks and the magnified glass should be about 2inches across, you also need a bright light, the brighter the better but led is good because it needs to be cool or else you will cook the lcd i got the lcd from ebay for $28.00 and it allows you to plug anything into it. you will need a round cylender the same width as the magnified glass (i used pringles chip container) the last few things you will need are aluminum foil ,tape and scissors.
i bought that square looking led light of ebay for $20 but i cant use it yet because it needs a heat sink and fan, the other one runs cooler. 12v

Step 2: How to Begin

Picture of How to Begin

to begin get your box and cut the top off then about halfway down put a piece of cardboard with the fresnel lens in it and firmly tape it down (see pic) cut out another piece of card board the same width as the box and cut a hole in it for your light the cardboard around the hole should be covered in tin foil to reflect the most light. insert it in your box make sure it is in line with the fresnel lens and should be at least 3inches away from it. (update) i just learnt that if you want to make the picture about 3x brighter you need to put a cone + condenser lens/strong magnified glass on the light (see pic)

Step 3: Make Light Box

Picture of Make Light Box

now you have your fresnel lens and light lined up you need to cover it to keep the light from escaping. to do this you need to cut out 3 pieces of card board and wrap them in tin foil place them around the light and fresnel lens it should be a tight seal with barely any light escaping except for through the fresnel lens.

Step 4: Attach Magnified Glass

Picture of Attach Magnified Glass

to attach magnified glass, cut the cylinder in half (to about 3-4inches long) both ends should be open tape the magnified glass to one end. cut a hole in the box make sure it lines up with the light and fresnel lens insert it in (lens should be on the outside of the box) to make it more stable you can add another piece of cardboard to hold the cylinder.  you can now turn the light on and you should see a shape on the wall push the magnified glass in and out to focus (just put a slide in front of the fresnel lens and you have a slide projector!) if you see the individual leds projected onto the wall and not just a square white light you need to move your fresnel lens farther away from the led.

Step 5: Attach the Lcd

Picture of Attach the Lcd

i got this lcd from ebay for 28bucks just type in 2.5 inch lcd reverse monitor or something like that it needs to have the composite input (red yellow white plugs) if it only has the yellow one thats fine. so once you get it unscrew it and be very careful because the lcd is easy to break , take the metal case off the lcd and all the plastic filters until you can see through the screen(it will still be bury to see through) then place it infront of the fresnel lens (it should be upside down and backwards) when your picture is the right way on the wall, tape the screen on and you are done! now just put a lid on the box and stick the cables out the side of it

Step 6: Now You Are Finnished.

Picture of Now You Are Finnished.

you are finnished now
(update) i found a heat sink and installed my 20w led its not that much brighter but i think i can fix that by adjusting the condenser lens on the led and putting a cone shaped thing around it to direct the light here is a picture of the new led. see a video of it in action
(i have drawn up some plans for a future projector project)


vishus (author)2015-04-03


i want to try it. but i want something different type of LED bulb ussing for this..


avasil (author)2015-02-24

Where did you get the screen

adelmotte (author)2013-08-27

how do you connect the lcd to a computer?
I have bought a 2.5 inch lcd, a VGA to RCA converter box but the resolutions aren't compatible (2.5 inch lcd from ebay have resolutions of about 320*240 and VGA to RCA converter from ebay begins at resolution 800 * 600)

ABDUL BASIT 89 (author)2013-07-18

hey is it necessary to use fresenel lens
can i use anything else
plzzzz help

ABDUL BASIT 89 (author)2013-07-02

how much distance can it cover from wall
plz answer

ch zain (author)2013-06-18

is this lcd connect to computer plz tell me............!!!!

ch zain (author)2013-05-30

If i can not use the condensor lense this create a problem or not..............

jolenealphonse (author)2013-01-19

Hey, haha I know like many people have asked how you power the LED and stuff but I dont really get it :/ Like Im pretty clueless how a LED driver and all actually works haha, and how do you actually plug in a old portable dvd player charger to the LED (or whatever you actually do??) Im thinking of just plugging it into a normal wall plug???

So, PLEASEEE enlighten me hahaha thanks a lot a lot this is damn cool and I'm already halfway buying all the materials! just dont get the LED part!! Thanks!! :)

nikx (author)2012-12-16

is there an available diagram and components used for this project???? this projector is very useful..

Frankzgreat (author)2012-11-01

how do you allow the light to penetrate? i wanan test it on a clock lcd

supreme-ette (author)2011-01-17

What kind of projector is this? Could it project a movie/vid, or just a still image?

well you can either make an old fashioned slide machine or you can use an lcd screen like i did and all it does is makes the screen bigger so yes you can watch movies on it!

mohitj786 (author)porkypinekiwi2012-10-26

could i connect this with my mobile phone to see movies from my cell.. ?

its an lcd screen with composite cables (red white and yellow) so yea video, image and music!

Could I get that type of LCD from an out of used digital camera?

osmith3 (author)supreme-ette2011-08-06

you need an LCD panel which will take the type of video signal you wish to use it with - so, if you want to project Television, your LCD panel will probably come from a miniature LCD TV which has a Scart socket on it, or if you want to project a computer screen, your LCD panel will have to come from a flat-screen computer monitor.

Unfortunately, this does usually mean taking some expensive equipment apart - like a TV or computer monitor! - but the good news is that you could use equipment that isn't working properly. Look for a computer monitor with a broken backlight, because you don't need that part to use it for this build.

Adnan Fahim (author)2012-10-02

I can'nt understand.

mthomas26 (author)2012-06-06

Does it have to be a reverse lcd or does it matter?

porkypinekiwi (author)mthomas262012-06-06

no, it can be any lcd or see-through screen, but the smaller the better.

jprizain (author)porkypinekiwi2012-08-18

is it available to use lcd out of an iphone3gs? because thats the smaller lcd that i got.

aismail7 (author)2012-06-30

could i use a 12v flash light instead

aismail7 (author)2012-06-30

does the pringels bottel come in a certian size or regularly

booliminator (author)2011-10-20

I am in the process of attempting the same project.
Yours is amazing.
I am using a sprint pocket pc with a touch screen so it might be a problem accessing media but it will do.
I just had a few questions?
DO i need a frensel lens?
What kind of light should i use? (how bright?)
can i use a slr camera lens instead of the magnifying glass u used in the front?
and please help me!

I seem to be getting alot of questions about the fresnel lense. so mabye you dont need it? just experiment with it, as i did. but about the light, you want to use one that doesnt produce very much heat, such as an LED because that will quickley destroy your screen. but you also want to get the brighitest light you possibly can, it will never be too bright.

guygalgut101 (author)2011-09-17

Do I have to use the frensel lens or can I do it with out it?
what does the frensel lens do?

I was wondering the same!
It doesnt seem to be required because of its placement... i Guess?
Dont trust me thou!

katareprat (author)2011-06-10

Awesome ! It inspired me to make my own one too :)
I'm currently looking for a fresnel lens. Can you please tell me if this one could do :

there's also a bigger one :

I'm asking as my LCD size is different from BOTH of I've no idea if these lenses will or will not do

Thanks for the wonderful 'ible !!:)

porkypinekiwi (author)katareprat2011-06-11

i dont think the first one will work, i used this (link below) you only need one but it comes with 2 and you just cut it down to match the size of your lcd screen.

katareprat (author)porkypinekiwi2011-06-11

alrite. Although I live in India and hence can't afford the one you suggested,I do understand that buying a lens bigger than the screen should not be a problem. So will try to find one !! Thank you !!

osmith3 (author)katareprat2011-08-06

Katareprat, it is very easy to get Fresnel lenses of many kinds here in the UK - if you would like me to buy some for you, I can get two the correct size (55 x 85mm) and send them to you in India for £6 (about 450 Rupees).
This is also by Airmail, so the UK Postal service (Royal Mail) say that it should arrive in approximately 7-10 days.
If you are interested then do email me and I would be happy to help!

katareprat (author)osmith32011-08-07

Thank you osmith !!

I found this on ebay :

and this :

I'll give these a try and if they don't work, seek your help !
Many thanks again :)

osmith3 (author)katareprat2011-08-07

no problem - just let me know! :)

rcisneros (author)katareprat2011-06-22

Check out this vendor. They sell screen by the yard for front and rear projection. You can check out their tutorial about colors to find out which one would work best for you.
You can get 55"X36" for $18.30 / yard. So obviously 55"x72" screen would be $36.6 plus shipping of about $15+.

katareprat (author)rcisneros2011-06-22

Thanks a lot but I guess the screen is usually not the biggest can always use a wall !
What I'm looking for is the fresnel lens..these are the most hard to get..especially since now nobody uses slide projectors !

rcisneros (author)katareprat2011-06-24

Your missing the point. It's a giant lens. It's not just some cloth. The screen is the lens.

osmith3 (author)2011-08-06

this is ingenious!

jothi.instru (author)2010-07-09

hi.... can u say wat is that fresnel lens mean... is those available in shops...

simbu.rm (author)jothi.instru2011-07-30

hi Fresnel lens very low cost of for just Rs.675/- only


yes you can get it in a shop its some times called a credit card sized magnified glass. its just a piece of plastic with lines on it that that makes it a flat magnified glass. ill put a new instructable up soon to make it easier

priyank9755648457 (author)2011-07-06

from where i will get the lcd?
any other types of lcd can be used which are available in indian market in low cost?

hi priya you can get lcd very low cost of


mohsin2202 (author)2011-07-01

triplet lens is best but u used Magnifying glass. tell me hows image quality? n focus.

porkypinekiwi (author)mohsin22022011-07-01

i dont even know wha ta triplet lens is? the magnifying glass that i used is watchable but you cant get it focused everywhere, its either focused in the middle or just around the edges. it would be nice if i could fix that problem

The nerdling (author)2010-05-24

1 Can it work with a olympos cmera LCD?
2 Cool
3 wow
4 is it easy?

1 yes it can work with any lcd as long as the lcd works! (you will probably have a camera permanently hanging off of your projector lol.
2 :)
3 :)
4 its not too hard, i can make one from scratch in a day

In answer two your 4th question, YES!!!

 yes that should work but you will only be able to watch whats on the camera. yes cool yes wow and the first time it is  kind a hard but i made my second one in about 1hr but the hardest part is finding the right lens and a bright light that doesnt make too much heat or else it will destroy the lcd

Sanjay Limbore (author)2011-05-14

can you elaborate on LCD? , which make ? part no.?

it doesnt matter, any lcd that works will work. just take it apart, be careful with the wires and pull off the back light.

kiramaya (author)2010-11-13

a normal maginifer will do the job,did u use a triplet lens

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