$1 Personal Theater

About: I have recently discovered the makerverse. I love absolutely everything about it. My main projects are robotics and cool life hacks that I find. Thanks for checking me out!

Today, I will bring to you an extremely cheap personal theater from just a box. From second grade, I have been fascinated by reusing things. Not only does it reduce your carbon footprint, it can also be fun. I hope you can enjoy this and have some fun in your new personal theater

Step 1: What You Will Need

This is a quick and easy project. At most, it will take you about 30 minutes.
You will need:
- A corrugated cardboard box
- Earbuds
- A smartphone
- Duck tape
- A knife (serrated works best)
- An app like Hulu or Netflix
- A marker
- A ruler

Step 2: Find the Center of the Bottom

Find the bottom of your box. This should be the side opposite from where you opened it. Now, measure the box across longways and mark the center. Do the same for the other way. You should now have found the center of the box. This will help you in the next step

Step 3: Outlining the Screen

Position your phone's center directly over the mark that you have just made on the box. Look at the phone's corners and make a mark about 1 inch away from that corner. Do the same for all four corners. After that, use a straightedge to connect all four markings. This will be the outline that you use to cut in the next step.

Step 4: The Screen

Now that you have your outline to cut, take your knife and cut it out. If you are using a serrated knife like I have suggested, make long strokes just like you would with a saw. Be careful to aim it away from you and not cut yourself. I really don't want it on my mind that I may have just had someone lose a finger while making this. After you make your fist cut, there may be an extra few cuts you need to make depending on your box. As you can see above, my box had little flaps after I cut it. Again, simply cut these off.

Step 5: Making a Bigger Box

To make a larger "theater" for you to enjoy, you will need to turn out your flaps and tape them together with duck tape or packaging tape. I would not suggest using scotch tape or painting tape, because they come apart very easily. Make sure all your bonds are secure before continuing.

Step 6: Finding the Center Again

Now that you have enlarged your box, you will need to cut a hole for your neck. Finding the center of the box will make it a lot more comfortable and give the best screening experience. Use the same method you used previously, but this time on the biggest side of your box.

Step 7: Outlining Your Neck

For this step, I made my outline about 7 inches tall and six inches wide off the center of my box. Depending on the size of your neck, you may need to make it bigger or smaller. I like to make the hole a little bigger than my neck for comfort.

Step 8: Cutting Again

Cut the outline you just made with your knife. Once you have done that, lay down and put it over your head to make sure that it fits. If it doesn't, enlarge it a little bit. You should lay in it like this.

Step 9: Surround Sound

For the best audio possible, use your earbuds. The sound is extremely muffled without it. Poke a hole next to the phone hole and stick your earbuds through it. When you are in your personal theater, put your earbuds in and enjoy a great movie.

Step 10: Thank You

I appreciate you taking the time to check this out. I hope you have a lot of fun with it and watch some amazing movies in your own private theater. I am thinking of ways to improve this project. I was thinking a tube for popcorn. If you have any suggestions or questions, please put them in the comments. I typically answer all comments within 10-30 minutes when I am awake.

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    That is a great idea! I might have to look into that


    3 years ago

    Thanks. I use that thing all the time. If only o could hook up an Xbox to it...

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Sounds totally doable if you can get a small, cheap TV screen off Craigslist. Might even find one in the free section.