Home Theater Video Projection
Do-it-Yourself Screens
aka DIY Projection Screens

Do-it-yourself screens/
DIY screen ideas

The one item where the overall cost of a HT system can be easily reduced is by building your own screen. DIY screens are not overly difficult to construct and the total materials can total under $40 if you shop wisely. Frames can either be made of wood which is the easiest method or square metal tubing which is a bit more complicated. Screen surfaces can made of either fabric or a painted composite particle wood material surface.

For the simplest solution all you need is a few lengths of 1x4 lumber, some corner braces, screws and staple-gun staples for the frame. Add a white and a dark gray flat bed sheet for screen material and you're ready to build. The sheets are stretched and fastened with a staple gun to the backside of the frame. The white sheet goes on the outside with the dark gray behind it to help absorb the projected light. You could also use actual projection screen material which is readily available on eBay. More info in the coming days will explain exactly how I built my first screen.

The more complicated frame method involves acquiring metal tubing - preferably square tubing stock - and assembling it into a frame of your desired size and aspect ratio. Such a frame can either be welded together or strapped with corner braces. Then the desired surface material is either stretched over it and secured to the backside or if you go the composite painted surface route you will attach the surface with fasteners or affix a corner molding around the perimeter to hold the screen in place.

Some clever HT enthusiasts have fashioned an artwork cover for their living room fixed DIY screens. The artwork serves three purposes - it protects the screen while not in use, conceals the screen with attractive artwork (which otherwise would look out of place when not in use) and also - by cleverly hinging the panels - it can fold into different aspect ratios. If you'd like further info on such an artwork project or if you have any other question on how to build a screen please use the contact form as some of the instructions can be quite involved.

This section on Do-It-Yourself Screens is updated frequently. Please come back soon and often for more ways to cut costs when building a home theater.

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