DIY Projects

DIY Projector Screen

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Do you ever have those projects that seem daunting until you get started? Or projects that keep getting pushed down the priority list by calamity? This was that project.

We have a big TV in the living room that we can watch DVDs on, but we actually prefer to stream things so that ginormous TV is pretty useless except for our old copies of Blue Planet.

We also have a projector that hooks onto my phone but the only place to really watch it is on the whiteboard in my room. Not a problem if I’m watching something with just one kid but a bit of a squeeze for all five of us.

We had talked about a projector screen for forever but until we renovated the slide there really wasn’t any point because there was no feasible way to make the seating comfortable for everyone.

So it got pushed aside. Then the slide needed renovating and the tanks needed heating and we needed to beef up the insulation and…and…and… You get the idea.

Except now the slide IS renovated. And most of the time sensitive projects have been completed. This afternoon was the perfect time to get the screen done. And just in time. The onslaught of Christmas movies has definitely begun.

I’m actually amazed at how quickly and economically this whole thing came together. It took a single afternoon of shopping, planning, and constructing. Total cost: Ten dollars and change.

You’ll need:

I had a 40% off coupon for the curtain fabric so that could push your cost up around the fifteen dollars mark.

You can also make the screen any size that you want. I made my own screen out of 54 inch wide fabric and 1/2″ dowel rods that were 48 inches long.

The first thing I did was lay out my fabric and iron the wrinkles out if it. Iron the non-waxy side if your fabric is coated.

Now lay your dowel rods out along the top and bottom. You want to gold the side evenly so that when you’re done, the screen is only as wide as the rods. Once you have that figured out, iron the sides to give you a nice crease.

Unfold the sides and fold in again to the crease and again at the crease. It on as necessary to maintain straight lines. This hides the raw edge of the fabric and gives you a nice area for side seams. Go ahead and pin it down before heading to the sewing machine. I don’t have a good picture of this step, but you can see the sides are pinned evenly to the width of the dowels.

Each one of my sides has about an inch and a half fold at this point. I left the hem wife because I wanted enough room to do a double line of stitching to reinforce the sides. The teenagers brought up a good point about the edges of screens sometimes curling and we’re trying to avoid that. So we ran it first with a half inch seam allowance and then again with a one inch seam allowance.

Rinse and repeat with the other side. Before tackling the dowel pockets.

To create the dowel pockets we need to lay the whole affair out flat again. Your measurements are going to depend on the width of your dowel rod, and honestly, I didn’t even measure mine. I laid the dowel rod along the bottom of the screen and just folded the fabric up until it looked like I could get a seam going.

I’m so sorry if you were waiting for something technical and exact. My projects never seem to roll that way.

Once you have it folded evenly over your dowel, carefully remove the dowel, iron it straight, and pin. Go back to your machine and set your presser foot as close to the edge of your pocket as possible. We’re not worrying about a seam allowance so much here as we’re just going to run the foot along the edge of our folded fabric.

I just ran a single stitch along the top of the dowel pocket and ended up with this.

My dowel fit fairly snugly so I repeated the entire process exactly the same for the top bar.

Once you have both bars in place, cut off any dangling threads that you missed along the way. You’re ready to hang your screen.

I used these guys, and I was a wee bit worried that they wouldn’t be enough. The next size up seemed enormous though so I decided to give them a try.

Perfect! I ran a loop of yarn through both eye hooks and realized that I didn’t have a plan for connecting them to the ceiling. Oops. I started fishing around and came across some cup hooks that I was all ready to screw into the ceiling when the teenagers grabbed me with a better idea. Clear command wire hooks.

Such a better idea. We found a spot on the ceiling that didn’t have any lights or air vents and then hung up two hooks in a rough line in front of the cupboards.

Moment of Truth…

It worked!!! And the best part? When we’re not using it, the screen just rolls up for easy storage.

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