DIY Indoor/Outdoor Movie Screen

Grab a blanket and popcorn and get ready to enjoy movies anywhere with this no-sew portable movie screen

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

In the warmer months, it's only natural to want to spend as much time outdoors as possible soaking up the amazing weather. Those balmy nights offer a particularly perfect setting to enjoy an outdoor movie night. There's nothing quite like spreading out a blanket and watching a movie under the stars.

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While you can certainly just hang up a sheet to serve as a movie screen, this DIY no-sew version includes the addition of wooden dowels to give it some weight and keep it from blowing in the wind. The beauty of it is that you can also use it indoors when the weather isn't cooperating as well as during the cooler months of the year. It's simple to make and even simpler to store (just roll it up)!

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Video: Indoor/Outdoor Movie Screen

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Things You'll Need

  • White twin bed sheet

  • Iron-on adhesive hem tape (or sewing machine, if preferred)

  • Scissors

  • Iron

  • Two 1 1/4-in. by 72-in. round wood dowels

  • Ribbon or nylon webbing

  • Grommet kit

  • Hammer

  • Two S-hooks, nails, or damage-free hooks

  • Binder clip, snack clip, or clothespin (if needed)

  • Cord or rope

  • Two ground stakes

  • Projector

  • Extension cord

1. Fold a bed sheet in half

Lay a twin bed sheet flat and fold the longer side in half. Smooth it out and make sure the corners and edges are all neatly aligned.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

2. Place hem tape under the flap

Fold back about an inch on the top half of the sheet and run a strip of iron-on adhesive hem tape along the open edge. Then, fold the top part of the sheet back over it so that the hem tape is sandwiched between the two layers of the sheet.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

3. Iron the hem tape

Turn on an iron and allow it to heat up to the specified setting for your hem tape. Place the hot iron on the top sheet and iron from one end to the other to "sew" the edge shut. Be sure to press your iron firmly and slowly to ensure the adhesive in the hem tape is activated.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Tip

I wanted to keep this a no-sew project, so I used iron-on adhesive hem tape. But please feel free to pin and sew instead if that's your preference.

4. Fold the hemmed edge over a dowel

Place one of the dowels on top of the sheet near the edge you just "sewed" shut and fold the sheet over it, leaving about an inch of extra fabric for the hem.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

5. Place hem tape under the flap

Run a strip of hem tape underneath the folded flap of the sheet from one edge to the other.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

6. Iron the hem tape

Fold the flap of sheet over the hem tape and iron it in place. You'll essentially be creating a long rod pocket for the dowel to slide in and out.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

7. Fold the other end over a dowel

Now we'll complete the opposite edge. Place the second dowel on top of the sheet and fold the edge over the dowel, leaving about an inch of extra fabric for the hem.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

8. Place hem tape under the flap

Run a strip of hem tape underneath the folded flap of sheet from one edge to the other.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

9. Iron the hem tape

Fold the flap of sheet over the hem tape and iron it in place.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

10. Cut the ribbons

Cut four lengths of ribbon (I used nylon webbing) to 8 inches each.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

11. Mark the grommet placement

Fold each ribbon over the wood dowel (creating a loop) and make a mark in the top center of the ribbon so you know where to install the grommet.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

12. Add the grommets

Fold each ribbon in half and add a grommet where you marked each of them. Make sure the grommet goes through both sides of the ribbon in order to create a loop for hanging the dowels.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Tip

If you're new to working with grommets, you start by using scissors to cut a small hole on the mark you made. Then, place the top and bottom grommet pieces through the hole from opposite sides of the fabric and hammer them together using the two anvils included in the grommet kit.

13. Slide the ribbons onto the dowels

Slide each of the ribbon loops onto the wood dowels, two on the top and two on the bottom.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

14. Hang the screen

To hang the screen outside, you can either hang the two top grommets on nails (such as when hanging on a fence or wall), or you can string a piece of rope/cord across a couple of trees and then hang the grommets on the rope using S-hooks. You'll need to place a binder clip, snack clip, or clothespin next to the S-hook to keep it from sliding down the rope.

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

To anchor the bottom of the screen and prevent it from swaying in the wind, tie a piece of rope through the bottom grommet, pull it taut, and tie the other end to a ground stake. Repeat on the other side.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Tip

To hang the screen on an indoor wall, simply hang the top grommets from either nails or damage-free adhesive hooks. Since there's no wind inside, there's no need to secure the bottom of the screen.

15. Set up your projector

You'll need a little side table, chair, or stool to place the projector on, and you'll likely need to run an extension cord to it for power. Position it in front of the center of your screen, turn it on, and adjust the focus setting as needed.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

All that's left to do now is spread out a blanket, dig into the popcorn, and let the movie night begin!

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

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