Home theater systems really can make a huge difference to your home – and to your bank balance if you actually buy all the accessories. Items like projector stands and screens are pretty expensive these days. As if forking out a couple grand for a cheapie projector isn’t bad enough!
Most places will sell you a manufactured screen for thousands of Rands, and they will do so shamelessly and with straight faces. But you really don’t need to waste so much money on unnecessary crap. Seriously.
I made my own screen for essentially R200 – and the best thing about this is, if you already have these items at home, it won’t have to cost you even that!
After researching a ton of videos and tutorials and articles online about making your own projector screen, I settled on this method – both because it is far easier to get the materials I used, and also because it was also far easier and cheaper to make than any alternatives offered at the time.
I opted to use a flat white single bed sheet for the main screen component, and this provided a surprisingly good image even at first. I cut a length of flat narrow plank to use as the top edge frame, and stapled the sheet to it with a staple gun. Then I affixed hooks to the top so I could suspend the screen from the pelmet above the doors on that side of the lounge, but you could just attach it to the wall if you like.
I added a second plank at the bottom edge as a stiffener and weight to keep the sheets from moving in any light breezes and to keep the material taut, which helped a lot.
This was fine and watchable, but the image was a little light and slightly washed-out. Most of the light seemed to be washing right through the sheet against the wall behind!
A day or so later, I chatted to a friend who’s a professional photographer. He suggested I add a second sheet behind that one – preferably a black one – to reflect some of the light back and to sharpen the image. This I did – although since I didn’t want to shell out another R100 for a single flat sheet, I used a black table cloth I already had stuck away instead. It was thicker than the sheet, and actually worked better than I thought the sheet would!
To recap, two sheets, one white, one black, a little wood, some hooks, movie time!
Over all, the screen I made provided a very nice, clear, bright image, and of all the items I had difficulty and teething troubles with in terms of media equipment, the screen was not one of them! In fact, since I ultimately disposed of the projector (see my review of the Sinotec SJ86-C here), we switched to a different media system entirely (see article here) and I took the screen down, rolled it up, and placed it in storage in case I need it again. If not for that, I have no doubts I’d still be using the exact same one today.
Pictures below! Enjoy!
If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about anything on this site, or her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact form on her author website.
Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!