October 11, 2023 3 min read

How To Make A DIY Projector Screen Frame

A bunch of children and adults sitting on the ground and watching an outdoor movie

A homemade projector screen frame will transform your backyard into a magical place for hosting college football watch parties and family movie nights under the stars! EMT Conduit and Maker Pipe Connectors make this project surprisingly simple. Continue reading to learn how to create your very own custom projector screen frame and transform your backyard!

The Benefits of DIYing a Projector Screen Frame

    • Customization: Build your frame with custom dimensions to fit your space exactly.
    • Affordability: With a little bit of elbow grease, you can create unforgettable memories that don’t break the bank.
    • Durability: Galvanized steel conduit and our corrosion resistant steel connectors join together to provide a sturdy and long-lasting solution.
    • Portability: Maker Pipe Clamps can be assembled and taken apart with a few turns of a hex wrench. This will simplify storage and make setup a breeze.

    Materials You'll Need

    • EMT Conduit: EMT (Electrical Metallic Tubing) Conduit can be found locally in hardware and home stores. Most builders opt for 3/4" EMT because of its happy mix of strength and affordability. This tube will be the backbone of your outdoor projector screen frame.
    • Maker Pipe Clamps: These are used to securely join the different pieces of conduit together.
    • White Projector Screen or Fabric: This is the blank canvas that will soon be painted with your favorite movies, TV shows, and sports teams. Choose a size that fits your needs.
    • Ball Bungees or Zip Ties: These will hold your screen taut and wrinkle-free.
    • Sandbags or Ground Anchors: These are technically optional items, but a projector screen is basically a sail which means a strong wind gust will knock it over or send it next door to the neighbor's yard.

    Constructing Your DIY Projector Screen Frame

      Sketch or Model Your Design: You can make it simple or let your imagination run wild. Check out this roundup if you need some example projector screen frame ideas to spark your creativity. Read this blog if you want to know the easiest way to plan your DIY pipe build.

      a movie screen frame sketched out on paper

        Choose Dimensions: This will guide the amount of EMT Conduit that you’ll need for the frame. For an 84" screen such as this, you’d need about 5 sticks of ¾” EMT Conduit. Remember to leave enough room in the frame to stretch out the movie screen or fabric! Nothing ruins family movie night quite like a loose and wrinkly screen that distorts the picture.

        a man measuring and marking a piece of conduit
        Cut the Conduit: Once you figure out your dimensions you can move on to cutting the EMT Conduit. Cutting steel tubing might seem intimidating, but it’s actually really easy and doesn’t require any electricity or expensive tools. You will need a handheld tubing cutter, a tape measure, and a marker.

        hands holding a pipe cutter and using it on a piece of conduit
        Build the Frame: Once your pipes are cut you can start joining them together with the various Maker Pipe Fittings that you incorporated into your design. If you’re making a simple frame like this one from Bob, you’d only need (6) T Connectors and (4) 45 Degree Connectors. To assemble them you’ll need a single 5mm hex wrench.

        a custom made metal pipe frame for projector screens

        Attach the Screen: Now that the frame is finished you can secure the screen to it. Use ball bungees or zip ties to pull the fabric tight to the frame. I’d recommend starting in the corners and then work your way to the middle from there. Make sure it’s stretched evenly to avoid any creases or wrinkles.

        a finished projector screen frame set up for movie night
        Add Sandbags: Depending on the weather and wind conditions you might find it necessary to add sandbags or something heavy to keep the frame stable. We found this out really quickly when making our 300” projector screen frame a few years ago.
        Lights, Camera, Action: Place your frame in a location with minimal light interference. Set up your projector at an optimal distance, make some popcorn, and you’re ready for the show!


        three kids sitting on the ground watching a movie outside

        Creating an outdoor movie screen is a fun and rewarding project, especially when you get to enjoy the results with friends and family. By using EMT Conduit and Connectors, you're ensuring your screen is both sturdy and affordable. Whether it's movie night or time to watch a big game, this setup is sure to be the highlight of many fall nights to come. Thanks for reading and happy building!