PVC Pipe Outdoor Movie Screen

It’s starting to get to be that time of year again (at least in Texas) where the weather is great for backyard movies.  I used to just hang a sheet on the shed at our old place but when we moved into current home I needed to come up with something different. We no longer have the same wall space and now have a sloped backyard which means we need to put the screen somewhere toward the bottom. After some Google searches I felt like PVC pipe would be the most economical and easy to assemble/disassemble option.

Materials List:

  • 1 1/4″ thick PVC pipe 10 ft long (5)
  • 1 1/4″ PVC pipe connectors:
    • + shaped (1)
    • L shaped (2)
    • T shaped (6)
  • 1 1/4″ PVC pipe ends (6)
  • Saw (electric, hand, or PVC pipe cutter will work
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • 3 yard of 54″ wide blackout curtain lining in white

The pipe and fittings cost approximately $54 before tax. Blackout lining ranges from $7-12/yd at Joann’s.  However if you download their app there is almost always a 40% off coupon you can use.  I think the lining already happened to be on sale when I got it.

STEP 1: Cut the PVC pipe.  

I used my chop saw to cut mine.

  • 48″ lengths (7)
  • 24″ lengths (9)

Step 2: Assemble!

The base goes together like this.  Connect two 24″ lengths with a T connector in the middle, then put caps on both ends.  Repeat 2 more times!


Now add another 24″ length to each base.  These will be the bottom legs of the screen.


The rectangular screen is assembled with the 48″ lengths of PVC pipe and corresponding connectors.  The length in the middle adds extra support.


Put em all together and you are done with the first 1/2, now it’s on to sewing!

STEP 3: Cut your fabric

Cut your blackout lining like the diagram above.


STEP 4: Sew your fabric! You’ll be making pockets for the poles along the side and top.  Each pocket is about 3″ wide flat.  The blackout lining doesn’t fray so there’s no need to turn under your hem.  I left the bottom of the screen completely unfinished.

I would suggest completing the two top sections and then one side.  That way you can then put the screen onto the frame and pin the last side pocket to ensure that it’s tight enough.

This is the top middle section


STEP 5: Put it all together!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Once put together this screen is essentially a giant wind sail so I drilled some holes into each of the feet so I could insert tent stakes into the base to keep it in place.  If you live somewhere extra windy you might also want to anchor it with some cord.

Hole for tent stake



If I were to make one of these again, I would probably consider adding some velcro or a strap to the screen to make it easier to wrap up and carry.  But for now this works just fine.