A couple years ago in planning and designing a new stage look, we wanted to move from one screen to three – 2 serving as iMag and 1 as environmental support. We had priced out different screen options to date and had realized that to purchase a screen the size we were looking at, we would be spending about $3000 per screen – the total sum of my entire budget.
We had to rethink our plans.
It wasn’t long before we discovered that we could build a video projection screen out of coroplast. The total price per screen – about $100. And to our surprise, they not only worked, but we couldn’t tell the difference.
Six Simple 'Do it Yourself' Steps
1. Acquire sheets of WHITE coroplast.
You can purchase 4’x8′ sheets of coroplast from Home Depot (about $25/sheet), from your local printers (at about $16/sheet), but if you can find a local distributor, you can purchase them for about $10/sheet. If you’re in the Toronto area, you can contact Sabic Polymershapes in Brampton (905.789.3142). They will charge you $75 freight charge per delivery, so depending on how much you order, it might be less expensive through your local printer.
2. Build your frame
Once you have decided what size of a screen you desire to build -whether a traditional 16×9 dimension or a custom size – you can begin to build your frame. We used 1×2’s but I would suggest using at least 2×2’s to help with the potential minor warping. Make sure you ensure your frame is square by placing plywood on the corners (as shown above).
3. Attach your coroplast
Layout your sheets of white coroplast flat, face down and tape the seams together from the back using Gaff Tape (or like). Try and lay your sheets out to minimize the seams as much as possible. You will have them – but don’t worry – it won’t be as bad as you think.
Once the sheets are cut to the desired size and the seams are taped together from the back, lay a thine line of PL Adhesive along the face of the frame, gluing the two elements together. And then use simple drywall screws to reinforce the connection around the edges. Again, don’t worry. We’ll be placing a strip of black Gaff Tap around the front that will cover the screw heads.
3. Fill the seems
Once the screen is attached to the frame, take your standard painters cocking and fill the seams.
4. Paint the surface
Place 2 or 3 coats of flat white ceiling pant. You’ll need to wait till each coat is dry before the next one, as it doesn’t adhere to the plastic as well as drywall.
5. Finish the edge
Once the paint is dry, it’s time to finish the edges and make this thing look sharp – make sure you have a friend helping you with this part. Simply place a full strip of black Gaff Tape on the face edge of all four sides, giving you that professional finished look.
6. Hang your screen
Now it’s time to hang your screen and the beauty of your handiwork.
Note: It’s important to remember the 30 foot rule. As long as it looks good from 30 feet away (or from the front row of your venue) – you’re golden!
I would love to hear how it goes.