DIY Projector, for making a mural

Tutorial for making a DIY Projector, using a cardboard box, some plastic, and a mobile phone.

In this blog post, I will show you how to make a very simple DIY Projector. I was amazed myself how easy it is. It is the perfect tool for creating a mural.

When we moved to a new apartment, I was excited to get started decorating the rooms. I was especially looking forward to getting started in the children’s room. I planned to make a wall painting using a beamer, but since we don’t have a beamer, I would have to hold my project until I could borrow one. Too excited to wait, I did some googling instead, and I found out that making a DIY projector is the easiest thing in the world! I already had all I needed laying around to get started on my wall painting that same afternoon.

What you need to make a projector:

  • A cardboard box, approximately the size of a shoebox or a bit bigger.
  • A sheet of hard plastic. I used the plastic of an old cheap photo frame, but some packaging material will also work.
  • A sharpy, edding, or something similar, for drawing your design on the sheet of plastic
  • A printer for printing out your design. If you are a drawing genius, you can draw your design on paper and then trace it onto the plastic or draw it onto the plastic directly.
  • A source of light. I used the flashlight app on my mobile phone, but an actual flashlight is also good.  
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape

for the mural:

  • Pencil for outlining your design on the wall.
  • Paint. The kind of paint you will need depends on the surface you want to paint your design on. I used simple acrylic paint.

How to make a DIY projector

  • Cut a large square hole in one of the long ends of the box.
  • Cut out a piece of plastic just big enough to fit in front of the hole.
  • Choose your design and print it out. The design should not be bigger than your piece of plastic.  Put the plastic on top of the design and trace the design onto the piece of plastic using a Sharpie or Edding (or something similar).
  • Tape the piece of plastic with your design on it, in front of the hole.
  • Cut a small opening in the opposite end of the box, just big enough to slide through your source of light (flashlight or mobile phone). When you use an actual shoebox, you don’t have to do this step obviously because you can open up the lid and slip the source of light in like that. Place the light at the opposite end of the box from where the plastic is.

That’s all! Your DIY Projector is ready. When you turn on the light in the box, the image on the plastic will be projected onto the wall. It will be smaller or bigger, depending on the distance of the box to the wall.

You can now trace the outline of your design onto the wall using a pencil. Once you have penciled your outlines on the wall, you are ready to start painting.

In my project, I only used black because the design is supposed to be the silhouette of a ninja, but the possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

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