How to project a movie outside without a projector?

Watching a movie outdoors is a great way to spend time, but what if your projector goes bad or you don’t have one in the first place? No need to worry; you can still watch a movie outdoors if you know how to project a movie outside without a projector.


What can I use if I don’t have a projector?

You are at the right place if you don’t know how to show a movie outside without a projector. Here we will start with all the stuff you need to make your DIY projector to show the movie outside. Below is the list of all the items that you need:

  • A magnifying glass
  • Smartphone
  • Speaker
  • Shoebox
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft knife
  • Binder clips
  • Tape
  • A white projector screen
  • Black paper

After you grab all these items, you can begin making your DIY outdoor projector.

Comprehensive Guide on How to project a movie outside without a projector:

You can still enjoy a perfect outdoor movie night using this DIY hack even if you don’t have a projector. Below are the steps for how I watch movies on my outdoor screen without a projector.

1. Prepare the DIY smartphone projector.

Do you want to know how I project a movie outside? If you don’t have a projector, you can create a DIY one. It is very simple as you will remove the lens from a magnifying glass, trace it out on one side of the shoebox, and cut a perfect circle in the box. Now securely stick the lens in the box. Seal any light entrance in the shoebox with glue or tape for the best results.

Take the binder blips and attach each one on the side of your phone to create a stand. Cover the box with black paper from the inside and place your phone in front of the lens.

2. Set things up for the best result

You may have made the projector, but it will currently not show the best results. You first need to find the perfect distance between the lens and the phone to get the best results. Place the box in front of your screen and move the phone towards the lens or away from the lens. Adjust the box and phone, so you get the clearest and the biggest possible projection on the screen.

Now you have all the markings, and you just need to change the following settings on your smartphone:

  • Make your smartphone provide the mirrored screen in the display settings
  • Lock screen rotation
  • Turn off the notifications
  • Turn the brightness all the way up

3. Enjoy the movie

Sound is the only thing that you may need to work on. Connect your smartphone to external speakers and for a better experience, connect it to Bluetooth speakers that you can place near yourself. To get no interruptions during the movie, connect your phone to a power bank and place it behind the phone so it won’t disturb the content you are streaming.

While this was the easiest way to watch a movie outdoors without having a projector, you can choose other methods too. You may repeat this same process with your laptop, but it is a little complex as you may need a bigger lens, a mirror, and perfection while setting things up.


Depending on the conditions, you may not get the best experience with this setup. However, it will be much better than watching the movie on a tiny phone screen. Now that you know how to project a movie outside without a projector, you can watch any movie in your backyard. However, for the best experience, consider investing in an outdoor projector, as, with a small investment, you may get a huge leap in the experience.