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Build instructions for DIY BO screen?

1516 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  SMP01
Could someone please point me to a free source for instructions on a DIY black-out screen? I've looked through many of the forum threads, and haven't really found a complete set of instructions.

I'm going to be picking some BO fabric and velvet at Joann's, and don't want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to figuring out the assembly.

The part I'm particularly hazy about is the attachment of the velvet border.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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If you do a search, you'll find many past threads on this subject. But anyway, here's a couple of webpage links to get you going.

link 1

link 2
I tried in vain to find the thread where this fellow had pics and instructions

to build a frame.

From memory - he used 2 1x4 (cut to desired length..) for the top

and bottom and 3 1x4 butt joints between for ends and center.

Metal T's for center joints and L's for the corners. He then used

small trim molding to edge the front (to raise the BO cloth) and

stretched and stapled the cloth to the rear of the frame.

The whole thing looked a bit heavy but the indicated that it was

very sturdy and resistant to warping.

There are detailed instructions to be found, but I can't find them either.

Good luck with it.


Never mind - Gambit found 'um - the 2nd one looks nice...
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Thanks for the compliment, bluekitty. It sounded like Davie was looking specifically for a simple frame to stretch his BO cloth, so I didn't want to complicate matters by introducing something that had a lot more elements involved. BTW, I'm assuming that the dimensions posted were good enough to get you going? I've been concentrating on reimplementing a motorized masking system so haven't had a chance to produce documented plans like I had said.
The dimensions are exactly the same size I was looking at as well. The unfortunate thing is that up here in Canada we can't get doable board. So I'm going to use some blackout clothe and some other type of wood and see how that works.

I'll be starting to build it in a few weeks once I get closer to moving into my new house.

I'll take some pictures once everything is completed and post them.

thanks again for the information.
Thanks for the links and suggestions, everyone. I used the suggestions as a starting point, and made a few enhancements (at least in my mind).

One thing that worked out well for me was using primed MDF 1x4's for the frame. I went this direction because the MDF is very straight and true, as opposed to 1x4 wood.

I also used Simpson Strong Tie joining plates, instead of 'L' brackets. It's overkill, but the ties are cheap enough at about $0.20 each, and have 5 screw holes for each attachment side. Ensures no lateral racking whatsoever! Also allows using a simple butt joint instead of mitered corner.

Used two equally spaced vertical intermediate braces inside the frame perimeter to ensure the horizontal frame pieces didn't deflect at all under the fabric tension load.

For the velveteen mask border used 1x3 MDF with 45 degree mitered corners. The MDF really shines here, because the edges are pre-rounded and perfectly straight. If you staple the heck out of the velveteen on the backside of the MDF, you get a really tight, straight masking edge around the screen (actually looks better than the velvet wrap on a Firehawk that I saw in a HT store).

If anyone would like to see screen shots of the construction, I'll try to post some pics.

Thanks again for all the help!
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I would like to see some pics as well, I am about to embark on my own construction of a screen, and would like to see as many peoples ideas as possible.


I'd like to see as many pictures as you can show. There aren't enough people who document the process and show the finished product.
Originally posted by Davie Mac
If anyone would like to see screen shots of the construction, I'll try to post some pics.

Thanks again for all the help!
We love pics - post any and all please
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