How to create an outdoor cinema in your back garden

We’ve been looking at how to ‘create an outdoor cinema in your back garden’ – with no cinemas open for what would seem the rest of the summer, this is a perfect project for anyone with some outside space. We tend to do it in the back garden, but I love Kirstie from The Adventure Project’s idea of a pop up cinema in a wild location.

*Tesco delivery slots may be nigh on impossible to nab right now, but do consider using Click & Collect instead – my elderly in-laws are total converts, and if they can do it anyone can!  Book a collection slot at your preferred store and your groceries will be waiting for you in temperature-controlled storage.  It’s cheaper than a delivery, and there’s no need to step foot in store, it’s entirely contactless to your car*

DIY outdoor cinema in your back garden
easy peasy – an outdoor cinema in your back garden

Tesco have compensated me for sharing with you the new Fox & Ivy range. All product choices, opinions, reviews and photography are my own. 

There’s something about watching a movie outdoors, isn’t there? We’ve been to big screenings on country estates, in castle grounds and even just the local parks. In normal years there are an increasing number of extravagant immersive themed movie nights .

DIY set up for outdoor cinema in your back garden

But sometimes you want to choose your own movie – and watch it at the time that suits you, with just the people that you invite. Setting up an outdoor cinema in your back garden is simple – and once you have the basic kit, it’s a cheap way to enjoy outdoor movie nights for years.

outdoor cinema in your back garden for teenagers

Outdoor Cinema in your Back Garden

Obviously the biggest thing you’ll need is the projector. Thanks to a business purchase years ago by the photographer husband, we already have one of these: but don’t fret if you haven’t, they’re not the thousands of pounds you might imagine. You don’t need a top spec brand new all singing version: like I said, ours is at least 15years old, and it works brilliantly. Look around a little and you’ll likely find a bargain – just keep in mind that the more lumens the better. A minimum of 1500 lumens, 2300 is ideal, 3000 is better (especially for larger screens or if you’re using a sheet). We’ve seen this one on Amazon for just under £90 which has over 2,000 reviews and looks like it’ll be perfect! And actually, costs about the same as just two family cinema trips so not as extravagant as it first looks.

(never underestimate the fun to be had by ‘helpful’ kids standing in front of the projector while you’re trying to get the picture right.)

Next, your outdoor cinema in your back garden will need the screen. Again, we already own one, but really don’t go to the expense of buying one, you don’t need to! Of course, if you can nab a bargain then do so (projector screens are under £30 for a used one on eBay) as you’ll get the sharpest crispest images on an actual screen.
But if not – string up a white sheet or tablecloth. Project onto a plain white wall on the side of your house… anything smooth and white will work amazingly well. If you’re using the sheet (which most people do) anchor it carefully and keep it as taut as possible.

Make it Cosy, Comfy and Cute.

Once you have the technical film bit out the way, then all the fun (and actually, the success of the night) is in the detail.

Two things to think about – your guests need to be a) comfortable and b) warm.

We live in a rural area, so it’s really easy for us to borrow some hay bales to sit on: they’re great, of course, but they’re not the only option. Garden chairs, camping chairs, bean bags… even move your living room armchairs & sofa outside. Kids will be happy just with a rug on the ground (though do set your screen lower so they don’t get a crick on their neck from gazing upwards for two hours).

The comfort factor was where the Fox & Ivy range really stepped in – and did the job magnificently.

  • Yellow Super Soft Throw (£10) – our FAVOURITE thing from the Fox & Ivy soft furnishings. It’s huge, and so so SO soft. Like, really soft. Did I mention how soft and snuggly it is? Buy one, you’ll love it forever. We all fight over it.
  • Turquoise Knitted Sherpa Throw (£35) – this one’s the extravagant purchase for the daughter’s kid-to-teen bedroom makeover. But it’s heavenly, and is so heavy and well made it will be used for her own kids too, probably.
  • Grey Boucle Throw (£18) – astonishingly soft, and the waffle weave is lightweight but surprisingly warm.
Yellow Super-soft Throw, with the grey Boucle Throw behind it, with the check cushion on top. Popcorn in the Kosmo pasta bowls.
  • Yellow Check Cushion (£8)
  • Plain Soft Cushions £4 – for this price I’ve been amazed at just how soft and nice to sit with they are.
  • Kosmo Mug (£4)
  • Kosmo Bowls (£3) – love these so much, we’ve bought a complete set to replace our old chipped pasta bowls.
  • the gorgeous Glass Lantern (£18) was just enough light on the grass, with no risk of tipping.
Don’t forget the hot chocolate – I make up a big flask, and then provide top ups half way through the movie. Mini marshmallow toppings optional!

To find out where you can purchase any of the spring/summer 2019 products featured in these pages, check Tesco here 
Products are not available online, but in selected Superstores and Extras, and are subject to availability.

I bet you can name the film in 5 seconds. Go…

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Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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