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Hidden Projector Screen: Best DIY IKEA Hack Tutorial

How to build a box to hide an electric projector screen between built in IKEA shelves for the ultimate home media room.

hidden built in projector screen in media room

This is by far the COOLEST DIY project in the history of this blog, mostly because this DIY projector screen setup comes with a magic trick. It appears and disappears with just the push of a button!

We have been working away at our media room makeover the last couple of weeks by using our usual IKEA built in bookcase hack to add this hidden projector screen.

(In case you’re wondering, we do have another door to access the media room. When the projector screen is down for family movie nights, we plan to use that other entrance to the room.)

French doors surrounded by built in bookcases

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How to Hide a Projector Screen

This DIY hidden projector screen box can be built between bookcases like we have placed above our French doors.

Our 84″ motorized electric projector screen is operated by a remote, so we can raise and lower the screen from anywhere in the room.

If you build this yourself, just make sure you have access to an outlet nearby to plug it in. Otherwise, you’ll have to run an extension cord or lower the screen manually (which is fine to do but isn’t nearly as cool).

We built this in a room with 8′ ceilings, so if you have taller ceilings, you will need to adjust for that by adding more than 1 height extender to your IKEA Billy bookcases.

electric projector screen with remote hidden in built ins



screen hung above French doors on 2x4s

Step 1 – Anchor Bookcases (Make Outlet Hole)

Assemble the IKEA Billy bookcases and place them where you want on the wall. If you are accessing an outlet for an electric screen, cut out the back and side of the bookcases with a jig saw (see image below).

Anchor the bookcases to the wall into studs with wood screws.

cutting a hole in bookcase for outlet access

Step 2 – Anchor Screen to 2x4s

Cut 2 12″ lengths and 1 74″ length of 2x4s. Anchor the 2x4s to the wall between the bookcases with wood screws. Mount the projector screen to the 2x4s. This will make the screen jut out a couple inches so that it will lower smoothly without hitting the wall.

hanging projector screen on wall with 2x4s
cutting out outlet access with jigsaw in bookcase

Step 3 – Brace Box Front

Cut 4 12″ lengths of 2x4s. Use wood screws to attach the 2×4 pieces to the middle section on the ceiling, to either side of the bookcases, and to the front of the middle section (pictured below).

anchoring 2x4s between bookcases
anchoring box to studs between bookcases

Step 4 – Make the Bottom of the Box

Using the jig saw, cut a 1×12 board to make an opening for the screen. Attach the 1×12 underneath the 2×4 braces with more wood screws.

Place a 1×2 board underneath the 2×4 against the wall to hide where the screen is mounted.

hidden projector screen box between bookcases above french doors

Step 5 – Make the Front of the Box

Attach the second 1×12 board to the front of the 2x4s to finish the box shape.

built in box between bookcases to hide projector screen

Step 6 – Add Trim

Using the brad nailer, attach 1×2 boards to the top and bottom of box to add detail. Attach 1×4 boards to the sides of the box. Add 1×2 boards to the front of the bookcases too.

For a more ornate, traditional style, use finishing nails to add cove molding to the edges of the 1×2 and 1×4 boards. Use a coping saw to miter corners of the cove molding.

outlet access for hidden electric projector screen

Step 7 – Wood Fill, Caulk, and Paint

Cover nail and screw holes with wood filler and sand smooth once the filler is dry. Caulk any cracks after sanding. Then, prime and paint!

retractable projector screen with remote hidden above French doors

Robert is so proud of his future gaming setup. Can’t you tell? 😉

We still have painting ahead of us, and we plan to add glass front doors to the bookcases. But it’s shaping up to be amazing!

We’ll be able to access the recessed screen for family movie nights, but we can retract it out of the way for everyday living to utilize the double doors.

hidden projector screen between bookcases above French doors

This entire media room will be painted a deep, rich blue/green color, but I’m still working on choosing the perfect shade.

We will add a really fun wallpaper to the ceiling too (this room isn’t supposed to take itself too seriously after all).

Robert has been working away on built-ins for the other 2 walls as well. I can’t wait to show y’all how it all comes together! Check our media room plans to see the rest of this room’s vision.

You can follow along in the Bless’er House Instagram Stories as we make more progress.

French doors with IKEA billy bookcases built in

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you use instead of a projector screen?

You can see here how to use a shower curtain liner as a DIY movie screen. You can also use a white bed sheet, a white wall, a white plastic tarp, canvas drop cloth, or the ceiling.

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