Digital Decorating 101: Outdoor Decorating, Part 3 - DIY Outdoor Enclosures

Ahh, the great outdoors! The previous Digital Decorating 101 article discussed the challenges of setting up digital projectors outside. The last thing any digital decorator wants is a damaged projector, so be sure to read that article before planning your outdoor display! Once you’re familiar with the potential dangers, it’s time to develop a plan to protect your projector from the elements. (Updated September 2021)

The AtmosFX team has seen so many creative solutions for custom projector enclosures over the many years that we’ve been developing digital decorations. Today, we’re going to share with you some of our favorite D.I.Y. projects that decorators have shared with us.

Remember, we’re always collecting AtmosFAN of the Week submissions! if you have a cool decorating project that you’d like to share with us, just send us some pictures or videos using this easy submission form.

Before we get to the fun part, remember that any enclosure you create must allow for proper air circulation. Without air circulation, your projector may overheat and become permanently damaged. Now, let’s get to the creativity!

Using Signage to Hide your Projector

Using your projector outdoors isn’t just a matter of protecting the projector from the elements. Hiding your projector creates a seamless decorating experience where every visible element adds to the overall presentation and makes your guests wonder how it is all done. For instance, Halloween enthusiast Joe O. created this simple but effective way of hiding the projector from view by using a welcome sign for his trick-or-treaters, with a comedic twist.

Jack-O'-Lantern Jamboree is a great choice for outdoor decorating

Building a D.I.Y. Wooden Tombstone Enclosure

Joe O. also shared a picture of his enclosure, which was designed to look like a grave marker. Once again, he added a touch of humor to really nail the effect.

Sal was no chicken, but in the end, he got a raw deal

Home haunter Rick H. from Cincinnati also shared his D.I.Y. tombstone enclosure, which includes a built-in fan to help with ventilation.

Step 1 - A basic wooden enclosure surrounded by insulation foam for easy crafting

Step 2 - A few coats of paint and some engraving, for realism

Step 3 - The built-in fan helps with ventilation!

Making a D.I.Y. Tombstone from a Foam Cooler

Another dedicated digital decorator, Tom H. from Tampa Bay, shared this enclosure made out of a styrofoam cooler:

Styrofoam coolers - Not just for tailgating!

Tom picked up a tip from another decorator who was making tombstones out of foam coolers, and took it one step further by turning one into a projector enclosure! Styrofoam is a great choice for an easy D.I.Y. solution. Many types of paint will break down the styrofoam, which adds to the worn-down stone look of a real grave marker.

So You’ve Got an Enclosure - What’s Next?

In a previous Digital Decorating 101 article, looked at setting up sound for your outdoor display. Audio is a crucial component of many AtmosFX Digital Decorations, so you’ll want to make sure your display sounds as good as it looks. 

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