Throw A Backyard Movie Party

This entire party plan is a DIY blockbuster—plus you may not have to buy a thing!

Sponsor content courtesy of New OFF! Botanicals

Bring back the drive in, in your own backyard! It doesn’t have to be hard—or expensive. Just follow this four-step script for success, and you’ll be sitting pretty (and comfortably) for the show.


Get guests excited about the party by mailing or hand-delivering these free printable movie night invitations. The simple, classic design serves as a preview for what’s to come and sets a fun, festive tone. Add the party details using your computer, or add them by hand after printing on heavy paper or cardstock, and stuff them into size A7 (5.25” x 7.25” inch) envelopes. Done!


You can host a movie night in your backyard, as long as you have a bit of space. It’s easy to set up a movie screen using a standard bedsheet, string up some lights to set the mood, and make your own sign to point guests in the right direction. Get the kids involved!

The Projector

One easy option is to set up a DVD player or laptop, a projector, and a couple speakers (your home stereo or computer speakers should be fine). If you don’t have a projector, try your local library; many lend them out for a small fee. Want to try something fun? Turn your smartphone into a projector using a shoebox and a magnifying glass! Search online to find instructions.

The Screen

Got trees? Simply hang a white bed sheet between them. Sew a seam at the top and bottom of the sheet wide enough for a rope. Feed ropes through and tie tightly to the trees (you may want to hang a darker sheet behind it). No good trees? Hang your sheet on a wall or fence (you may want to add binder clips to the bottom to weigh it down). Want to keep it super simple? Project directly onto a wall or garage door.

The Lights

String lights add beauty to any setting. Loop them around trees, across your movie screen and anywhere that will help guide the way for your guests. Don’t want to bother with cords? Use battery-operated lights instead. Another ambience-improving idea? Make your own hanging tin can luminaries... it’s super easy!

The Marquee (DIY Movie Night Sign)

Wow your guests as they walk into your party with this darling wood “Movie Night” sign. With our printable template and a few basic supplies, you can make this sign in minutes! (Of course, you can skip the printing and hand letter the sign freehand.)


36” x 5.5” piece of wood

Printable “Movie Night” template


Pencil (a white grease pencil or light chalk)

Black craft paint

White craft paint

Foam brush

Small paint brush



1. Paint wood piece with black craft paint using foam brush. Allow to dry.

2. Print and cut out the “Movie Night” letters.

3. Center each letter on the wood evenly, and use a white grease pencil or chalk to trace each letter onto the wood.

4. Use a small paintbrush to apply white paint, using your traced outlines as a guide. Allow to dry completely.

5. For a weathered look, use sandpaper to “distress” the wood.


Now that the scene’s set, it’s time to add extras that will make this a night to remember. It’s all about making your guests comfortable. Just try out these tips.

Create a Comfort Station

For an extra warm welcome, stack blankets near the party’s entrance so guests can grab one on their way in. The special guest star at the comfort station? OFF! Insect Repellent so guests can protect themselves from any mosquito bites. You don’t want guests who are “itching” to go home!

Download and print our comfort station sign!

DIY Movie Night Mats

These DIY cushion mats will get five star reviews! They’re easy to make and suitably luxurious for your low key, yet lovely, event. Just gather some colorful pillows and pillowcases, and in minutes you can make these easy-sew mats.


5 standard size pillows

5 standard size pillowcases

Sewing machine



1. Align the long edge of two pillowcases, with open ends on same end.

2. Every few inches, pin the edges of two pillowcases together.

3. Use a sewing machine to sew the two pillowcases together, removing pins as you go.

4. Repeat process to attach the additional pillowcases. Insert pillows and set up on the lawn.


Pass the popcorn and relax. You did it! And now you can do it every year... you just know your friends and neighbors will be demanding an encore.

Next Up

Get Glowing: 3 Backyard Games To Play At Night

Don’t let the sun set on fun. Sponsor content courtesy of New OFF! Botanicals