Make Your Own Screen Protector

Since you know you’ll be smearing your greasy mitts all over your smartphone’s touchscreen, you’re better off protecting it with a layer of plastic. You can bypass pricey protectors sold by manufacturers with stuff you’ve probably got around the house.

Instructables tells you how to make your own screen protectors with dish soap, water and some clear tape that’s at least as wide as your screen. Squirt some soap into the water, then dab a couple drops of the solution onto the screen. Next, apply the tape to the screen, push out the air bubbles, and trim the tape to fit your screen with a razor blade. Give the solution time to dry before touching the screen.

The suggestion is particularly adventurous — it makes us wince to apply even a little bit of water to the screen or put a razor near our delicate electronics — so it might be best to practice on an older phone before trying this out on something that’s valuable to you.

How to make your own screen protector [Instructables]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Since the advent of glass screens, I’ve never really understood the purpose of screen protectors. They seem like more of a hassle than they’re worth.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      My last Samsung touch screen phone (non-smart phone) ended up with some deep scratches in the glass screen. It didn’t impact functionality, it just looked bad.

      But I guess with Gorilla glass and such, that shouldn’t happen.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Do you have any idea what caused the scratches?

        • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

          My guess is keys. I often would put the phone and my car keys in the same jacket pocket.

      • SeattleSeven says:

        It probably wasn’t a glass screen.

        Some are plastic, especially down market smart-phones or ‘dumb’ phones.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      removed mine a year ago. Screen is clearer. I wipe it off every now adn then with a damp cloth or paper towel.

      freaky at first, but yea…glass screen on smart phone or tablet doesn’t need them.

      • TheCorporateGeek Says Common Sense Is The Key says:

        Over time though the repeated moves you make will wear into the glass and will look bad. No need to make your own when you can get them anywhere on Amazon for less than $2.00. Roll of tape costs you that much.

    • daemonaquila says:

      I’m very, very wedded to screen protectors for my iPhone. I said the same thing you just said. “Nah, who needs ’em?” Well, that’s how I ended up with an ugly, long scrape across the glass when I dropped it face down in a parking lot. I have a new iPhone now. It has a screen protector… which will be changed shortly because this one also took a tumble onto gravel. Based on the way the protector got carved up, I’m pretty sure that nice, tough glass would’ve taken some level or marring.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    But what if I want to pay Verizon $10.00 for 3 small sheets of what is essentially Saran Wrap‚Ñ¢?

  3. notserpmh says:

    Screen protectors are like 5 for $2 on ebay for most phones or in generic sizes. They don’t always last as long, but I really don’t think the cost justifies rigging one up with tape.

  4. John says:

    I bought 3 “Empire” brand screen protectors for my Rezound from Amazon for $5 for the 3 pack. Articles like this are no longer relevant in the world of sub-$20 protectors.

  5. Cat says:

    Screen protectors for the discontinued PSP Go! can be cut to size to fit most phones, and since they have been clearance priced everywhere they’re really cheap. I stocked up when I saw them for a buck / 2 pack.

    • Black Knight Rebel says:

      The PSP Go isn’t discontinued in North America or Europe. The system still sells well enough in both regions. It was only discontinued in Japan because everyone there was buying the original model. The NA and EU markets like the PSP go just fine.

      That being said though the official PSP Go screen protector from Sony is fucking amazing. I’m sure the one for the PS Vita is made of the exact same material.

      • Cat says:

        I should have said stores discontinued selling them.

        Several stores have discontinued selling PSP 3000s, PSP accessories and UMD games, also. I couldn’t find anything for PSP at my local Walmart 2 weeks ago.

  6. misterfweem says:

    I just clean the screen occasionally with the little shine cloth my Kindle Fire came with. Problem solved. No soap, water, or razor blades required.

  7. kataisa says:

    Why not just use eyeglass cleaner?

  8. Black Knight Rebel says:

    Sony makes a DAMN fine screen protector. I bought the official Sony screen protector for the PSP Go and the thing is
    – practically invisible
    – made of stiff durable material
    – has an anti-glare coating, and
    – is also scratch resistant so the protector looks good for a long time

    Seriously, Sony knows how to make awesome well designed stuff anyone telling you otherwise is uninformed.

    • PHRoG says:

      Lemme know when they turn their focus back to their actual electronics…then I might be inclined to agree with you. My long dead pile of Sony crap seems to disagree with your assertions. ;)

    • flychinook says:

      They do make decent-quality electronics. Unfortunately, said electronics usually need some kind of proprietary media format that will be outdated shortly after it is introduced.

      See also: MiniDisc, UMD, BetaMax, Digital Audio Tape, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Mirco, ATRAC…

  9. milkcake says:

    It’s like $1 on ebay….

  10. Outrun1986 says:

    I buy a bunch of the cheapest screen protectors I can find on ebay and cut them to size. This works well for things like digital cameras where you probably can’t find one to fit your device exactly. The Nintendo DSi screen protector is a pretty universal square size that can be easily modified, and I got 3 packs for $1 on ebay one time. I have had an ebay screen protector on my iPod touch for well over one year now and its holding up just as well as the $10 ones you will find on your local Walmart’s shelf.

  11. teamplur says:

    Or just get some well cut harder plastic on Amazon for like $3.

  12. BlueHighlighterNextToACoozie says:

    Article otherwise titled as “How to guarantee Apple will find at least one pink dot”

  13. daemonaquila says:

    With the current prices, and how infrequently you have to change them out, I’m happy to pay for these rather than ditzing with iffy home-made solutions. Even if I pay full price (which would come out to about $10/protector for an iPhone), it’s something I usually don’t need to mess with more than once a year, it has all the right cut-outs, etc.

    Plus, I don’t care about the smeary/messy factor. I can use glass cleaner for that. The big issue is not putting a huge ding in the glass. Yes, it’s possible to do that with an iPhone – I was a smartass and didn’t use a protector… until I put a nasty mark in that specially toughened screen. A piece of wide tape won’t protect the screen from a fall onto gravel the way that a thicker piece of plastic sheeting will.

  14. Hungry Dog says:

    Walmart and Radio shack sell these packages of cut it yourself screen protectors. They used to be 5 a pack but now 3 but at around 6 bucks is still a better deal than buying product specific protectors.

  15. unpolloloco says:

    Why? You can buy them for $1 on ebay and they’ll work better than this solution….

  16. Outrun1986 says:

    The screen protector on my iPod touch has a ton of tiny scratches on it, that you can only see at certain angles. Glad its not on the actual screen, where I suspect those scratches would be had I not used a protector. I have heard that that supposedly so tough glass on iPhones and the iPod touch can still get scratched, so putting a $1 piece of plastic on top of it doesn’t seem far fetched at all, and is necessary, IMO. You don’t have to remove it once it is on there, and it does not affect performance of the device at all. I also managed to somehow put a small dent in my home button… with my fingernails… and I don’t have long nails. So its very possible that it can get scratched or dented.

  17. dkev says:

    Gorilla Glass is all you need.

  18. HoJu says:

    I am proud of all of you. Not a single “I make my own screen protectors at home” comment.

  19. MikeVx says:

    Article is way too much effort given the options available. I found screen protectors for my LG Optimus on Amazon for $.73 for a five pack. I bought two. It took six weeks to arrive from whatever asian country they mailed them from, but I got them and they are nearly identical to the protector that came with my phone holster. I am good for several years now for under 2 bucks.

  20. TeriLynn says:

    Why bother when protectors are so cheap…

    …oh, someone said that already?

  21. Eugene says:

    My last two phones have had the gorilla glass its kind of like putting tape to protect a bullet proof vest.
    I carried my original droid 1 in my pocket from Nov 2009 until a couple weeks ago with no screen protector and I’ve rolled on the floor with the kids, laid on the ground changing oil, had it in sawdust when wooddorking, etc and it doesn’t have any scratches in the screen. Its been dropped on roads while bike riding, dropped on sidewalks, dropped in the grass, dirt, mud and fell off my windshield when off road.