Introduction: DIY Camera Cover Glass for Your Smartphone

This is a quick instructable for anyone who either damaged or lost the "camera cover glass" of their phone. That is, the little piece of glass that protects your phone's camera from the elements.

In my case, the adhesive had worn out, and the cover glass must've fallen out at some point. I tried living without the cover glass for a while, which wasn't the smartest thing to do: specks of dust will find their way into your phone, and ultimately dust can get between the camera's lens and the sensor, and that dust will show up on every single picture you take and it's virtually impossible to remove. (see 2nd photo; it's supposed to be a picture of a clean sheet of paper; all those smudges are dust on the sensor!) I ended up replacing my camera module .. but had a hard time finding a replacement camera cover glass .. and so, let's make our own!

It's actually stupidly simple and quick. The gist of it is: cut your replacement cover "glass" out of clear plastic, tape it back in there; and that's it. (I made mine out of a CD; remember those?) Let's get started!



  • box cutter / utility knife / exacto knife / ...
  • rotary tool / dremel - with a sanding drum attachment
  • metal tweezers
  • (optional) cutting mat


  • a CD .. or any other thin, clear, rigid piece of plastic
  • very thin double-sided tape, meant for use in phones; look for "Tesa 61395 Tape 1 mm"

Step 1: Removing the Old Camera Cover Glass

In case your camera cover glass is damaged, you'll need to get it out first.

(⚠ I didn't need to do this step since my cover glass basically fell out due to worn-out adhesive, so take my instructions for this step with a grain of salt!)

  • I'd try to wedge in a thin metal object to try to get the cover glass loose .. tweezers, a needle, a tiny flathead screwdriver, .. (You could even cut a tiny strip of metal from a soda can using plain scissors. Superthin, yet strong.) Be careful not to damage the phone's housing.
  • If it won't budge, make light and quick passes over your phone with a heatgun or hairdryer to loosen up the adhesive, and try again. (Do not hold your heatgun still in one place or you'll risk damaging the entire phone!)
  • In the absolute worst case, you can always disassemble the phone, and push out the cover glass from the inside. You'll definitely want to look up a disassembly video for your particular phone model.

Step 2: Making the New Camera Cover "glass"

I used a CD (the transparent bit in the middle of the disc) to make the new camera cover. In theory any clear, thin and rigid piece of plastic should work. For instance, I could've also used the CD's jewel case, but decided not to since that type of plastic seems to easily get covered in tiny scratches. Then again, I don't think you need to be all that concerned: any microscratches will be so massively out-of-focus to your camera's lens, they're practically invisible. In this sense, it doesn't matter so much that the new cover "glass" is actually made out of plastic.

Aside from that, double-check that the plastic is actually clear and doesn't have any tint of colour, since you probably don't want all your photos to be tinted. (It doesn't have to be absolutely perfect since the image processing done by your phone can compensate for it to an extent.)

Once you've found some usable clear plastic, let's go cut our cover "glass":

  • First cut a small piece out of the clear plastic. (see 1st photo) It can be any shape; as long as it's bigger than the size of our camera cover glass.
  • First lightly draw the shape you want with the utility knife.
  • Make many more passes over the shape with your knife, this time using substantial force. You'll slowly but surely cut through the plastic. (I think I made 20~30 passes before I got through.)
  • To get the exact measurements of the cover glass, grab a piece of paper and press it into the camera hole where your old camera cover glass used to be. (see 2nd photo)
  • Put the small piece of clear plastic on top of the paper, and lightly trace the outline of the impression onto the plastic (with the utility knife). It doesn't have to be perfect; it's actually better to draw it slightly oversized.
  • Up next, we'll slowly refine the small piece of plastic into its final shape: grab the plastic in one hand, and your rotary tool with drum sander attachment in the other. Slowly grind away to approach the final shape of the cover glass. (see 3rd photo)
  • In the beginning you can use substantial force to remove a lot of material fast. As you get closer to the final shape, only make light passes.
  • As you remove material, it'll leave a plastic burr. You can easily snap it off with your fingernails; I was surprised it leaves a pretty clean edge. I didn't need to do any cleanup afterwards!
  • Even though the piece of plastic is small, it still felt most comfortable/stable to directly hold it between my thumb and index finger. (I left the rotary tool on the slowest speed so I wasn't really worried about getting hurt. Feel free to put on gloves of course.)
  • To get a clean circle, what helped for me was to be consistent with my motions: grind a small section of the circle, rotate the plastic to move to the next section, grind a small section, rotate, etc, etc.
  • As you get closer and closer to the final shape, frequently do test fits, until it actually fits in the phone's camera hole.

Step 3: Attaching the New Camera Cover Glass

The hardest part has been done; all that remains is to attach the new cover glass.

For this you'll need very thin (1 mm-wide) double-sided tape that's actually made for use in phones. It's typically used to attach the phone's display, but it'll work just as well for our purposes. You can look for "Tesa 61395 Tape 1 mm"; that one should be widely available.

  • I cut the double-sided tape into several short pieces, to try and match the circular shape of the original adhesive.
  • Since the pieces are so small, I used metal tweezers to position each piece. (see 1st photo)
  • Remove the protective paper from the pieces of double-sided tape.
  • Make sure your cover glass has been cleaned. (e.g. with a microfiber cloth)
  • .. and attach the cover glass onto the tape.

That's all there is to it! It's of course not as perfect as the original, but you'd honestly have to look pretty up-close to tell the difference. Cheers!