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DIY LCD Screen Protector for a Digital Camera

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 10/27/2009

Scratches, smudges, even cracks—LCD screens are one of the most easily damaged parts of a camera, partly because very few cameras have built-in LCD covers, and partly because they are simply so exposed to the elements. This article shows you how to make your very own DIY LCD screen protector.

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    Supplies

    Transparent, one-side sticky plastic. That's it. Getting a hold of this might take some creative thinking, but there are numerous sources for this. You could simply purchase this sort of plastic, either off the Internet or from an office store nearby, marketed variously as “LCD screen protector", “PDA screen protector", or something along those lines. This tends to be pretty cheap. You can also get plastic that fits this description at many craft stores, marketed as “DIY stickers" or the like.

    Failing that, you could even use transparent tape if you have it around, though the adhesive can prove difficult to remove.

    Scissors. Well, you'll have to cut it to shape as well. Make sure the edges are sharp.

    Pen. For tracing purposes. No smudge is good.

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    Construction

    First, you'll want to clean the screen. Carefully clean it with a lens cloth and lens cleaning solution, either purchased from the store or mixed yourself as 50/50 isopropyl alcohol and water. Don't put too much pressure on the screen while doing so, as that could cause permanent damage—restrain yourself to small, circular movements.

    Once you've got this done, it's time to make the screen protector. You'll want the lens protector to be a close fit, so it's best to trace out the outline of the LCD screen first. This probably easiest to do on the back of the plastic itself (before it's been removed from the backing.) If you don't feel comfortable tracing the outline through something opaque, then you could use translucent tracing paper and then transfer the outline, or you could measure the dimensions and then draw that out onto the backing. Whatever works best for you—just make sure that this is as accurate as possible.

    Tracing slightly bigger is better, but be careful that the shape is not so large that it will stick out over any edges. This will present possible points from which the plastic could start peeling away from the camera. Fit it such that

    Now, placing it onto the screen. Start with a small edge, and gradually put it on, pressing out any air bubbles that form between the LCD screen and the protector as you place it on. Once you're done, press down the edges so that none of them curl up—again, this is where the plastic will start peeling away, and this is to be avoided. If there are any places where it sticks out, try to trim it with the scissors—if that proves too big, then try nail trimmers or the like. (But don't stab the screen!)

    Once the plastic is down to your satisfaction, you're done!

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    Replacement

    Eventually this will wear out—after all, it's sparing your LCD screen a lot of abuse! So, you'll probably have the replace the screen protector.

    To remove the old one, just be patient as you peel it back. Some adhesive may be left on the screen, which should be carefully cleaned off with the same method as described earlier. Do not scrape the screen, even with something relative soft (and tempting) like a fingernail.

    Once the screen is clean, then simply create a new screen protector following the steps from before. If you saved your template, that could cut down on a few steps as well.