Sep 16, 2015

DIY nano-SIM to regular size SIM adapter

Stuck with a smaller-SIM card and have to switch to a phone which uses the larger (normal) version? 

Like a lot of people I recently put in an order for a new iPhone which are several weeks away from delivery, and in simultaneously managed to sell the existing older-generation iPhone. What to use in the meantime? I fished out an older Android phone from one of the storage drawers, but had an issue - it uses a ‘normal’ regular size SIM card. The size difference is shown below.

Photograph of nano-SIM vs regular-SIM card

There were two options. First, to purchase a commercially available adapter as in image below.

Or second, perhaps much more fun and challenging - make my own. I took on the challenge, as I didn’t have the time to wait for a purchased version to come in.

The following ingredients were required:
  1. Correct measurements template for each of the SIMs - 
  2. A material of the same thickness as a SIM card to make the adaptor
    • some thick card - example: discarded garment labels, or in my case, a sock pack cover.
  3. Tools 
    • scissors, basic sellotape, a little glue


  1. Take a printout of the earlier mentioned PDF sheet (A4 size). Make sure that in the print preferences, you do not scale down the document, or fit-to-page, or fit-to-margins.
  2. Cut out the full SIM shape on the page, and 
    template for SIM adaptor shape
  3. Glue it to a suitable card material (For me it was a sock packet :) . Make sure to use very little, minimum glue. You don’t want it leaking into your phone. 
    cutting the sock packet cover

    cut paper template glued onto card
  4. Cut the card to the regular SIM shape
    the cut out of the card in regular SIM shape
  5. Carefully cut out the hole for the nano-SIM, 
    cutting out the hole for the nano-SIM
  6. Make sure the actual nano-SIM card fits into the hole on the card.
    fit nano-SIM card into template
  7. Flip the card template and nano-SIM together over on the non-contacts side, and put sellotape across the back. 
    final shape with nano-SIM and template taped together
  8. Trim down any extra card or sellotape.
  9. Your nano-SIM adapter is ready 
  10. Put into your phone to test it out. 
    the nano-SIM with regular SIM adaptor inside the old phone
If you got it right, it should work as it did for me (see below)! Cost = $0. 

Cellphone using SIM adaptor showing full reception
Cellphone using SIM adaptor showing full reception

Note: The website mentioned also offers options of converting a regular-SIM to nano/micro-SIM, which is probably a DIY destructive process. Also to convert micro-SIM to regular-SIM, which is similar to steps above.