Wednesday, October 19, 2011
A while ago I saw this post on Dwellings by DeVore where she printed out her own paper iPhone covers, and then fit them inside an inexpensive clear plastic case:
Since I traded in my 8-year-old brick phone for a spankin' new iPhone a few months ago, and I'm too cheap to shell out $20+ for a case, I've been meaning to try this out myself.
First, I snagged a simple snap-together case off Ebay for a whopping $3, including shipping. (You can also use the back-only, single-piece cases like the one above.)
Next, I thought I could just trace the case and cut out my paper, like Devore did.
I was wrong.
The case I got is much thicker on the outside, and as I tried to trim (and trim, and trim) the paper down to size, my lines got wonky and I lost the proper curve on the rounded edges. It was über frustrating, and finally I decided there HAD to be a better way.
I pressed the foil into the case, and used my fingernail to get a nice sharp edge on the inside edges. Then I kept going over the edges with my nail until it cut a nice clean line:
I also pushed the foil through the camera hole and scrunched it down to get the right shape.
When I was done, I popped the foil out and had a perfect template to trace onto my paper. Yes! A better way!
Be careful while tracing; obviously the foil is very fragile, so you'll have to hold the edges down with one hand while you trace with the other.
For my design, I had some leftover scraps of this pretty laser-cut paper I mentioned a few days ago that I wanted to use:
Here it's layered over black cardstock, but of course I wanted something more colorful for my phone. So, I hunted through my tiny scrapbook folder and found a pretty orange sheet. I glued the two together, and...
The hardest part was cutting out the camera hole, and I'm embarrassed to say that even though I used to dabble in Scherenschnitte (aka paper cutting) I managed to mangle it pretty well. I think my blade was just too dull. :/
Anyway, the good news is that the shadow from the case edge neatly hides the worst of it:
Next I used one of my all-time favorite scrapbook papers:
I've been hoarding this one sheet for years. It's nice to finally find a project to show it off!
And since these cases only allow you to make a design for the back of your phone, I also scanned the paper to use it as my screen's wallpaper:
Scrapbook papers are perfect for this, but obviously you can also print something - anything, in fact - for your case design. Any pattern, any saying, any geeky game or movie reference.... Oh my, the possibilities.
You can bet I'll be brainstorming up my favorite ten or twenty ideas pretty soon. :D
Also, I'm not familiar with other phone cases out there, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could use this tutorial on other hard clear-case styles. Just look around on Ebay; if it exists, I'm sure it's there!
So tell me, fellow geeks: what designs should I make next?
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