Thursday, October 20, 2011

Free Epbot Pins!

Just a quick reminder for any of you coming to see me on the Wreck the Halls tour this next month: be sure to ask me for an Epbot pin! I didn't make enough to announce that I have them at the actual event, so this will just be our little secret, mmkay? Oh, and try to catch me earlier rather than later, since I expect I'll run out pretty quickly each show. If you get there early you'll find me lurking around looking awkward while John sets up. :)

See you tonight, Charlotte! (And for everyone else, the rest of the tour line-up is here.)

UPDATE: I hear your cries, non-tour-attendees! So how about this: you send me a small self-addressed, stamped envelope (
two stamps should do it
, I think), [Correction: four stamps, please!] and I'll send you a free Epbot pin. Deal?

Send your envelopes to: P.O. Box 160537, Altamonte Springs, FL, 32716, and I'll get to it when I can. So, you know, sometime before Christmas. :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DIY Custom iPhone Cover

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.

So, I got out some heavy-duty aluminum foil:

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:

If you do this, be sure to only use your fingernail; a blade could scratch the inside of your case.

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:

I like that you can definitely tell it's two pieces of paper layered; gives it a nifty 3D look.

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?

Monday, October 17, 2011

World of Geek Craft 10/17/11

First things first: it turns out my post title isn't nearly as original as I thought it was; Amanda H. found there's already a craft book by the same name!

There's a robot on the cover. I like.

This is perfect with that "Dance Magic Dance" video I posted last week:

Submitted by Jez, made by deviantART user Meowchee

Plush Jareth! I'd totally display him with some clear glass marbles.

And since I've also opened the cross stitch can o' crafts, how about this Star Wars wedding sampler?

Found by Leah F. and made by Mr X Stitch
(Hit the link for his Etsy store, though sadly this design was a gift for friends and isn't available for sale.)

Check out how the lightsabers seem to glow - and the handles are even different styles! I'm also seriously crushing on that Yoda, although really the whole thing is perfection.

Other than one disastrous foray into needlepoint, I've never tried other needle crafts besides cross stitch. This adorable Gremlins applique is tempting me to try branching out again, though:

Found via Craft:, made by Flickr member loveandasandwich (in-progress shot here.)


And finally, perfect for Halloween, check out these AMAZING "Haunted Mirrors" from Bionic Buttercup:

Omigosh so creepy cool.

(found via Super Punch)

Both of these have already sold, but the artist says they're made from picture frames with the glass treated with a "special paint that makes it part functioning mirror." I'm guessing she used something like this Looking Glass Mirror Spray Paint, perhaps lightly applied over a photo printed on a transparency? Which now I desperately want to try. Why must my day job keep getting in the way of all the crafts I want to do?! (I know, I know; I'm not the only one, right?)

Even though I don't have time to make them, I still want to see your favorite Halloween crafts! I especially love simple stuff, like these monster window silhouettes cut from old moving boxes. (So fun!) Be sure to share your favorite links in the comments!