So for a few months now I've been ogling the cross-stitchable cell phone case from Connect Design. It's super cute and I LOVE the idea...
But as far as I can see it there are several problems with this particular cell phone case....
#1. It's $18 + shipping and comes from overseas, which takes forever. I'm cheap and in need of practically instant gratification.
#2. I don't know what the inside of your handbag/pocket/knapsack looks like, but mine is rarely spic and span and the stitches would get dirty and ratty within no time.
#3. I don't own an iPhone and have NO plans of buying one any time soon.
So... when faced with these seemingly impossible obstacles there's only one thing for a crafter to do...
FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF!
Enter the sketchy cell phone accessory kiosk at my local shopping mall... where I managed to find myself one of these:
It's a clear rubbery cell phone case! And it fits my Blackberry Bold. And it was $6. Sweet. The salesperson assured me they had clear cases for almost every brand of cell phone - including iPhones 2, 3, and 4. I know I've seen these cell phone accessory kiosks in pretty much every mall I've been in lately, so I'm sure there's one near you.
Next I need to gather my supplies:
For this project you will need:
A pattern (I'm using our Justice League Pixel People Pattern but you could use any small cross stitch pattern) and the appropriate floss colours
14 count plastic canvas or Aida cloth - available at any decent craft supply store or needlework shop. One sheet of 14 count plastic canvas is a whopping $0.99 at my local Michaels and is available in either clear or white. I'd love to get my hands on other colours too, which I know I've seen online. In the meantime though I'm going to use what I have on hand. Alternately, if you don't have plastic canvas you could definitely use regular ol' Aida. You'd have to fray check the edges to keep it from unravelling or you could paint it any colour you like using our Paint Your Own Aida method which will seal the edges.
Small sharp scissors and an X-acto knife
Your clear cell phone case
First thing's first... you need to make a template so you know how much plastic canvas/Aida cloth you'll need to cut.
With the backside of your cell phone case facing up, make a crayon rubbing on a scrap piece of paper (just like with leaves in kindergarten). This is will give you a good idea of the outline of your case - especially useful for those curvy edged cell phones like the Blackberry.
Cut our your rough template and pop it into the case just to be sure it fits. It doesn't have to be perfect or straight at this point. It's really just meant to be a cutting guide for our stitchable fabric. Which leads us to the next step...
Just lay your template on top of your plastic canvas or Aida cloth and cut to size. I left myself a few extra rows all the way around just to have some room to play with. Again I popped my plastic canvas into my case to be sure I liked the fit. I was glad I left a few extra rows because I actually needed them - this is why your paper template doesn't have to be perfect! (FYI - the exact size of my 14 count plastic canvas ended up being 100mm x 55 mm).
The only thing left to do is to round the corners and to cut the holes for my camera lens and flash:
I just snipped a few notches in the corners of my plastic canvas to make it fit into the curve of my case. Then holding my plastic canvas in place I used a marker to trace out all the little holes and doo-das I needed for the camera function on my phone (not that I use it much, but it's nice to have the option). Using a craft knife I (carefully!) cut out all the holes that I'd marked.
Now you're finally prepped and ready to go! At this point you have the perfect template for your stitchable cell phone case. I've actually cut myself a half-dozen of these now so I can stitch as many variations as I like. For my first case I worked up Wonder Woman and Batman. The size of plastic canvas you have to work with is completely dependant on the size of your cell phone. With my Blackberry Bold I have just enough room for two normal sized Pixel People side by side. The combinations of motifs is practically endless!! I've been thinking I might do a Doctor Who case next, with two of my favourite Doctors... or maybe a Star Wars case with Chewbacca and Han Solo... at any rate, the nice thing about doing your cross-stitchable case this way instead of buying the Connect Design case is that you can change out your stitching whenever the whim hits you - you're not stuck with just one design... and with your stitching behind the clear plastic it'll stay clean!
After a quick bit of stitching this is what I ended up with:
Cool huh? Quick, interchangeable, protected, and best of all... LESS THAN $10. Sweet.