Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stitch Your Own Cell Phone Case Tutorial



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.

Happy stitching!!



46 comments:

  1. This is awesome! Thanks for the tutorial. :)

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  2. This is a great idea! I also had the same problem with thinking about the stitches getting dirty, so this solves it. Clever!

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  3. It's so funny that I came across this post. I was just gawking at a cross stitch case for an iPhone that Purl Bee had on their website. Like you, I don't have an iPhone, nor am I going to get one. This is a great idea. Ironically I bought a case that was dubbed "Matrix" case on ebay that wonderously has an open grid on the back. If I break that one, though, I will definitely give this a try.

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  4. That is so cute! I saw the iPhone covers a few months ago and had the same thoughts as you. Unlike you though I didn't have the genius thought to custom make one for my own phone. You're so freakin' clever! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. This is so cool! I have almost finished my pixel people on my cover and was umming and aahing about the French knots as i thought they'd get damaged in my bag - and now I wish I'd thought of this too :)

    At least now I know what my next cover will look like!

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  6. you are smart!!! I'm pinning you right now!!!

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  7. This is great. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Ohhh I love this! If I wasn't planning on buying the new iPhone when it comes out, I'd do this NOW.

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  9. this idea is super cute and smart I must try it:)

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  10. This is great! I'll definitely be trying this soon. Will send pictures!

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  11. Oh wow! Thanks so much for sharing this AWESOME idea. I can't wait to try it out!

    Carla
    http://www.bittersweetnotes.com

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  12. Awsome! Thank you for the tutorial! Absolutely brilliant!

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  13. this is awesome! i've been looking for a cross stitch case for my htc and was pissed when I couldn't find one yet. THanks for this! :)

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  14. Oh... no...
    I'm sure I'm going to have to add this to my ever growing list of crafties!! GREAT!!

    Thank you for sharing.
    (Thanx to CraftGossip for sharing on FB!)

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  15. this is so awesome! i'm totally doing this myself. :-)

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  16. Thanks so much! I was so sad that the iphone covers were only for the iphone 4. I have a 3, and I don't want to upgrade yet, but I sure do want a spiffy stitched case :) This is perfect!

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  17. I am having the hardest time finding a case like that for my iphone 3g :(

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  18. The guide is easy to understand, I already started doing it. Hopefully it will turn out good like yours and I'll be sharing this to my friends.

    call recording

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  19. What a brilliant idea! I don't have an iphone and have been so jealous that they don't do them for the ipod -- this will defo inspire me and I shall be giving this article a mention on my own blog too!

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  20. That's just so awesome. I love that it can be personalized and it will be unique to your phone.
    blackberry unlock code

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  21. Looks really great! I'll start tomorrow! (I think)

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  22. Yep, I think I'll be making a few of these! Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  23. Finally finished one for a friend, who found your great tutorial online. I love my new cross stitch friends! (you guys, not the superheroes, I mean, though I love them too!) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Subversive-Cross-Stitch/116620175652

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  24. Hi! I just saw those iPhone cases online and Googled to find not-iPhones ones and found you! I'm buying a new phone soon and this is perfect! Just one question. When you said it's a rubbery case, do you mean the soft silicone kind of the plastic kind that has been "rubberized" to be soft? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I think either would work just fine - as long as you can see through it!

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  25. Wow! Awesome! This is a really good idea! Thanks! :P /J*

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  26. That's a batmobile, that is! Brilliant!

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  27. what do you think would happen if you just get a soft gel case and stamp a pattern on it. That way, you could cross stitch right onto the case...

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    1. That might work! I think it would be hard work to pierce through the thick plastic though... we like the stitches behind the plastic so they stay clean and safe

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  28. Hi,
    Charming Blog, your submission are superb i have no words to say here something about your blog. your Cell Phone Case Tutorial are fantastic.
    Thank You

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  29. ohmigosh I randomly found you by following a pin on Pinterest and several other links and have had half dozen of your Pixel People favorited for ages. I just love them! Thanks for this tutorial!

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  30. Just found this now - thank you so much! I had used one of the pre-made cases last year and stitched Link and Zelda on it for my fiance. Now that we're looking to upgrade his phone, he was sad that he wouldn't be able to use the case anymore. Problem solved - now he can have an even cooler one!

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  31. Thanks for sharing! This is such a great idea. I saw some cases that looked similar to these at a Bell - Metropolis store. I love it!

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  32. This is SO awesome, I was SOOOO EXCITED to try it out! I got a cross-stitching plastic piece AND the aida cloth, since I didn't know which might work (and I've actually never cross-stitched before). The clear case I ordered for my phone just arrived last night and I went to work trying to make a template..... and discovered that the plastic canvas was too think.... and the aida cloth is too thick too! The case is SO tight, I can only barely get it to snap shut with an un-stitched piece of aida cloth inside, so I know when I get some stitches on there, it will definitely not fit.
    I'M SO DISAPPOINTED!!!!
    Now, I'm wondering if I can find a different kind of clear case for my phone - this one is hard-plastic, not rubbery.....

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  33. What a briliant idea. It is easy to do and cheaper that to buy a ready to use phone cases. Thank you for sharing this good do it your self phone case.

    ecell

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  34. love this idea, now to get a clear case. I have a Samsung phone.

    I was thinking, instead of cutting out the holes, maybe cut it below the holes. what do you think?

    now I have a reason to go to the mall lol

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  35. I have s Samsung phone too and I have embroidered on a Iphone-case. The size was OK, but the holes weren´t at the right places so I must absolutely remember to take it off before taking pictures indoor ... So, this is a much better alternative. Let´s hope I can find a suitable clear cell phone case.

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  36. Amazing idea. I'd like to try to make like this for my iPhone. Thanks for your inspirations. ucuz iphone 4

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  37. How in the world has this never occurred to me?!? *slaps forehead* Thank you!

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  38. Which kind of material is best in your opinion? Plus, would the aida cloth stretch if I use a hoop to do this? Thanks!

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  39. weelittlestitches this is really a great idea for DIY but of course if people want a fully furnish and quality designs they can order unto you.


    Clyde from mobile phone back case cover

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  40. Looks like very nice and beautiful. This sticker can i use in my IPhone back side and can u elaborate your price range. Thanks admin for your information.

    Phone System Toronto

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