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Phone case tutorial / Make your own plastic

September 15, 2011

  What you’ll need:

Scrap paper (a4 sort of size)
Plastic/carrier/recycling/bin bags
Greaseproof paper
Strong Glue
Something to iron on (I used the kitchen surface with a couple of tea towels underneath, as I don’t have an ironing board(!) )

Alternate: Material and thread instead of plastic bags etc.

Step 1

Make a net of your phone

To do this, lay your phone on the paper screen side up, and draw around the base.
Turn it carefully onto the side without lifting it off the paper and draw around the side.
Lay it back on its base and turn it to another side. Draw around that.

Also draw around the essential features on the net. Eg. camera, screen, keypad, buttons etc.
Make sure (especially if your phone is curved) that you leave enough space between the sides. If you ‘roll’ your phone it should be great.
Tip: Leave a teensy bit more space if using material and you want a sewn border, or if you want to case to be quite fat.


Step 2

Prepare your ironing station

Lay out your ironing board/protective worksurface.
Plug your iron in. Turn it on. (Ask your mum if you don’t know how, or are under the age of 18 (; )
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper down on the surface. This is VERY IMPORTANT unless you want to a)release poisonous fumes and b)wreck your iron c)wreck the plastic d)wreck whatever surface you’re working on


Step 3

Create your plastic

lay out your carrier bags on top of your greaseproof paper. You’ll want to layer them on top of each other. One carrier bag will just melt away into smithereens. The thicker the amount, the thicker the plastic you create. I suggest at least five bags in a layer. Bear in mind that the width of the plastic will also shrink as it melts.
Lay ANOTHER SHEET of greaseproof paper (VERY IMPORTANT, SEE STEP 2) on top of the bags.
Iron over until the plastic has fused together. You will need to turn the lump of plastics over at some point to do the other side.
DO NOT let any plastic touch the iron. You may need to put the iron on standby, peel off the top sheet and fold the plastic over to create an extra thickness.


Step 4

Admire your handiwork

Also, switch the iron off, and clear up your workstation. There might be interesting patterns on your greaseproof paper.
To help save the environment, save the greaseproof paper for next time or use it in another craft project.


Step 5

Cut out the shape

Lay your net over your created plastic.
Draw/score around the shape of the net.
Cut the shape out.
Carefully cut out/score out the ‘essential’ holes for the screen and whatnot.
Bend the lines where the case needs to fit around your phone. Scoring would probably help in doing this neatly.
In your net, it might be handy to add an ‘open/close’ thing so you can get your phone out!
Tip: Try not to plonk your net so that the thickest bits of plastic are at the ‘seams’ 

The edges/castoffs of the plastic make decent bookmarks (;



Hot glue/superglue the edges, making sure it fits on your phone as you do so. (Without glueing your phone.)
Make sure you leave a gap so that you can get your phone in and out!

Alternate: Use the net and draw the shape in fabric
(I used cheap calico, but I dont suggest doing this as it is very flimsy and will fray.)
It is nice to sew around the edges to make the case a bit tighter, and you could put felt or something similar as an internal layer to protect the phone more.

 (In this image you can also see where I have put a flap, to close the opening with a button.)

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you make it and how it goes!

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