Hi friends! I’m so excited for today’s post because it combines two of my favourite things: my love for reading and crafting. I’ve had my Kindle for almost two years now, and as I’ve been using it more and more, I’ve noticed that the case I bought for it is starting to wear down. I bought my first case at Chapters/Indigo (it was originally designed for Kobo readers -oops!) but now that a few years have passed, I wasn’t able to find anything of the same dimensions in store. I briefly considered ordering a case off of Etsy, but in the end I figured I could make my own for a fraction of the price. 😉 The full project took me just around 4 hours (and that’s without instructions), so I think it’ll be quite easy for you to do too!
Just a disclaimer: I haven’t had much time with this case yet, so I can’t comment on durability, but so far so good! I assume your mileage may vary. Also, I may add some Modge Podge to the cover in the future to make it a little more wear-and-tear friendly!
What you’ll need:
– A Kindle/e-reader/device of your choice
– Some cardboard (mine was seriously just the cardboard from a boxed lasagna and hor d’oeuvres that I had lying around…)
– Some glue (glue gun preferred due to glue strength. I bought mine from the dollar store for under $4)
– Some pretty paper or material you can use as the outside cover
– Some felt or material you can use to protect your e-reader when the case is closed
– 2 wide rubber elastics (see photos in Step 3 below)
– 1 thick fabric elastic (I used an elastic headband that I bought from the dollar store. In the photo below, it’s the blue strip. In my finished case, I used a purple fabric elastic – see above.)
– A pair of scissors
– Some tape
-An Xacto knife or something similar (not strictly necessary, but helpful)
Step 1: Measuring the “Bones” of the Case
Measure out enough cardboard to act as the case’s structure. You’ll need to have a front, back, and spine. For the spine, I measured 6/8ths of an inch as that’s how wide my original Kindle case’s spine was. You’ll also want to have enough cardboard to fold down at the top and bottom. After you’ve cut out enough cardboard, trim it to size by folding the extra cardboard over.
To make sure I had enough cardboard, I put my Kindle on the cardboard that I had, folded the cardboard over the Kindle, and added enough for the spine. (Pretend that you’re measuring wrapping paper when wrapping presents.) You’ll want to have a lot of extra cardboard, especially for the top and bottom, because we’re going to fold some over so we can add the elastic that holds the case together. See the photo above. I had a lot of extra cardboard that I folded in, both for the elastic mentioned above and to reinforce the cardboard for durability.
Step 2: Cover the Cardboard with Paper + Affix the Elastic
Click the images to enlarge.
In this step, we’re going cover your case with the pretty/cool paper that you bought (mine was an illustrated bookshelf). It gets a little complicated because of the elastic, but I’m going to explain it as clearly as I can.
Before you cover your case, make sure you’ve out where your case’s spine will be. (See photo 1.) I put my Kindle on the right hand side of the cardboard and made a fold near the left hand side of my device. Then, I measured 6/8ths of an inch of space, and made another fold. The two folds will create the spine. This is important because we don’t want to tape down anything on the spine. If we do, it’ll be hard to open and close the case.
The next step is to start wrapping the cardboard with your paper. Start with the rightmost side. I didn’t get too technical with it; I just taped it. Here comes the complicated part: before you wrap the top, we have to add the elastic that will hold the case together when it’s not in use. This is where the extra cardboard comes in handy. I’ll try my best to explain this concisely and clearly:
- Decide where you want your elastic band to be. You don’t want it too close to the edge, but not too tucked in either. (Sorry for not having precise measurements – hopefully this makes sense!)
- Once you’ve decided where the band will go, cut a slit the size of the width of the band on the edge of the folded in cardboard so that the elastic can fit through the cardboard. You’ll also have to cut a similarly sized slit along the paper that you’re folding over. See photo 2 above — I made little marks to indicate how big to make the slit and used an Xacto knife to do it.
- Next, all you have to do is slide the rubber band through the slits. After it’s through and when you’re happy with its position, use a glue gun to affix it to the cardboard.
4. Wrap the elastic around the Kindle case and repeat bullet point 2 and 3 at the bottom of
the case. When you’re doing this, make sure your elastic is tight enough that it will
hold the case together once it’s in place.
5. Once you’re happy with the placement of your elastic band and it’s glued tight, it’s time to finish wrapping your Kindle case with the pretty paper! Wrap it like you would a present, making sure to not tape down anything in the spine you created.
Step 3: Create a Board with Elastics That Will Hold Your Kindle in Place
Alright, we’re halfway done! For this next step, trace your Kindle on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. You’ll want the cardboard to be just a little bigger than your Kindle — remember, your Kindle is going to be resting on this cardboard.
There’s a bit of eyeballing again in this stage – you’ll want to cut the 2 wide rubber elastics (see the photos above; mine were blue) and wrap them around the cardboard so that it would be loose enough so that your Kindle will be able to slide in, but tight enough so that it won’t fall out. Do that for all four corners, keeping them as symmetrical as possible. Again, I simply used tape to keep the elastics down.
Your Kindle should be nice and snug!
Step 4: Cover the Inside of Your Case With Protective Material
I didn’t want to potentially scratch my Kindle with paper, so I bought some felt* from the dollar store to line the inside of the case. Simply measure enough felt to cover the inside of your case and use a glue gun to glue it onto the cardboard!
*I’d recommend buying a larger sheet of felt; mine ended up being a little too small for this purpose, so I had to use two different colours.
Step 5: Glue the Holder from Step 3 to the Felt
This is the last step, and one of the easiest: glue the holder that you made in step 3 to the felt. I used a glue gun for this because I didn’t want to risk it falling off at any point and dropping my Kindle. Tip: Don’t glue the board onto your case while your Kindle is sitting in it! 😉
AND YOU’RE DONE!
If you’ve read up to this part (and especially if you’ve been crafting along), thank you! I hope my tutorial made sense and that you were able to successfully make your own Kindle (or e-reader, tablet, etc) case. I’d love to continue making bookish crafts; hopefully I’ll be able to perfect the art of writing tutorials clearly and concisely one day.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments section, or you can tweet me @karenfma!
Have you made any bookish projects before? Are you going to give this craft a shot?