DIY Patterned Phone Case

DIY patterned phone casePattern from here.

Last week I got a new phone , along with a new case to help keep its screen crack-free. Aside from being super slow, my old phone did have a slightly cracked screen, but considering how many times I’d dropped it, it was pretty minor. So for a klutz like me, a protective case was definitely not optional. This is my third Android phone, and pretty much the only thing I don’t like about having a non-iPhone is the lack of pretty cases. It seems like there are tons of cases and accessories for iPhones, but very few choices for the phones I’ve had. The least offensive choice I could find was a plain black one, so that’s what I used for years. My new phone actually came with a free case, and while most of those options weren’t attractive, either, I knew I could do something fun with a clear case. So I grabbed this one, and got to work.

DIY patterned phone caseBag sewn by me, tutorial here.

At first I thought I’d just buy some patterned scrapbooking, wrapping, or art paper, cut it to fit the case, and stick it in there. But I didn’t see any paper I loved at my local craft store, and I realized I could just print my own with whatever pattern or picture I wanted. Luckily there are lots of free patterns out there. If you can’t find papers that you like (or want something more unique), here are some sources for patterns:
PatternPeople – Several cool free patterns. I ended up using ‘crystal power’.
DesignSponge – Some free pattern downloads and links to resources for more.
DesignLoveFest – These are meant for use as a screen wallpaper, but you could easily print them out, instead.
Pinterest – I have a bunch of patterns pinned that I like, but if you’re looking for something in particular, a search for “__ pattern” will likely bring up some good options.

Once you have your pattern picked out, it’s pretty simple to use it in your case. You’ll need a good printer, scissors, nice paper (I used photo paper), a ruler, and a pencil or pen.

First, I traced my case on the photo paper I’d be printing on, and created a cutting pattern. I left it solid, then traced around the openings and cut those out. I did several fittings and trimmings to make sure it fit just right. The photo paper is thicker than normal paper, so it was important to use this instead of plain paper for the fittings. You need to make sure that your phone can still be held securely in the case even with the paper in there.

DIY patterned phone case

I resized my chosen pattern to fit my case (about 5.75 by 3.2 inches) and printed it out at 200 DPI resolution. Then I placed my cutting pattern on top of the printed pattern, and traced around it. Make sure that you have your cutting pattern oriented with the correct side up! I got this wrong the first time and had to re-print the pattern, oops.

DIY patterned phone case

Carefully cut out the pattern.

DIY patterned phone case
Slide the patterned paper into the phone case, then reassemble it with your phone inside. Ta-da, cool phone case!
DIY patterned phone case
So now I can use whatever design I want on my phone case, and change it out whenever I feel like it. Definitely a DIY win!