Calling all crafty chicas! DIY your way to an adorbs phone case


Show of hands if you don’t have an iPhone. Same here. We recently did a post on cute cell phone cases, which were mostly of the Apple variety. Not that it was intentional—it was just nearly impossible finding anything but iPhone cases. Double goes for older phones, like mine.

So, what’s a girl to do when her she’s stuck with an archaic case or just doesn’t like any of the options out there? DIY the case, natch. Sure, it’s not as quick as picking up a decked-out case from Urban Outfitters or ordering one on Amazon. But for a one-of-a-kind case, it’s worth the time and effort—trust.

Note: No phone? No prob. With a few modifications, you can use these steps for a whole slew of projects. (Think: picture frames, jewelry box, etc)

What you’ll need: 

Cell phone case (don’t be silly and do this to your actual phone 
• Soap and water or window cleaner
Paper of choice (I picked my foxy print from Paper Source. You could also try a map from a trip, a doodle you drew in class or your fave Instagram pic)
Mod Podge
X-Acto knife
Shellac (I used a spray can for an even finish)
Masking tape
Small jar or something stable to prop up your phone when shellacking

What you’ll do:

1. Clean your phone case with soap and water or window cleaner. Let dry.

2. Measure how much paper you’ll need by wrapping it over your phone. Make sure there’s enough that the paper will go inside your phone for a tight seal. Draw a light line so that you won’t forget. 


Note: Cut more than you think you need. You can always trim it later. I cut too short and had to find a smaller piece to fill in the gap at the top of the case. It looks seamless with this design, but it might not work for a repeating pattern, like polka dots or houndstooth.

3. Paint a layer of Mod Podge to the blank side of your paper. Place the paper glue side down to your phone cover, completely covering the case’s edges and smoothing out any air bubbles. This prevents peeling and water leakage.

4. Odds are you’ll have excess paper around the edges. This part is tricky, but totes doable if you’ve wrapped a present. Fold the excess paper up, creating little triangle wings. Carefully trim the triangle wings to fit the phone. Seal the seams with Mod Podge. Let dry for 2-4 hours.


Note: If it’s not even, just push down the extra paper and seal with Mod Podge. No one will notice—promise!

5. Using an X-Acto knife, slowly cut the paper around the camera and audio holes with a 1/8 inch buffer. Paint Mod Podge on the inside of the buffer paper and push back onto the inside of your phone, sealing tightly. Ask your parents for help if necessary.


Note: For the small speaker holes, push a thin paintbrush through the paper to round it out.

6. Give your phone one last lookover before shellacking. Trim any excess paper and seal any gaps.

7. Tape the inside of your phone cover where you don’t want shellac to be sprayed or painted.

8. Lay down old newspaper and put your phone on its prop in a well-ventilated area. This is important! Whether it’s spray or paint shellac, do this step outside. It’s best to have parents’ help with this step.

9. Add an even layer of shellac, following the label’s instructions and covering every part of your case. After drying for 1-4 hours, apply at least one more coat—two, if necessary.

10. Let dry for at least a day (I know, but it’s worth the wait) and peel off the tape inside your phone.

11. Put the case on your phone, and get ready to dazzle, girl!


What’s on your cell phone case? Share in the comments below.

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by Karmen Fox | 2/1/2016