DIY: How To Make Your Own Great Leather iPod/iPhone Case

DIY: How To Make Your Own Great Leather iPod/iPhone Case

Range Govindan
Oct 23, 2008

We've featured a bunch of great cases for iPods and iPhones, but most of them will set you back a bit of cash. In these cash strapped times, why not make one for yourself at home? In fact, the one available on the Apple store costs about $100. That's about $90 to much from our point of view! Read on how you can make your own for a lot cheaper.

British graphic designer GMJHowe was going to get one for himself, but he noticed that they only had those leather cases for iPod Classics, but none for iPod Touch. He decided to make one for himself. If there ever was a gadget that needed a case, it's the iPod Touch. The important think to remember with this build is that it works not only on iPods, but any gadget that you want. The only thing that changes is the size and fit of the case.

Parts list
- leather of your choice, the thicker the better (how got his from scraps off ebay)
- thick thread
- card, glue and tape
- a sowing needle for leather

First of all, you need to make a rough shaped copy of your iPod, since water will be used to mold the leather. You can use cardboard or anything like that. Once it's completed, you should wrap it in tape to hold its shape steady. Then it's time to mold the leather. You'll need to cut out two rough shapes, leaving about 20mm (3/4 of an inch) around the edge. You'll then soak the two pieces of leather in water. They'll be ready when the leather changes color.

Once they are soaked, place them around the cardboard duplicate of your iPod. Press down with your fingers. Next you'll use a round blunt object, anything will do, to press around the edge of your case. The leather should be easy to work with since it's been soaked. You could also try embossing the leather with any metal shape and pressing it into the leather. You should let it dry naturally for about a day.

Now it's time to stitch the case together. Use something pointy to go around the edge of your case and make holes every 5mm (1/5 of an inch). You should keep 2-3mm (1/16 to 1/10 of an inch) away from the edge of the mold. Once this is done, you're ready to sew. The bets way to sow this case is with two needles, by passing them through the same hole in opposite directions. Howe says that this gives you a nice continuous stitch all the way around.

Now it's time to trim off the excess leather. You can also cut finger holes to allow you to get the iPod out of the case quickly. Don't forget to add the headphone jack hole at the bottom. You can now wax the leather and buff it. This is a fun little build that is easy to do and easy to improve by the way that you stitch the case together. Molding the leather is a really cool way of making sure that the fit is right and unique to your iPod. The benefit of leather is that it's durable and stretchy when you want to work with it.

[photos by GMJHowe]

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