Cell phones come in many shapes and sizes, and finding one to fit your phone can sometimes be tricky (not to mention expensive). Luckily, making a custom cell phone case is easier than you’d think. You can easily make a case at home using a hot glue gun or some silicone and cornstarch. You can also make a simple slip cover out of felt. If you already have a plastic case, then why not decorate it to make it stand out?
How to Make a Hot Glue Cell Phone Case
Step1. Tape a template to the back of your phone, if desired. Making a smooth case is difficult with hot glue, so most people choose to do patterns, such as swirls or mandalas. You can free-hand the pattern, or you can trace it. If you want to trace it, do the following:
- Trace your phone onto a sheet of paper.
- Draw your pattern using a black marker. Make sure the design touches the sides.
- Cut out the template along the outline.
- Tape the template to the back of your phone.
Step2. Wrap your phone like a present with parchment paper. Cut a sheet of parchment paper that’s about twice the size of your phone. Place your phone on top, with the screen facing up. Then, Wrap the paper over the side edges of your phone and secure them with a piece of tape. Wrap the top and bottom edges, and secure them with tape as well.
- Wrap your phone as tightly as you can.
- Make sure that the phone is turned off first to prevent overheating.
- Make sure that you are taping everything on the front of the phone.
Step3. Mark off the camera, sockets, and buttons with a pen or colored pencil. These will be your guidelines so that you don’t accidentally cover them with hot glue. Make sure that the color you use shows up against your phone.
Step4. Outline the sockets, buttons, and camera. This also includes the speaker and mic holes as well. If you cover them up, you don’t be able to use your phone properly.
Step5. Fill in the side edges. Make sure that you make them nice and thick. Also, make sure that you avoid the buttons and sockets.
Step6. Fill in the back. Again, hot glue is not the best medium to create a perfectly smooth case, so your best bet is to make a texture of pattern. Whichever you choose, make sure that all the lines connect to the sides of the phone as well as to each other.
Step7. Outline the front. You can simply draw a thin line around the front of the phone, right next to the side edge. You can also make a series of tiny dots instead. This will give your case a lip and help it stay on your phone.
Step8. Remove the case and the parchment paper. Once the glue has hardened, peel it off of your phone. Remove the parchment paper from the phone next. At this point, it would be a good idea to test the case on the phone. If there is any glue covering a button, socket, etc., then you can cut it away with a craft blade.
Step9. Paint the case, if desired. Once you are happy with the case, take it off of the phone. Paint the outside with nail polish, then let the polish dry. If you want the case to be a solid color, you can use spray paint instead.
Do you have any interest in making a DIY phone case? If you have some good ideas on making a phone case, or you have already finished a DIY phone case, please share with RANVOO.
How to Make a Silicone Cell Phone Case
Step1. Put on plastic gloves and protect your work surface. Cover your counter with plastic wrap, parchment paper, or wax paper. You can also work on top of a marble counter or a glass sheet instead.
- Try to work in a well-ventilated area. Silicone can have a strong odor.
- The silicone used in this method is not the same as hot glue.
Step2. Measure out your cornstarch and clear silicone. Pour some cornstarch onto a smooth counter or into a glass bowl, then squeeze some clear silicone onto it. The measurements don’t have to be precise; you just want to have more cornstarch than silicone. Plan on using about 5 tablespoons (50 grams) of cornstarch and 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 40 grams) of silicone.
- Make sure that you are using clear silicone. You can find it in home improvement stores. It comes in a syringe.
- If you can’t find cornstarch, look for corn flour. You can also use potato starch instead.
Step3. Consider adding some color. You don’t have to do this, but it a good way to make your phone case look more interesting. If you don’t do this, your phone case will look white. You use a few drops of liquid dye, liquid watercolor, food coloring, or acrylic paint.
Step4. Knead everything together until the silicone turns to dough. You will need to knead it about 20 times or so. You won’t pick up all of the cornstarch, which is normal. The dough may look crumbly at first–just keep kneading!
Step5. Roll the dough into a flat sheet. You can do this with a rolling pin, a glass, a wine bottle, or even a spray paint can. Keep rolling until you have a sheet a little larger than your phone. It should be about ⅛ inch (0.32 centimeter) thick.
Step6. Place your phone on top of the sheet. Make sure that your screen is facing upwards, and you have equal amounts (or close to it) of dough sticking out over each side.
Step7. Wrap the dough over the sides and top of your phone. Slide a paint spatula under the dough, then lift it up and fold the dough over the sides of the phone. Smooth out any creases or wrinkles; try to be as neat as possible.
Step8. Use stamps to indent designs, if desired. Flip your phone over and dust it with cornstarch. Use a stamp to indent designs into it. You can also use cardboard cutouts instead to create your own, unique designs. Lift the stamp away when you are done.
If you want to make a quilted design, let the silicone harden for about 10 to 20 minutes, then dust it with cornstarch. Use a knife to make cross-crossing diagonal lines in a diamond/quilted pattern.
Step9. Let the silicone dry before removing it. How long this takes depends on the type of silicone you used and the weather condition. It may take just two hours, or it may take 24 hours. Once it is dry and solid to the touch (you can’t dent it), pull it off of your phone.
- If the case is dusty inside, wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Step10. Trim the excess silicone away from the front. Cut it about 7 millimeters away from the side edges, and 1 centimeter away from the top and bottom edges. Alternatively, you can cut along the indentations caused by the seam between the phone’s screen and case.
Step11. Cut out any indentations. If you were to look inside your cell phone case, you’d see little indents caused by the camera, flash, buttons, and sockets. Cut all of these out using a sharp craft blade.
You can also carve a rectangle or trapezoid into the top and/or bottom edge for the speaker instead of cutting out a slot.
Step12. Sand the case smooth, if desired. You can apply more raw silicone on top if you want to, then smooth it out with a paint spatula or popsicle stick.
Step13. Paint the stamped areas with nail polish, if desired. Choose a color that goes well with your case. Metallic colors, such as silver, work especially well!
You can make more shapes out of silicone separately, let them dry, paint them with nail polish, then glue them to the case with a drop of clear silicone.