The rumors are true – I finally got an iPhone. And I doubt my world will ever be the same. Social media has now officially taken over my life. I am in love with Twitter and Instagram, in addition to the platforms I was already a part of pre-iPhone. I want to read everything anyone has ever said, ever, and view every single filtered image in existence! But, since I know that I am joining this whole smart phone/social media world a bit late, I will leave it at that.
Naturally when I was waiting for my iPhone to arrive, I spend countless hours combing the internet for the world’s best cover. I discovered two things: iPhone accessories, in general, are pretty obscenely expensive for what they are, and I WANT THEM ALL. I found myself with a rotating list of 20 favorites that I just couldn’t minimize.
One day, after spending way too much time on the internet again looking for the phone cover of my dreams, I came home and snuggled with my adorable and loving puppy to ease my woos. Then I Instagram-ed 10 or so photos of her, a few of which I have included below:
Then I had an idea.
Jenny is a beauty and would be so perdy on an iPhone cover, how about I attempt something myself? Great idea! (In theory..)
Sometimes when I make a plan for a project in which I won’t be following someone else’s tutorial, I take the intelligent route and do ton of research and planning - like when I did my duvet cover. Then there are times when I get incredibly impatient and just jump in, feet first, into the frigid and sharp-pebble infested waters, and due to my slow reaction time I sit there long enough to freeze off my toenails and cut up my delicate foot-pads, eventually running out crying to my dear doggie, who doesn’t exactly feel sorry for me since after all, this was my fault.
And pour vous, today, you all are the lucky recipients of a tutorial riddled with lots of “to dos,” and possibly more “do nots.” Please learn from my mistakes and make your very own:
BOMB-ASS iPHONE COVER
- Blank or unwanted iPhone cover (do not buy the “bestcase” from Best Case and Accessories, Inc, it is extremely over priced for what you get and if you go with the white version, it will stain immediately, such as when you are trying to put it onto your new, fancy iPhone – yay brown smudges! Also, I might be dirty.) Here is a cheap, sufficient case: clear case from Amazon.
- Spray paint in the color of your choice (may be omitted if you would like the case background to remain as is)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dish soap
- White vinegar
- Construction paper
- Exacto knife
- Cutting board
- Glue sticks
- Toothpicks (optional)
- Mod Podge
- Sponge brush
- Acrylic sealer
Step 1 – Clean off your blank cover to prep for spray painting. And just like that, fresh out of the gate, we are onto our first do not:
DO NOT – just use dish soap to clean off the case if it is possible there is a film on the case. What will happen is that once you spray paint, the paint will crackle and not adhere to the surface. This will then cause you to cry over the sink as you try to get all the black paint off the sink itself, your hands, and naturally the phone case for a do-over.
DO – take some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and run it over your case to see if any film comes off. If it does, use a greater amount of your solution with some paper towels to get that entire filminess off prior to moving on.
Now you should be safe to clean off your case with some soap and water. I also took a cotton ball with a little white vinegar on it to try and get off any nasty spots/smudges. Let your case dry completely before spray painting.
Step 2 – Using an old shoebox or your scrap paper of choice to prep for spray painting. Because I wanted to get all the edges and the back of my case, I used two rolls of doggie bags to hold my case off the ground slightly. Anything small with a few inches of height will work. Spray the case in a back and forth motion, adding new coats as necessary. I did about three coats with 20 minutes in between. Allow to dry for several hours or overnight, or while you are working on the artwork for your case.
Step 3 – As I mentioned, I chose to do a photo of Jenny, but any image would really work here as long as it will fit on the back of the case. Remember the more detailed the photo, the more teeny tiny pieces you will be dealing with. I would say this image of Jenny was pretty detailed and therefore took quite a while to cut out and glue together – if you want a faster result go with a more simplified image. This is the photo I chose for my case:
Once I printed the image, having it scaled to the size I wanted for my case, I traced the lines that would separate my color layers, like so:
Another, DO NOT: Don’t pick a complicated image and assume it will only take you one American Horror Story episode. If you don’t want to spend the majority of the afternoon on this step, again, pick a simple image.
Step 4 – Start with the most prominent or base color of your image and cut out the entire outline. From this we will layer on the other colors, gluing as we go.
Step 5 – Just work up from there. I generally cut all pieces needed in one color before moving onto the next. I also found it easiest to first cut out the color pieces from the original image and then use them as a template to cut from the actual color paper. I used toothpicks to help with getting glue on the small pieces and transferring them to the master. Make sure your image is all glued down as you go, rather than just placing the paper bits on top of each other. This will keep them steadily in place as you continue onto the next step.
Step 6 – Once all the cutting and gluing of your image has been completed, place these pieces on your previously spray painted cover. I used a small amount of glue just in the center of my piece to try and keep my image in place before I “sealed” it. Carefully paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire case. Repeat this step once or twice until you have a solid good layer of clear, dried Mod Podge. Ensure the case has fully dried before moving onto the next step.
DO NOT: Paint a thick layer. And definitely don’t paint on a thick layer with a small paint brush. Not only will this take much longer to dry, you will end up with pretty significant brush strokes in your dried glue.
DO: Use a sponge brush. They are generally about 99 cents at the hardware or craft store and work much, much better for this sort of project. The Mod Podge might not go one 1000% perfectly, and that is ok, but it will be much better than the regular bristled paintbrush.
Step 7 – Using 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper, wet sand your case to smooth out any imperfections, bumps, or textures in your Mod Podge layer.
DO NOT: Use water to wet-sand your case. Mod Podge is water based so this will make your case tacky again and mess with the overall layer. This image documents my mistake:
DO: Use oil, such as olive oil, for the wet sanding process.
Step 8 – Use extra fine steel wool to polish your case (if desired.)
Step 9 – Mod Podge should be mostly waterproof, but it isn’t completely. It is always best to add an acrylic sealer to any Mod Podge project once completed. I used an old can I had of Acrylic spray sealer that I used to use in my drawing classes. This worked great and even gave my case an added glossy look. I would recommend using a spray sealer as it is much easier to have it go on smoothly. Let dry in a well ventilated location (that spray sealer is stinky stuff.)
And you are done! I don’t have any photos of my phone in the case because my actual camera is temporarily broken and I am stuck with only Instagram or my camera phone in the immediate time-frame, but you get the idea.
Overall, I do love the case. I am stupid-proud of it and I keep showing it to my friends (often thinking something like, “oh, Suzie hasn’t seen this yet!” Only for Suzie to respond, “yeah, that’s cool, you have already showed that to me a few times” – AKA “stop fishing for compliments, you crazed dog loving loser who spent all day on a silly iPhone case. You and your dog are dead to me.” Sometimes I wish **Suzie wasn’t such a bitch.)
** I have no friend named Suzie, and everyone has been nothing but nice to me about my silly case and I love them all forever for that. Sorry for saying “bitch,” by the way.
It did take a long time, but I think that would have been greatly minimized if I had done a bit of pre-planning and had less screw ups. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, it has some bumps and slightly odd textures that can be noticed under bright light, but I do think if I ever did a round two, it would be pretty stinking close to perfection. In other words, I learned a lot from this go-round and think if you avoid the ‘do nots’ you should end up with pretty great results. I believe in you!
And… since that lovey, dovey red and pink holiday is around the corner, and there are so many people who are a part of a(n) (annoying) couple (myself included) I thought I would throw out an idea/variation for a Valentine’s Day gift – which would be a lot less time consuming then a Jenny cover:
I hope someone out there does try this someday and that they (you, perhaps) have better luck with it having read through this trial and error. Maybe even for this V-day – if you need a last minute gift idea for your significant other, your crush, your best friend, your not-so-best-friend that you know is getting you something and you have to therefore get something for, or for yourself, if you are single or if you just want to celebrate how awesome you are.
After all, I am quite jealous of the magnitude of your awesomeness.
Have an extraordinarily sexy (like Rihanna at the Grammys – say whaaa?) week. Hugs for all.
P.S. I can’t stop watching these incredibly adorable videos . Check them out, you will undoubtedly keel over due to cuteness. (Olive Us didn’t sponsor this post, I just stumbled upon them and I am now addicted.)