Introduction: Leather Ipod Case

Picture of Leather Ipod Case

I recently started running in the mornings.
However, it's annoying when it's 6 am and my mp3 player lands in a pool of goo.
This instructable is my solution.

My design is based on the Puuko friction sheath.
The iPod slides in, but it doesn't go out.

Step 1: Materials and Methods

Picture of Materials and Methods

(1) piece of scrap leather
(1) armband
(1 yard) proper cordage  [dental floss  (Free, since I'm a dentist.)]

leather hole punch
heavy scissors
(optional) needle

Step 2: Layout

1.  First, try laying out the leather around your iPod (or other mp3 player).
         Make sure it fits right.  Leather is skin.  Just like plastic surgery, each piece of leather has different tension lines.  Try folding your leather in different ways to find what works best for your configuration.

2.  Lay out the seams.
         You'll want to have some play.  I personally added in 3-4 mm of tolerance to prevent the leather from ripping.  Also, you should taper the seam to allow some space around the mouth, so that iPod slides in easier.  Mark your seam line with a pencil.

3.  Lay out slots for the straps.
          The slot should be slightly wider than the armband to allow for movement. 

Step 3: Cut Slot

Picture of Cut Slot

1.  Punch holes at the ends of the planned strap slot. 
              This results in a cleaner, less prone to tearing slot.

2. Cut the slot between the holes.
              I used my scissors for this, but you can just as easily use a scalpel or an x-acto knife.

3. (Optional) Smooth out the slot.
              You may have made a perfect slot, but I didn't.  I just went back with my scissors and smoothed out the slot to let the strap have smoother action.  Plus, it just plain looks better.

Step 4: Punch Holes

Picture of Punch Holes

Punch holes along the seam that you marked earlier. 
Helpful details:

1.  Having about 5 mm between each hole allows for a clean looking stitch, enough material to hold the seam, and close enough stitches to control the tension of the joint.

2.  Allow enough space from the bottom stitch to the bottom of the leather to allow flex.  I have a junction of about 15 mm, which allows the leather to flex around the ipod.

3. I find that laying the leather in the final drape and punching through to the other side results in a very nice, lined up seam.

Step 5: Stitch Up

Picture of Stitch Up

Stitch up the holes that you've made.
You can use any cordage that you want to.

Personally, I used dental floss.
I'm a dentist, so that it's available.
It's also cheap, tough (it's nylon), and waterproof.

I like to start the seam with a surgeon's knot.
Be sure to have equal tension with each stitch.

Step 6: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

Finally, thread in the strap and enjoy!

The ipod should easily slide in, but will be tricky to slide out.
The leather shapes itself as the ipod enters.
Those ancient Scandanavians really knew what they were doing.

For more dental related stuff, please check out my blog.


realife11 (author)2013-03-21

Cool, I would still add a top flap though (with a magnetic button for quick access), just 'in case' of inclement weather, to protect the ipod.

extremegtafan (author)2010-01-16

This is a pretty good idea. I have access to all kinds of leather for free since we have a saddle shop nearby with lots of scrap that just goes in the dumpster. One time, me and my friend almost collapsed his bike trailer because we got so much leather. I might try this, since I'm supposed to get an MP3 player soon.

komecake (author)extremegtafan2012-01-06



Send me pics when you're done.
I'd like to see what you come up with.


juanvi (author)2010-01-15

haha, i allready made one of these for me...

sorry, but what is a "pool of goo"?

harmless matt (author)juanvi2010-01-18

In my case, it's a nice way of saying a combination of excrement from ducks, cranes, and other waterfowls.  It's usually fairly fresh, but can be crusty.

oddmidge (author)2010-01-14

You should of made it have a nice fit around the ipod then sewn a button and a loop to hold the ipod. Would of looked nice IMO

harmless matt (author)oddmidge2010-01-18

I thought of the button and loop, but I found that I didn't need it.
During testing, I found that it was practically impossible to dislodge the ipod once it's in place.

You are of course, free to customize this any way that you see fit.

Actually, I'd be more than happy to see any pictures!


Vulcanator (author)2010-01-13

"Those ancient Scandanavians really knew what they were doing."
obviously you don't. The basic idea you had is a good one(making a leather case) but your design is all wrong. you could have at least put the knots in the back of the case. if you want a snazzy leather case for your ipod, make it formfitting to the curve and shape of your ipod. forming leather is very easy, all you need is patience, water and leather. you have to soak the leather until it becomes pliable(30-60min), then you place it over the item that you want to form the leather over and work the edges down over the item. i think i will make an instructable on forming leather with clearer instructions later. when i do i will post the link.

harmless matt (author)Vulcanator2010-01-18

With all due respect, I disagree.

To you it's a matter of esthetics...mine are simply different.
In my case, I didn't have leather that fit all the way around as you mentioned.

I've been surrounded by sleek, state of the art medical device that's been Euro-inspired, "ergonomonic" or whatever for the past nine years. 
Frankly, crude and "non-snazzy" is something comforting to me sometime.

My instructable is basically a dead simply one that works...that's all.
If it offends your esthetics, feel free to do better.
But please don't say that I don't know what I'm doing.


Jayefuu (author)Vulcanator2010-01-14

Like gmjhowe's one? :)

Vulcanator (author)Jayefuu2010-01-15


lemonie (author)2010-01-12

Very nice.


Doctor What (author)2010-01-12

Ancient techniques for the modern age FTW!  Proves that some things don't need technological advancement.

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