Introduction: DIY Leather Phone Case

About: I am an industrial designer and a maker. I like to make prototypes, unique pieces, equipment and other stuff. In this channel I will show you what I do, and in particular the making of design pieces, with var…

I decided to make this mobile phone case just because I like leather accessories very much. They have the natural ability to convey a sense of luxury and fine craftsmanship. In fact, I don't have a great experience in leather working, but in general, I can handle it and so I decided to give it a try. As a designer, working outside your comfort zone is very important.

Step 1: The Sketch

As I always do, I started with a sketch, to fix the ideas and define the details of the project. I made the sketch using watercolors and ink on Strathmore watercolor paper . This kind of media takes a little more time than needed to make this sketch, but practicing drawing skills is always a good idea.

During the sketching, I already had in mind what type of leather to use.

Step 2: Paper Templates

I then made paper templates to be used as leather cutting patterns. I used my cell phone for measurements. I basically made the case out of paper first to check the correct measures.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Leather Pieces

I then chose the skin to use and cut the various pieces using a craft knife.
I used a thin black leather and a suede with a crocodile textured effect as an inlay.

I then marked the front side and the back pocket with my Hanko logo to customize the phone case.

Step 4: First Bonding

Once all the pieces have been made, I glued the two sides of the front and the two of the back to make them easier to sew.

Step 5: First Sewing

Once the glue has been dried I reinforced the bonding with a machine seam. A special foot made to seam on the edges helped me in this operation.

Step 6: Wooden Template

To shape the leather so that it perfectly joints to the shape of the cell phone, I first built a wooden template, in order to press the leather against the phone to shape it. I first scored the contour of the phone on a plywood panel that I then cut it with my band saw.

Step 7: Shaping the Leather

I then put the leather to be shaped into warm water for about half an hour, so as to make it more malleable.
After covering the cell phone with a transparent film, so as not to wet it, I then inserted the leather between the wooden shapes. I then clamped it all around with some clamps.

Step 8: Final Bonding

I waited for one night for the leather to dry and the next day it had taken the desired shape. Also in this case I glued the front with the back before sewing them together, I put them back in the wooden vice to make the glue dry.

Step 9: Final Sewing

Once the glue was dry, the two parts were sewn together. Even in this case, I used the foot that was the most suited to the purpose.

Step 10: Cutting Off the Excess Leather

As the last step, I cut the excess leather near the seam. I then finished a bit the cut to make it a little nicer.

Step 11: Final Shots

And voilat, the game is done! The cover is over and ready to be used in the mundane evenings.

Thanks for checking this Instructable. There also is a video of the realization of this case on my YouTube Channel where you can better see the making process.