DIY Mod Podge Phone Case

Introduction: DIY Mod Podge Phone Case

How to redecorate a cell phone case with paper and mod podge! (glitter optional) I am a big Harry Potter fan, and since my phone (an HTC One) has very limited options for fun cases, I made one myself! The above pictures will show either my HTC case (done with glitter and Harry Potter page with emblem) or my husband's iPhone case (done with an alien he drew, with a black paint border instead of glitter) This whole process is very customizable so you can decide what you want on your phone case, and it works with any type of phone case.

You will need:

1. A phone case you want to redecorate. For my HTC One case, I used an old silicone one that was free when I bought my phone last year. This is like the one I used: For my husband's iPhone case I used an old iPhone Hogwarts crest case I had from when I had an iPhone. That one has an inner silicone piece and outer plastic shell. I only decorated the plastic shell. That one was from here:

2. A printed design of your choice. I scanned my favorite page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, then printed it on regular 8.5" x 11" printing paper with my home printer. You could use pretty much anything, but I would recommend not printing on cardstock or anything too heavy if your case (like mine) is not perfectly flat on the back. I also wouldn't recommend cutting pages out of your favorite books that you may want to read again someday ;) For my husband's we printed out his cool alien drawing.

3. Mod Podge. I used glossy like this one . You can also choose matte, or whatever you prefer! If you do choose to use any glitter, I would recommend glossy. Otherwise, the glitter may not sparkle very much. When I make this again, I will probably do a matte on the book page, and glossy on the glitter. I know some people make Mod Podge homemade, but I have never tried this, so I don't know how this would turn out!

4. Pen/pencil (not pictured)

5. VERY sharp x-acto knife (or similar)

6. Cardboard or place mat for the mess

7. Scissors

8. Paintbrush (I recommend a foam-type brush, but I used what I already had)

9. Q-tips/cotton buds

10. Towel or paper towel (not pictured)


1. Glitter (extra fine) in your choice of color

2. Paint if you choose not to use glitter, but would like a different colored border

3. Cardstock (to make an emblem like the Deathly Hallows symbol I made)

4. Waterproof sealant

*Note: the design (but not the process) for my Harry Potter case was inspired by this one on etsy:

Unfortunately, she doesn't allow you to pick which page you want (and this page is my favorite part of the book). Plus, I really wanted glitter on the sides and the emblem raised! So I made mine myself. Hers look super professional, so if you don't feel like making it yourself, I'm sure she would be happy to make one for you! I don't know what process she uses to make hers, but this tutorial is my method :)

Step 1: Prep

Case: Clean the case with mild soap and water to remove any oils/dirt. Dry thoroughly.

Print: Print the design of your choice for the back of the phone case on pieces of regular printer paper (2-3 copies if you want one or two trial cut-outs). Let the ink dry well.

Optional: If you are going to use an emblem like my Deathly Hallows one, print the emblem straight onto heavy cardstock if you can. My printer doesn't have that capability, so I printed it onto regular paper, then cut it out and traced it onto the cardstock.

Trace and Cut: Put the page design you want face down on your table and position the phone case (back side down) on top. Be careful to look underneath to make sure it is exactly on the part of the design you want on your case. Trace the outside with a pen/pencil, then use scissors to cut it out. Don't worry about cutting out any holes for cameras etc just yet. Just cut out the shape of the back of your phone like shown above. It will most likely be a little big when you hold it up to the back, so just trim as needed to fit. Since my case was not perfectly flat, I cut my design to be slightly smaller than the back so it would curve around it better once it came time to use the mod podge. This may take a couple tries to make it just how you want it, so I really recommend printing out at least two copies of your design so you can use the first as a trial and the second as the final.

Optional Emblem: If you are going to use an emblem like the Deathly Hallows, place the cardstock with your emblem onto your place mat or cardboard. Use an x-acto knife to carefully cut out any details you want to see through once it is pasted on top of the other design. (I just cut out the outside of the triangle design with scissors and then cut out the inside white pieces shown above with the x-acto knife.)

Step 2: Mod Podge Info

Note: If you have never used mod podge before, here are some some useful tips.

1. Mod podge is water based, meaning even after it dries, it will dissolve in water. This is very useful if you mess up and get it where it shouldn't be. It cleans off really easily. It is not so useful if you drop your phone in the toilet (in which case you will have greater problems than a ruined case.) If you are worried about it frequently getting wet, you can seal the whole thing with a waterproof sealant at the end.

2. When wet, mod podge is white and somewhat opaque. Don't worry about it ruining your design. It will dry clear.

3. If you are using glitter, I recommend putting some mod podge into a separate container so you don't have to worry about contaminating your entire bottle of mod podge with glitter (I unfortunately know this from experience)!

Step 3: Optional: Glitter or Paint

Whether you are using paint or glitter, you should try to get the front edges (in second picture above) as well as possible without getting too much on the inside that will be touching your phone. I didn't worry about it on this one, because this hard shell goes over a silicone shell before it goes onto the phone, so no rough paint or mod podge will touch the phone if I mess up the inside. During all drying stages, I recommend letting it dry on something small that is just touching the dry inside of the case (see last two pictures above); I just used the little glitter bottle. *I repeat, let it dry thoroughly between all layers of paint or mod podge! You will thank me :)

Choose one, both or neither option below:

-Glitter option:

1. Using your paintbrush, paint one thin layer of mod podge around the border of your case (pictures 2-4 show paint instead of mod podge and glitter, but this is where you want to put your glitter too, so the same thing applies), careful to spread it as evenly as possible. Don't worry about getting it on the back, since the design will eventually cover that up anyway. (The first picture above shows what the border will look like when it is all done)

2. Sprinkle the wet border with glitter while over your cardboard mat making sure to get everything well.

Alternative: One alternative to steps 1 and 2 is to mix the mod podge and the glitter together and paint on the glittery mod podge mix. This will result in a bumpier texture, whereas layering like above will come out smoother. Mod podge also sells pre-made glittery mod podge, but I have never tried it.

3. Use a q-tip to remove excess glue and glitter from headphone/charger etc. holes.

4. Let dry thoroughly (15-20 minutes). You can tell it is dry if the mod podge is clear, and no longer white.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 if desired. I wouldn't recommend a third layer though, because after enough layers, the buttons get hard to push down if they are caked in glitter. I did two layers of glitter.

6. After it is very dry, add one more layer of mod podge to seal in the glitter.

7. Wash out your paintbrush really well so you don't get glitter on the rest of your design. Try to get any loose glitter off your case and work area so your design will be as glitter-free as possible (since glitter does tend to get everywhere and contaminate everything, my brother so rudely calls it "the herpes of the craft world" but I don't care. I love the sparkles! lol). Remember that water will dissolve the mod podge, so don't get it wet while trying to clean it!

Tip: you can use the place mat or cardboard to tip all the excess glitter back into the container and save all that magic! :)

Optional: If using an emblem like the Deathly Hallows one, you can use all steps above to add glitter to the emblem if desired. I used three layers of glitter on my emblem so it would be very raised on the back of the case.

-Paint option: (pictures 2-4)

1. If you would rather paint, just paint as many coats as you want onto the border and front edges (drying in between). I did two layers of acrylic paint for my husband's phone. Use a q-tip to wipe away any excess paint, especially in holes.

Step 4: Design

*If you are putting a design over a case that already has a design on it like I am for my husband's, you may opt to do a layer of paint as primer before gluing the design down. Printer paper can be see-through once wet. I decided to try it out and see how it dried without doing a primer.

1. Making sure that the border is very dry, paint a thin, even layer of mod podge over the entire back of the case (but not the border) with a clean paintbrush (picture #1). Press the printed and cut-out design onto the wet mod podge, lining it up as best as you can.

2. Use q-tip to wipe away any excess mod podge from around the sides or underneath in the camera hole etc (picture #2). The design will be covering up your camera hole like pictures above, but that is ok right now.

3. Let it dry thoroughly. This will take the longest because the mod podge isn't exposed to air. Mine took about an hour and a half to dry at this stage.

4. Paint another thin layer of mod podge over the entire back of the design (but not on the border). Again, make sure to wipe away any excess mod podge with a q-tip.

Optional emblem: If you are using an emblem, now would be the time to press it on.

5. Let it dry thoroughly.

6. Making sure it is dry, flip the case upside down onto your place mat or cardboard. Carefully cut out any holes (for camera etc) with a VERY sharp x-acto knife as shown in the 5th picture above. It is easiest at this stage because the design should be rigid enough not to rip while cutting it out, and it is easier to cut the precise area out without the design ending up crooked or with the hole in the wrong place.

7. Paint 1-2 more layers (drying in between) of mod podge over the entire back, including the border, to seal everything together nicely. I recommend at least 2 layers if you are using an emblem. Make sure you use q-tips to blot any excess mod podge away before each layer dries.

8. Use a slightly damp towel or paper towel to wipe out the inside of the case of any excess glitter or glue (careful not to get the outside wet at all).

Optional : If desired, apply waterproofing sealant. Use according to product's directions. (I won't instruct you on this since every waterproofing product is different.)

9. Let it dry overnight before putting your phone in it so the mod podge layers don't smudge or tear. It may feel a bit sticky/tacky the first day, but this should go away once it is really dry. I live in a very dry environment though, and haven't tried this in a humid one. If you live in a really humid area, I would consider adding the waterproofing sealant on top of the mod podge.

Enjoy! :)

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    johnny pops
    johnny pops

    2 years ago

    It's great that we can make phone cases like this. I will make one for my ip7 plus. Previously, I only found reputable cases to sell cases for me. The quality of them is also very good, but if I make one for myself, it looks very interesting.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Do you put the images on design up or down?


    7 years ago

    I love that you used a page from book 7 and the deathly hallows. cool design and fun project.

    Jamie Christine
    Jamie Christine

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! Unfortunately, I can't take credit for that as it was inspired by this phone on etsy: I updated my instructable to give her credit :) Unfortunately, she doesn't allow you to pick which page you want (and this page is my favorite part of the book). Plus, I really wanted glitter on the sides and the emblem raised! So I made mine myself :)