Introduction: Oreo Phone Case (made From COFFEE GROUNDS!)

About: Where there's a will, there's a way! Never give up, never give in...BE the good you want to see in the world. :)


I thought long and hard about something unique and different you could do with coffee -- I mean, what hasn't been done already? -- and I came up with this: an Oreo Phone Case (Made From Coffee Grounds)!

Everybody's favorite cookie as the design for the phone case, while using a coffee grounds clay to make it a reality!

Delicious enough to eat, but IT SMELLS LIKE A FRESH BREWED CUP OF COFFEE! What could be better!?!?

P.S. Don't be deterred by the number of steps. Each step is super easy and simple! I just separated out the different parts to make each idea super clear and easy to follow.


Here are the supplies you'll need to make your very own coffee-scented Oreo phone case!

  • Dark Roast Coffee (the darkest you can find!)
  • Your Phone
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Baby oil
  • Cornstarch (aka corn flour)
  • 2 - 4oz bottles of PVA Glue (aka school glue)
  • Baby oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • 2 bowls (at least one must be a microwaveable bowl)
  • Super glue (I used E6000 glue)
  • Box cutter (aka X-acto knife)
  • A work surface you can cut on (I used a cutting mat for sewing)
  • A round headed long nail (or use a ball stylus sculpting tool)
  • A scrap piece of white fabric (I used a leftover piece of Duck canvas)
  • OPTIONAL: Black and brown acrylic paint and painting supplies (ie: paintbrush, etc)
  • OPTIONAL: white silicone phone case


Coffee Clay for Oreo Cookies (per batch, DO NOT DOUBLE, make one batch at a time as needed):

  • 5 tablespoons dark roast coffee grounds
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup PVA glue
  • 2 tablespoons baby oil

White filling clay (or use a white silicone phone case):

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 - 4oz bottle of PVA glue (or 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons baby oil

Step 1: Cover Your Work Surface

Cover your work surface with parchment paper.

Step 2: Add Coffee Grounds

Add 5 tablespoons (Tbsp) of coffee grounds to the bowl.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT make a double batch or create two batches at once (unless you have a second person making the second cookie at the same time as you). Otherwise, the dough might dry up, even if in a plastic bag, and be less workable.

Step 3: Add Cornstarch

Add 6 tablespoons (Tbsp) of cornstarch to the bowl.

Step 4: Mix

Mix the coffee grounds and cornstarch together with a spoon.

Step 5: Add Glue

Add 1/4 cup of PVA glue.

Step 6: Add Baby Oil

Add 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) baby oil.

Step 7: Mix

Mix until well incorporated. Mixture will be clumpy.

Step 8: Knead

It's time to get your hands dirty!

Knead the dough with your hands a few times (about 10).

Then pick up the dough and squish it back and forth in your hands to work it together.

Form the dough into a ball. The finished dough should be wet feeling, but not sticky, and it should be shinier.

DO NOT put cornstarch on your hands to knead the dough. If you must use something on your hands, use lotion.

Step 9: If It's Too Dry

If it's too dry, put it back into your bowl.

Add in some more glue and baby oil and re-mix and re-knead until it forms the proper consistency.

Step 10: Wash Up

Once you have the right consistency, wash your hands.

I also took this opportunity to fill up my bowls and measuring spoons/cups with soapy water (to keep clay from drying to them).

Step 11: Roll It Out

Roll the dough out to 1/8" thickness.

DO NOT use cornstarch on the rolling mat, parchment paper, rolling pin, or on the dough. This will ruin your dough!

Step 12: Cut It Out

Put your phone on top of the rolled dough. You can cover it in plastic wrap if needed.

Cut the dough 1/4" extra around all sides of the phone. Round out the edges as you cut.

Step 13: Cut Strips

Cut out a few 1/4" strips. It is preferable to have at least two be the length of the phone cutout you just made, but if not it will be OK.

Step 14: Add Details

Using the tip of the long nail, press down every few centimeters along the length of each strip you cut out.

Add these strips around the perimeter of the base cutout piece. Press the strips into the base with your fingers. You can also use the nail (or stylus) to smooth the pieces together.

It should look like the last picture when finished.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This clay does NOT work like regular sculpting clay or modeling clay. You MUST cut out the shapes you want in the exact way they will look in the finished piece. You cannot roll this clay, and you do not need to score it or wet it to add two pieces together. Add them together with simple pressure and smoothing.

Step 15: Make a Center Circle Pattern

Use a piece of paper to cut out a center circle pattern (where the word "Oreo" will go on each cookie).

Then cut out the first circle.

NOTE: If anything you cut out falls apart into separate pieces, don't worry! You can easily form it back together when adding it to the base piece and no one will ever notice.

Step 16: Add Circle to the Base

Add the circle to the base using pressure, and use the nail (or stylus) to smooth it together.

Step 17: Pull Up a Photo

Pull up a good photo of the top of an Oreo cookie on your phone, and use it as your guide while creating the details on the cookie.

Step 18: Make the Cross

Cut out the cross that goes above the "Oreo" circle in the middle.

Step 19: Add the Cross

Add the cross to the base using the previously noted methods.

Step 20: Cut Out the Flower

Cut out the flower that goes under the "Oreo" circle. Add it to the base.

Step 21: Cut Out Squares

Cut out squares to fill in the empty space on your phone. Mine used 7 squares per cookie.

Step 22: Score the Tops

Using your utility knife, score the tops of each square, but DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

This is just to mark the X for future indentation.

Step 23: Add the Squares

Position the squares on the base to the positions you want them.

Then press them into the base.

Step 24: Indent the X's

Using the tip of the nail, indent the crosses in each square.

Step 25: Add the Extra Details

Add these two little details inside of the center circle.

Step 26: Cut Out the O

Cut out the O. If it breaks in half while you are cutting out the center, it's OK.

Simply press it altogether on the base and it will fit back together nicely.

NOTE: You can squish the letters into place however you need to when attaching them to the base piece, so having an exact fit beforehand isn't necessary. As long as you get it close enough, you can maneuver it when placing it without any issues.

Step 27: Create the R

Cut out the R and press it to the base.

Step 28: Create the E

Cut out the E and press it to the base.

Step 29: Create the Last O

For the second O, I tried a different approach. I cut out the O shape, added it to the base, then indented the center circle. I like this approach better.

Step 30: Cut the Triangles

Cut out 6 triangles. Add them to the base. Note that two of them are inverted (use your pictures for reference).

NOTE: Additionally, you can tediously add the little circle balls and the long dashes around the border (you can see these in your Oreo cookie picture), but I didn't feel that was necessary to get the look of an Oreo in the finished piece. Also, it may get too crowded in so doing. But the choice is entirely up to you! :)

Step 31: Repeat for Back Cookie

Repeat all the steps (from preparing new dough to adding all the details) on the back cookie.

NOTE: The difference between the front and back cookie, however, is that the back cookie will have a cut out for the Camera. See next steps....

Step 32: Cut Out for Camera

Press your phone into the dough and cut out around the phone AND where the imprint of the camera is.

Then proceed to finish the details as done on the first cookie. It should look like the last picture when you're done.

MAKE THE CAMERA CUTOUT SLIGHTLY LARGER (to accommodate for shrinking).

Step 33: Dry

Allow both pieces to dry for 30 hours (or more).

My drying circumstances at the time of writing this Instructable were:

  • Roughly 65 to 70 degrees indoors
  • Winter season so low humidity
  • Not in direct sunlight
  • On parchment paper on a flat surface

The color of your piece will be brown. But it will dry to a darker blackish color.


  1. How many days (or hours) does it take to fully dry? Mine fully dried in about 30 hours with the above conditions.
  2. Does it crack when drying? No. It naturally looks, well, drier as it dries, but it does not actually crack at all.
  3. Does the coloration change?It originally gets darker as it dries. Then it gets a little lighter (of its new darker tone) in the last hours.
  4. Does it shrink when drying? Yes! It shrinks to about 1/4" smaller than at the beginning of the dry time.That's why I suggested to add 1/4" allowance to make the finished product the correct size.
  5. Does it need to be flipped over to prevent curling on the edges? No. It doesn't curl on the edges. Plus, you should keep it on its back so the flat side stays flat.
  6. Does the smell lessen when dried? No, it maintains a strong coffee smell.
  7. How long does the coffee smell last? It still smells like coffee since this Instructable was published! :)
  8. Once it is dried, does it need special instructions to keep it fresh or maintain the smell (ie: put it in the fridge)? No.
  9. How hard does it get when dried? It gets to a very hard, durable consistency. It is not bendable. It is not brittle. It is very strong.
  10. I have coffee smell on my hands from working with the clay, how long will it last? I had my hands in coffee for 6 hours while trying to figure out a good recipe for the clay! So mine took a couple days. Yours should be gone in a day.
  11. Does it make everything it touches smell like coffee? If you're a coffee lover, which I bet you are if you're reading this Instructable, the answer is yes! To some extent you will get a beautiful coffee smell (like a fresh brewed cup, not a dingy stench) on your fingertips when touching the phone case. However, this is easily washed away if it bothers you.

Step 34: Check Dried Pieces

Once dried, double check that everything fits correctly over your phone.

Step 35: Make the White Filling

Add 1/2 cup of cornstarch to a microwaveable bowl.

NOTE: If you want to bypass making the white center filling from clay, use a white silicone phone case instead and skip to step 61.

Step 36: Add Glue

Add one 4 ounce bottle of PVA glue (or 1/2 cup).

Step 37: Mix

Give it a good mix with a spoon.

Step 38: Add Baby Oil

Add 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) of baby oil to the mix.

Step 39: Add Lemon Juice

Add 1 tablespoon (Tbsp) to the bowl.


Step 40: Microwave 30 Seconds

Microwave on high for 30 seconds.

Step 41: Mix

Mix well.

Step 42: Microwave 30 More Seconds

Microwave on high for 30 more seconds.

Step 43: Mix

Mix well to form dough.

Step 44: Knead

Knead with your hands until a soft, smooth dough forms.

I had to put down some cornstarch on the work surface because my dough was still too sticky.

Step 45: Wash Up

Wash your hands and fill your bowls with soapy water at this point.

Step 46: Roll Out

Roll the dough to 1/8" thickness.

Step 47: Imprint

Make an imprint with your phone like you did in the back cookie. Cover your phone in plastic wrap if needed.

Step 48: Cut Out

Cut out 1/4" excess around all edges of your phone.

In experimenting, I did mine too small. So make sure to use 1/4" all the way around!

Step 49: Cut Out Imprint

Cut out the imprint made by the back of your phone (for the camera).

MAKE THE HOLE SLIGHTLY LARGER (to accommodate for shrinking).

Step 50: Side Imprint

On the side of my phone I have an ON/OFF button and a volume button I wanted to be able to access when my phone was in its case.

To create this imprint so I knew where to cut, I covered my phone in plastic and pressed it gently into a 1/4" wide strip of clay the length of the phone base cutout.

NOTE: In hind sight, I would avoid this cut out if you didn't have to use it, because it creates a challenge when drying. However, if it is imperative to your phone case to have this cutout, continue with the next step.

Step 51: Cut Out Imprint

Cut out the imprint made. I merged the two imprints into one line for ease.

Step 52: Roll Another Strip

Roll out another strip (if needed) so you can make two more strips of 1/4" thick walls the length of the first one.

Step 53: The Other Cutouts Needed

I also needed to cut out a hole for the headphones and a hole for the charger.

Step 54: Cut Strips

Using one of the strips you just made, cut it in half and make both halves the width of the base cutout.

Step 55: Charger Imprint

Wrap the phone in plastic and gently press the charger side into the first short strip.

Step 56: Headphone Hole Imprint

Do the same thing for the headphone hole imprint.

Step 57: Cut Out Holes

Cut out the holes using the nail.

MAKE THE HOLES SLIGHTLY LARGER (to accommodate for shrinking).

Step 58: Add the Walls to the Base

Add the walls to the base.

The long strip that was left whole I added to the left. The cut out long strip to the right. The headphone strip to the top (keeping the hole on the right to match my phone). And the charger strip on the bottom.

Press the pieces together firmly.

Step 59: Wrap Your Phone

Wrap your phone in plastic wrap. Don't worry, it will only be for a couple hours in this position.

Step 60: Put Phone in Filling

Add the phone to the filling piece so it has something supporting the walls as it dries.

I also added a plastic-covered folded cardboard piece to the side with the volume and ON/OFF cutout to keep the upper part up (and not sagging).

However, I messed up and took out the cardboard piece after it had dried to what I thought was enough, and the cutout kind of caved in. So DON'T take out the cardboard piece until it is 100% dry!

Step 61: Dry

Allow all pieces to dry to 30 hours (or more).

NOTE: After the first couple hours, you can unwrap your phone and leave it with the screen open so you can use it while the clay continues to dry. A good time to do this is at night when your phone isn't in use while you sleep.

The white clay cracked on the upper right corner of the finished case. :( I didn't feel it ruined the structure or stability of the finished phone case, so I didn't feel the need to fix it. You will see it in future pictures. Also, I would've not added the long slit for volume and ON/OFF if I were to do it again (it didn't dry very well). But the completed phone case still works great with these minor issues!

Step 62: Add Glue

Add glue to the back of the dried filling piece.

Step 63: Attach It to the Back Cookie

Attach the filling base to the back (smooth flat side) of the back cookie piece. Press down on the walls for the first 5 minutes while the glue gets tacky.

NOTE: Yes, the finished white clay dried more "off white" than pure white. But it's OK. Cream filling for Oreo cookies isn't pure white anyways.

Step 64: Cut Scrap Fabric

Cut out a piece of scrap fabric. Mine was about an inch wide by the length of the white filling piece. This will be sitting INSIDE of the white filling piece, so adjust yours accordingly.

Ugh! The cracked corner. Oh well, it is hardly noticeable in the finished piece!

Step 65: Glue It In

Glue it to the inner side of the long wall that has no cutouts on it.

Step 66: Glue It to the Top

Glue the other side of the fabric to the top cookie piece. I made sure both of my "Oreo" words on each cookie were facing the same way.

Also, close your top cookie down onto your base to find the right spot to glue the fabric to. You don't want the fabric to show when the case is closed.

Step 67: Dry

Allow at least an hour or two for this to dry. Overnight is superb.

Step 68: OPTIONAL: Paint It!

This is totally optional, but I highly recommend it if you want a more realistic Oreo cookie in the end.

Does it take away the coffee scent? Surprisingly, No. It maintains a nice coffee smell after being painted. However, it reduces the coffee smell you get on your hands when touching the phone case.

Use a mixture of black and brown acrylic paint that is heavier on the black (around 2 or 3 parts black to 1 part brown). Mix it until it resembles the closest Oreo color you can get. Feel free to use real Oreo cookies to help you with this step! ;) (You can also paint the clay case white if you don't want it off-white.)

I only painted the detailed faces of each cookie and the edges. I didn't paint the flat sides of each cookie. It also leaves the wonderful natural texturing to the coffee clay that makes it look even more like a real Oreo cookie!

Allow to dry for 1 hour. It may even fully dry in less time. And it will dry to a nice matte finish.

Step 69: Show It Off!

The latter pictures are of the finished piece before I painted it. The first picture shows the color it is now.

Yes, you did it! You made a real, workable phone case that looks like a real Oreo cookie but smells like a delicious cup of java! Great work! Now go show it off--and don't worry if you get weird looks for sniffing your phone case.

NOTE: this phone case is not edible. ;)

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