Introduction: Fall Leaves Phone Case
This instructable is short and sweet, but I decided to write it up anyway because the results were so nice and worth sharing. The basic tools you'll need are a transparent phone case (I got mine off of amazon for about $15, but these are model-specific so you'll need to shop around for one that is made to fit your phone), a glue stick (or maybe even just white paper glue), an exacto knife, plenty of beautiful leaves, newspaper and some heavy books.
All you're doing is really just arranging the leaves to fit nicely in the case and then trimming the edges, but there are a few details to watch out.
Step 1: Preparing Your Leaves
The first thing to do is dry the leaves and flatten them out. This is accomplished by putting them in between newspaper sheets and then laying heavy books on top of them. I stacked several layers of newspaper and leaves on top of each other and then had several books on top for almost 24 hours.
Once they're dry and straight, take them out and pick the ones you want to use. I put my case on the table, with the back facing me, and laid several leaves on top of it to try and get an idea of what worked best. I ended up making three different version until I worked out the kinks and found a pattern that worked for me.
1. The phone cases are molded very closely around the phone, so there's very little room to add stuff in there. Keep the layers of leaves down to a maximum of two or three, but you'll obviously need to experiment to see what works best.
2. For leaves with pronounced veins, you'll want to shave the veins down so they don't add too much thickness. Put the leaf down on a flat surface, vein side up, hold it firmly, and very carefully slide an exacto knife along the vein, removing a thin slice. Repeat the process until the vein is about as thick as the rest of the leaf. You'll want to go very slowly and remove very thin layers because the leaves are very fragile and easily torn. Having extras helps.
3. A good way to reduce the overall thickness is to position the bottom layer leaves in such a way that any gaps end up directly underneath another leaf. This both hides the gap and bring the thickness down.
4. Avoid positioning any of the veins anywhere near the side of the case where there are buttons. This happened to me on the second attempt, and ended up pulling the case away a little from them and made pressing them a bit harder. Repositioning the veins and shaving them down further helped.
Step 2: Glue-up and Assembly
Gluing the leaves is done mostly so they stay together while assembling the whole thing and not so they remain permanently attached and in place; there is so little room inside the case that once they're in they won't be going anywhere.
With that in mind, you don't need to use large amounts of glue or even cover the full leaf. A couple of spots will do. Disassemble your leaf design (I took a photo so I could refer to it when I glued them all back) and start by putting the bottom leaf back down, with the visible side facing you. Apply a spot of glue to the underside of the next leaf and put it down on top of the first one. Repeat for the rest of them.
Applying glue to the underside of the next leaf instead of the top of the previous one ensures that glue will only be found between them and there will be no smears visible. I made this mistake with my first attempt and some of the glue got on to the case as well. Definitely did not look very good.
Once you've got them all glued up, put them back between newspapers, lay on the books, and let it dry for a couple of hours. After that, take it out, gently press the "sandwich" into the phone cover, and using an exacto gently trim the sides and any holes for buttons, the camera, etc.
Now you're done and are ready to enjoy your autumn case!