Laser Cut Leather and Wood Phone Case

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About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace (www.imdib.nl) in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ...

I bought a big box of scrap leather, so I make things out of leather now. :) The difference with many other leather projects is that I also have a laser cutter. Combining leather with a laser cutter makes leather working so much easier.

I have no previous experience with leather so I probably do things wrong, but I love the results and that is all that counts for me.

For this phone case, I combined laser cut wood with laser cut leather.

Step 1: You Will Need

Materials:

  • Leather
  • Ply wood
  • Thread
  • Glue
  • Stain (optional)
  • Wax (optional)

Tools:

  • Laser cutter
  • Needles
  • Brush (optional)
  • Sanding paper
  • Hammer
  • Computer

Step 2: The Design

When you measure your phone, you should do it accurately, and not two times over like I did.

You can change the design on the front to your taste.

The holes in the wood are bigger (2mm) than the holes in the leather (1mm). This is to make sure that the needle can go trough.

  • Measure your phone.
  • Change the added design accordingly in Gravit Designer. (Gravit Designer is a free, cross platform alternative for Illustrator and I am a huge fan)

The leather and wood designs are in the same Gravit file on different layers.

Step 3: Laser Cut the Parts

Use wood that is thinner than the thickness of your phone. My phone is 8 mm thick and the wood I used is 4 mm thick.

  • Cut the ply.
  • Cut both sides of the leather.
  • Test fit and check whether the holes match.

Step 4: Glue the Case

  • Put contact cement on one side of the wood.
  • Put contact cement on the edge of the bottom leather part.
  • Wait until the glue is dry enough.
  • Hammer or press the wood on the back leather part.
  • Put contact cement on the front of the wood.
  • Put contact cement on the edge of the front leather part.
  • Wait again for the glue to dry.
  • Hammer or press the front leather part on the wood.

Step 5: Stitch the Sides

  • Use a saddle stitch to stitch around the edges.
  • Test fit your phone. (The first time you might need to stretch the leather a little for your phone to fit. To make it easier to stretch the leather you might need to make the leather a little wet.)

Here you can check out how to saddle stitch: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-saddle-stitch-leather/

It is very easy to do.

Step 6: Stain the Leather (optional)

If you like how it looks now, you can skip this step.

I can't find any leather stain where I live, so I experimented with alternative stains. I like the result with orange Clou water stain.

  • Brush the water stain on the leather and the sides. Work wet in wet for a nice even result.

Step 7: Wax the Leather

To make the leather softer and more durable, you will need to treat it with some kind of wax. I didn't have any special leather wax, so I used de-molding wax. This is not advisable, but was all I had. It did the job.

Step 8: Put Your Phone in the Case

Now put your phone in the case and enjoy it.

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    3 Discussions

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    tytower

    2 months ago

    I made one similar but without the timber ,just leather both sides . and a little bigger to allow it to expand when the phone goes in . I found a flap over the top helps and a small flap on the front stiffens it up a bit.

    In addition I got one of the plastic dog clips with a swivel and attached that on a strip of leather to the back . It clips to my belt loops.

    I did not think of the cutaway at the bottom but I will incorporate that in my next one. Thanks

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 months ago

    I love your combination of leather and wood to make this! It looks great :)

    1 reply