I saw the nice leather iPod cases on the Apple but they only have them for the iPod Classic, so, i went about making my own, i spoke to my colleague at work whom used to work in a leather shop, and it turns out its alot easier than i thought.
Here's what you need.
- Some leather, the thicker the better. I got mine off ebay as a bag of scraps.
- Some nice thick thread
- Card, glue and tape
- A pokey thing (awl)
- a good sized needle
- a blunt metal object
- A nice sharp knife
Step 1: Creating a Familiar,
Firstly, due to the use of water in this method, i suggest making a rough shaped copy of your iPod/mp3 player.
So, i called upon my trusty gmjboard.
Place your item on the card, and roughly trace it, work out an approximate depth, then build up as needed, due to the curved back of the iPod, i shaved off the corners using a stanley knife.
You don't need to make it spot on, but try to get it close enough.
Once you have your shape, i then suggest wrapping it in tape, i used brown parcel tape for mine.
Step 2: Leather Moulding
Now we need to mould the leather.
Firstly cut two pieces of leather to rough shapes, leave about 20mm round each edge to give you lots of working room.
Place down some sheets of paper, or a tea towel to absorb excess water.
Take your two pieces of leather, and soak them in water, you will know when they are wet through as the leather changers colour.
Place one piece of leather with the rough side up wards onto the table, No place your cardboard familiar, into the centre of the peice. Take the second piece, and lay it on top, gently press down around the edges with your fingers.
Now take a nice round blunt object, most things will work, i used an old fitting of a tunneling machine i had laying around. Use this to press all around the edge of your case. The wet leather should be easy to work with.
As an addition, you could try your hand at embossing, basically take an interesting metal shape, and press it into the back of the leather while its still wet.
Leave the whole thing to dry naturally. Mine took about a day. (make sure to leave your mould familiar in place)
Step 3: Stitch It
Now that its dry we need to sew the two sections together.
Take the awl (or other pointy thing) and go around the edge of your case, making a hole roughly every 5 mm, keeping about 2-3mm away from the edge of the mould.
Once this is done, you now need to sew. Thread up your needle, i used a nice red thread, and clamp the leather so that the hole remained lined up (trust me, this makes it alot easier)
The best way to stitch is to use two needles, then pass them through the same hole in opposite directions, this gives you a continuous stitch all the way around. You can manage this with one needle by doing a running stitch, then going back on yourself filling in the gaps.
Once you have gone all the way around, tie off the end, then glue the ends inside the case using a small dab of glue. Now is a good time to double check the fit of your case.
Step 4: Finish the Edges
Now we need to trim and finish the edges.
Firstly, carefully go around your case, and trim off the leather, i left about 5mm from the stitch to the cut.
Trim the top clean off so its flush with the edge of your iPod, Then cut a semi-circle for 'finger' holes to allow you to get it out easily.
An extra addition is to cut a small gap at the bottom where the headphone jack is. I did this near the end, so i had to tie off the ends of the thread again.
Once your happy with the shape, you then need to get your hands on some show wax, I applied a small amount of show wax the the edge, then buffed it along using my dremel. Another option is to soak the edges of the case again, then buff it.
Step 5: Completed!
Thats it, you should now have a nice hard wearing iPod case, leather is great as a simple layer of protection.
Let me know what your think, comments are always welcome.
Matt Makes made it!