Last week, I received my refurbished NOOK in the mail. It's a pretty sturdy little thing, but I still wanted some protection for it that wasn't too bulky or expensive. I made a little duct-tape-and-cardboard case that was pretty and functional, but not for long term wear. In the meantime, I looked at manufactured cases in the stores until I hit upon a design that I like. Then I decided to make one that incorporates both functionality and beauty, as I'm learning how to make altered books now and wanted to incorporate some of those techniques.
This instructable will show you how to make your own beautiful case using wire, Sculpey (or maybe Sugru), a recycled book, an old t-shirt or other fabric, and some altered book techniques.
Step 1: Part 1: Make the Holder
- Craft wire
- Wire cutters
- Flexible Sculpey (or Sugru)
- Cutting board
- Oven (if using Sculpey)
Then bend the corners a little bit out, to give a bit of space.
Condition the Sculpey (or Sugru) and roll it out. Cut pieces off and shape them around the corner grips. This will create a gentler holder for your e-reader. I also added some Sculpey at the joins to hold the shape in place.
Bake for 20 minutes at 285 degrees F and let cool, or if using Sugru, allow to set and dry overnight. Use clamps if you need to hold the wires in place.
After it cools, check the fit. Mine is tight but flexible for decent placement and removal.
Step 2: Part 2, Step 1: Preparing the Cover
Take a hardcover book you think nobody will want to read and cut out the pages with a knife. The way you do this is by cutting at the end papers, just inside both covers of the book, and pulling all the pages out.
Save the page block for use as a cutting/painting board later.
Next, place your holder inside the book, and draw lines below it, to cut off excess book cardboard. I decided to use the book board rather than cardboard because it's much sturdier for the bulk.
Use an Xacto or other knife with a ruler to slowly but surely cut through the bottom of the book. You can use a power tool if you like, but I find this is the best method for getting a nice, straight, even cut.
Step 3: Part 2, Step 2: Making the Window
To make the cover unique, I decided to make a window with a picture in it. To do this, first I drew a square on the cover. Then I cut it out, using the same technique as before, knife with ruler and the paper block as a cutting board. And save the little square you cut out.
I found a Creative Commons picture I liked on the internet, of a woman reading to two children. It fits me because I am a teacher and do things like read to children.
Don't glue it in just yet, though.
Step 4: Part 2, Step 3: Dressing the Book
It being winter, I had a hard time finding a t-shirt at the thrift store, so I ended up using a child's long-sleeve t-shirt that had an interesting pattern. I tried different positions for it until I found one I liked, and I cut the t-shirt accordingly. The book used most of the t-shirt fabric.
The next step is to glue the fabric to the outside of the cover of the book. I used spray adhesive for this.
To frame the window, I cut a square hole in the center of the window, leaving 1/4" of fabric all around. I then cut a diagonal slit on each corner. It was an easy matter then to fold each side back and glue it down.
Next, I glued the photo to the inside cover over the fabric frame, and voila! It looks cool.
Finally, to add interest, I colored the photo a little with colored chalks.
Step 5: Part 2, Step 4: Dressing the Case, Continued
The next step is to glue down the fabric on the cover. First, cut it to about 1/2" around the book. Then, cut the corners off diagonally. Spread glue all around the edges of the book, and bring the fabric over the edges. The craft glue I used needed no clamping for this.
To beautify it even more, take a nice paper and cut it to fit the two inside covers of the book. It should go over the fabric. I used a contrasting paper to do the spine, to add interest.
To add more interest to the cover as well, I cut a cardboard square, using the square I'd cut out of the cover earlier as a template for the inside. I then covered that square with leftover fabric from another t-shirt project. This shirt had a dolphin on it, which I felt added cool colors to it.
Use the same techniques as before for covering the inside and outside. Then glue it on the outside over the other frame.
If you want, you can cover the window image with another layer of something under this frame. That was my plan, but I couldn't find the material I needed in time.
Step 6: Final Steps
To finish, I had to find a way to attach the holder to the inside of the tape. After much consideration, I went to my tried and true method: duct tape. Several pieces makes it secure and strong, if not pretty, but the NOOK hides it anyway. I am researching other methods for Rev. B of this project. Suggestions are welcome.
I also felt like I wanted to add more "pop" to the cover, which I did with a dome sticker and fabric paint.
Finished! Now you have a homemade cover that is the envy of your friends.