DIY super quick Kindle case

e-reader cover tutorial

I recently switched purses from a rather small, structured purse to a large, black hole-type purse.  In my old purse, everything had its own little section and so my Kindle was sort of protected by the soft side of my purse and the soft cloth of my wallet.  However, in my current purse, everything is all tossed in there and jumbled up so I was afraid that my Kindle was going to get scratched up.

What’s a girl to do?  Why, sew a little protective case for it, of course!  And because I’m so nice (wink, wink) I created a tutorial for you so you can make one too.  This is such a fast little project – it takes maybe 30 minutes, probably less if you are an experienced seamstress (which I’m not).

Just a note before we start – this is NOT a padded protective case.  I just wanted a layer of fabric thick enough to keep my Kindle from getting scratched, but it will probably not protect it if you drop your Kindle.  That would require some extra padding that I didn’t use.

Also, I just make things up as I go along – there are probably much better ways to do some of these things but I just do what works for me.  Forgive my novice skills.

Supplies needed: 2 complimentary pieces of fabric (this is a great project for your scraps because you need such a small amount of fabric), a button, some elastic (I used a ponytail holder…it didn’t match but it was free so I didn’t really care)

From each pattern, cut a piece that is 6 inches wide by 14.5 inches tall.  This can easily be adjusted if your Kindle is a different size than mine, or if you are making this for a different type of e-reader.

Place your two pieces with the right sides together.  Stitch the two short ends together, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

You’ll end up with a large tube.  Once it is stitched, turn the tube inside out so the right sides are facing out and iron the seams.

You can start to see the pocket forming.

Fold the fabric in half opposite of how you want your pocket to look (I wanted the flowered fabric on the outside and the polka dot fabric as my lining, so I sewed it with the polka dot fabric out and the flower fabric inside).

Use your e-reader to estimate where you need to sew the sides.

Sew up each side of the fabric, making a pocket.

It should look something like this.  Flip it inside out and slide your Kindle down into the pocket to make sure it is tight or loose enough.  You can see on the left where I stitched a second time to make the pocket a little smaller.

Trim off the excess fabric on the outsides of each seam, then flip inside out.

It’s like a little sleeping bag for your Kindle :)

In the middle of the side that you’ve decided will be the back, sew your elastic on, about an inch down from the top.

Cut a long, skinny strip of your lining fabric (I think mine was about 2 inches by 15 inches). Set your machine to it’s longest stitch length and sew a long, loose seam up each side of the fabric (aka, baste it).

To turn that into a ruffle, pull on one of the threads from each seam – don’t pull both, just grab one thread and pull.  The fabric will start to ruffle up.  Then move to the other seam and pull once of those threads too.

Now here is where I stopped taking pictures because this next part was a little difficult and required my total concentration.  So bear with me and try to imagine these next few steps.

Once you’ve adjusted your ruffle to the ruffley-ness you desire, wrap it around the case about a half an inch from the top (make sure it will cover the spot where you sewed the elastic to the pouch).  Pin it into place.  Then sew the ruffle onto the pocket, on top of the basting stitches you used to create the ruffle.  My machine has a piece that removes and leaves a skinny place to put a sleeve or other small circular object.  This pocket just barely fit on there and because it was such a tight fit I had some real problems with turning it while I was sewing around the ruffle.  Next time I might see if there is a way to sew the ruffle on before trimming the pocket part down.

Anyway, once you’ve sewn the ruffle on, then sew the button on to the middle of the front of your case (no specific measurement, it just depends on how far down your elastic will come.

A note about the ruffle – I just left the raw edges on the ruffles.  I know they will fray a bit over time and I’m ok with that look.  If you don’t like that, you’ll need to fold the edges over and somehow sew them down before creating your ruffle.

And your Kindle case is done!

I was pretty pleased how it turned out, especially since I had all the things I needed at home and didn’t have to buy anything (although that resulted in an elastic and thread that didn’t quite match, but oh well).

The thread that goes on the ruffle should have matched the purple fabric.  I have a camera case with a similar ruffle on it – the thread holding the ruffle on is a contrasting color and it looks good, so I thought using the white would look ok on mine.  Turns out I was wrong.  It just highlights my crooked stitches and draws attention away from the cute ruffle.  Next time I will use thread that matches the ruffle fabric.

Also, the thread that I used to sew the button on was yet a different color.  It happened to match the goldish tan color of the flowers from the fabric, but it doesn’t look good right next to the white that I used for the ruffle.  Note to self: use the same thread for the ruffle and the button, and make sure the color will blend in.

Now that I know what to do differently, I could whip this up in a jiffy!  Too bad I don’t need another Kindle case.  Maybe someone I know will need one for Christmas…

Oh, and on a semi-related note: hopefully this will be the last sewing project I do where I have to haul out all my sewing stuff and drag it to the kitchen table (the only surface large enough in our apartment) to sew since my next project should be done from the comfort of the permanent sewing table/area/station in my craft area in OUR NEW HOUSE.  Yep, you read that right…after 4 months of searching and 30+ houses visited, we finally found one we loved and we got a contract on it yesterday.  SO EXCITING!

card keeper book tutorial

In one of my very first posts ever I showed you the little books that I made to organize all the cards and letters we had gotten through the years.

I made them before I started blogging so I didn’t think to take any how-to pictures (not that I do a great job doing that now when I make crafts!).  I promised I would show a tutorial next time I made a book – yesterday I made my card book for 2012 and so I tried to take lots of pictures to use for a tutorial.

supplies needed: cardboard for the front and back cover (I used the very thin cardboard pieces that come in packages of scrapbook paper to protect them from getting bent – also, I only needed 1 square of the cardboard), scrapbook paper (I used 2 matching pieces for the front and back, and 1 complimentary piece for the insides), another color paper for embellishments, glue of some sort, paintbrush (not pictured), paper cutter, ruler, hole punch, binder clips (those silver rings), and my hole punch template (the cardboard piece)

start by cutting the cardboard for the front and back covers – my rectangles were 6 in x 9.5 in

once your squares are cut, lay them on your paper (whichever one you want to show on the front and back of the book) and cut a rectangle a little wider/longer than your cardboard piece (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch larger on all sides)

squirt glue on the cardboard piece and then spread it out with a paintbrush (you could also use modge podge instead of glue)

glue the cardboard piece to the paper

put a thin line of glue along the edge of the cardboard

fold up the paper (you may have to hold it for a few seconds to get it to stick) – do this on two opposite sides (I did the top and bottom first)

fold in all four corners, then fold over the sides that haven’t been glued and glue them down like you did the top and bottom

your cardboard should then look like this – what you see in the picture will be the inside of the front or back cover

Here’s where I sort of quit taking pictures…so just imagine with me

cut your contrasting paper into rectangles that are slightly smaller than the piece of cardboard – glue to the inside part of the cover, leaving a little border of the other paper showing

punch holes along the side – I created this template the first time I made these books; I just decided how far apart I wanted my holes and punched them into a piece of cardboard.  I marked the middle of my template so then I can line it up with the middle of my cover or my card (either by eyeballing for the middle of actually measuring) and then just punch through the holes

once the holes have been punched you can put the binder clip in

I used the Cricut to cut out the numbers and glued them on the front.  You can see the different ways I embellished my other books here

Since it’s the beginning of 2012 and I don’t have any cards yet (feel free to send me one – I love getting happies in the mail!), this little guy is empty for now

But just in case you’re not sure what to do once you’ve made your book…

I’ll show you what I did with all our Christmas cards

you can see how my template matches up with the binder clips

I just eyeball where the holes should be on each card (I try to make it pretty much even on each side, but sometimes I will off-set it a bit to avoid punching through part of the message)

then I just hole punch through the template and the card

and it’s ready to be put into the book

some people create books just for their Christmas cards – I use the books to store all the cards we get all year long

I used the 1.5 inch jump rings on the 2011 book and it wasn’t quite large enough – you can see that it won’t close flat, but the 2 in ones are harder to find so this will do for now.

I hope I’ve made that clear enough, but feel free ask questions if you have any.  Happy crafting!

Linking up t0

five days five ways | feature friday free for all 

getting my craft on

I spent several hours Tuesday and Wednesday crafting – a welcome break from grad school work!  I made quite a few things that I want to show you.

Project #1: necklace (inspired by this tutorial)

Supplies needed: fabric (that t-shirt was actually in my car with the rest of the Goodwill stuff when I decided to keep it out and try to use the fabric for something – I’m so glad I did since I hardly bought anything for this project!), felt ($0.25 at Hobby Lobby), necklace (I got mine at Hobby Lobby – $0.75 I think), scissors, hot glue gun.

Cut out felt into circles depending on what size and how many flowers you want on your necklace.  Mine were about 1.5 in across.

Use the felt circles as a template and cut out fabric circles of the same size; I needed about 12 fabric circles per 1 felt circle (this is the hardest and most time consuming part).

Squish up the fabric circles and glue onto the felt (see Little Miss Momma’s tutorial – I didn’t take pictures of this part.

finished flower

Glue all five flowers onto a large piece of felt for the backing, then cut out around the flowers.  Attach your necklace (I glue-gunned mine on) – again, see Little Miss Momma’s tutorial for full instructions and pictures.

voila – finished necklace!

This was super easy to make and didn’t take too very long (like I said, cutting all the circles took the longest).  It was also cheap!

After I finished making this necklace I also wanted to try out a technique for another type of flower that learned about by a tutorial from The Small Things.  I used leftover pink t-shirt fabric to make this flower.

I liked it but wasn’t really sure what to do with it. I grabbed another t-shirt that I rescued from the Goodwill pile and made two more.

Then I bought a stretchy headband at Hobby Lobby and glued them on.

It’s not perfect.  I forgot that the headband would stretch when I put it on which stretched out the flowers; I tried to reposition them but then that made a big gluey mess.  But now I know for next time.

Project #2: painted leaf serving dish

I had this leaf shaped serving dish thing that I wasn’t really crazy about.

So I bought a little can of spray paint at Hobby Lobby and gave it two quick coats.  Took about 5 minutes of actual “work” for me (obviously I’m not including drying time, although it dried pretty quickly).  I didn’t sand or prime, just sprayed it like it was.  And it turned in to…

I filled it with some butterscotch candy and put it on our coffee table

Project #3: “I love you because” sign (inspired by this post found via Pinterest)

I started with this picture frame that I got from Mom’s attic or Goodwill

I quickly gave it two coats of red craft paint – no need to make it perfect

I cut out letters with my Cricut, attached them to a piece of cardboard, put the glass and cardboard back in, attached ribbon to the back, and hung it up

You can write on the glass with a dry erase marker and it wipes off easily (see the dry erase marker I put above the sign?) so the hubs and I can write messages back and forth.  Super quick, super easy, and I had all the materials on hand so I didn’t have to buy anything.

Project #4: legwarmers (idea from this post found via Pinterest)

I went to Goodwill and bought two sweaters, then cut the arms off

If you don’t like to (or know how to) sew, you could honestly just cut off the sleeves and either leave the frayed edges out if you like that look, tuck them under, or put the cut section inside your boots and make the cuff of the sleeve the top of your warmers (if you want to do that, make sure you get a pretty big sweater since the cuffs are usually pretty tight).  I decided to go ahead and sew up the edge that I cut.  I just turned the sleeve inside out, pinned it, and sewed it up.

Once I got my sewing machine to cooperate it just took a few minutes to sew it up.  And know I have cut leg warmers.  The best part is that since they don’t have feet in them, you can pull them up as high or push them down as low as you want.  See exhibits A, B, and C:
over the knees (sorry for the blurry picture)  - this will be so cute layered with skinny jeans!

below the knees (new boots from Target!)

or ’80s aerobics style – love!

Project #5 – wreath (copied from here)

I bought a wreath form from Hobby Lobby but I’ve heard you can get them at dollar stores, use pool noodles, or use that gray pipe cover stuff you can buy at Lowe’s – those are possibly cheaper options, although mine was only $2 with a 40% off coupon.  I wrapped yarn around the whole wreath, securing with hot glue every few inches.  It took a while (an hour maybe?) but I just did it while watching tv.

Then I wrapped my colored yarn around to make the criss cross pattern.

I made a bunch of felt flowers using this tutorial (also time consuming – again, another good project to do while watching tv), hot glued them on, and I had myself a fall wreath.

I love it!  It’s a fall wreath without being so typically fall-like.

After burning myself a million times with the hot glue, I’m pretty pleased with how everything turned out.  Tomorrow I get to make all sorts of goodies for Trunk or Treat so stay tuned for new recipes (if they turn out well!)

Linking up with the weekend wrap up party at Tatertots and Jello and at the before and after party at Thrifty Decor Chick.