Saturday, December 31, 2011

How To: Make your Own Kindle Cover

This Christmas I happened to snag an Amazon Kindle... a purchase that I've been pondering for quite some time now, but hadn't quite committed to. I was thrilled with it once it was in hand, however, and decided that protecting my new toy was a must (I've seen the fate of electronics that go in and out of my purse without protective covering, after all). After looking online, however, I realized that I don't want to shell out $30 for a cover... and what a great crafting project to take on! I looked throughout the mighty interwebz, and pulled together a Pinterest board of DIY Kindle cases and sleeves, and crafted one inspired by a few of the ones I saw. The directions I'm going to give you are far from precise, but will get you where you need to go if you have even the slightest bit of sewing knowledge. I don't really, you know, measure things... so it can be a little haphazard, but as you can see the results were good! :) Enjoy!

I used 3 different types of fabric for my cover, and they were all scraps that I had laying around. The solid brown is a pair of khaki pants that I cut off to make shorts (sustainable options hello!), and the polka dotted fabric was leftover from a prior project. The third fabric was a quarter I bought to use on my dish towels... that I never used on my dish towels.

You basically start by cutting two pieces, that will serve as the inside and outside of the cover. It should be an appropriate length to wrap around your Kindle, roughly about 3 times the width of it. Your fabric should be slightly taller than the Kindle itself.

Once you have the main pieces cut, you can create the ruffles and the holding pieces out of the third type of fabric. I created the ruffles myself, and cut them two different sizes to stack on one another. To Create a ruffle, cut a strip of fabric, fold it in half and iron it, then fold the ends under and iron them like shown below:

Once you have it all ironed out, then sew down the side with the tucked in flaps to seal it. I also sewed down the other side to make it uniform (mostly because I used darker thread that was really visible). Once both sides are sewn, use a long stitch length and do one strip directly down the middle, then pull on one piece of the thread on one end and bunch it up to make the ruffle. Do that for both strips.

Once you have your ruffles made, stack them and pin them on the outward facing fabric, on the right side. As you can see in the photo, I had my Kindle inside to get a good idea of where I wanted it to sit inside the case, and where the ruffles should be situated. This is pretty much how I operate with these sorts of things (who actually measures stuff??)... After it's pinned, sew one strip overlapping the middle line and cut off the edges of the ruffle so they only extend about a half an inch past the main fabric.

Be sure to practice proper pet safety in all this... Maeby really likes to try and "help" while I'm sewing. By that I mean she lays right where I'm trying to work. But any time my needle is actually going, I make sure she's not jumping up on the table.

The holding pieces are also not precise at all. I folded a piece of fabric in half and cut it a bit wider than the Kindle. I folded the edges under to make it almost exactly the width of the Kindle. Then I pinned it into place at about the right places so it didn't cover the screen. After that I sewed the sides so that it could slide in and out, but the bottom isn't sewn.

Once the ruffles and holding pieces are sewn on, put the two main fabric pieces together wrong sides together and pin, leaving the end near the ruffles open. Sew the 3 sides together and turn inside out, then iron the edges to make them look a bit crisper.

At this point your case will look as follows:

I got kind of lazy about taking photos at this point, but the rest of the work is pretty simple. I didn't have any batting, but wanted to put a little padding inside the case, so I took an old towel and cut it just smaller than the case itself- leaving it just an inch or so short. I put it inside the case and got it situated and smooth, then sewed in a few different places to secure the towel and make sure it doesn't shift around inside the sleeve. If you look in the photo below, you can see where I put some of that stitching. The only thing you need to do after securing that piece is close off the end. I folded the end back to expose the inside fabric, and folded a ribbon into it that stuck out on either end (which will wrap to the back to tie closed). Make sure the ribbon is secure and you are good to go!

This is what the back looks like when everything is said and done:

There you have it! An incredibly easy, terribly inexpensive (or free) cover for your beloved Kindle. I liked this particular way of designing it because I can just fold the sides behind the Kindle and therefore don't have to take it out of the cover to use it. It definitely has that "DIY" look on the inside, but I'm sure with a bit more planning I could have made it look a bit less messy (that random stitching on the side, for instance, was a failed attempt at adding a piece of elastic to utilize buttons... the ribbon was easier and I think a better choice in the long run).

Either way, I hope you all enjoyed the pseudo-tutorial, and I hope to have more crafting projects to show for myself in 2012. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable New Year!

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