doily case slide

There’s no reason to pay someone to manufacture a custom iPhone case when you can make your own with shit you have lying around.  All you need is a transparent case, paper, scissors, a pencil, and a DIY mentality.  Patience optional.

My parents got iPhones, so I whipped them up a stack of case inserts.  I used a few of my monoprints for this project, but any decorative paper would work.  Check your scrapbooking stash or cut a cool image out of a magazine.

Note: For your convenience, I have included instructions tailored to both lazy people (I fit in this category) and those who feel the need for precision.  You’re welcome.



Step 1: Trace the case on the paper.

Trace the case

Many thanks to my dad, Richard, for taking pictures of the process.


Move the case around the paper at different angles to audition areas of the art.

People Like Me: Don’t worry about tracing it perfectly; it’s just a rough guide.

Fancy People: If you don’t mind having to clean your case, you could ink the edges and stamp the shape on the paper.



Step 2: Cut out the shape.

Cut it outYou’ll actually need to cut a bit inside the lines so it fits inside the case without bending.

PLM: Just eyeball it.  You can always trim it later.

FP: Use a ruler to mark a margin inside the tracing. You’ll need to cut it a quarter of a centimeter smaller on all sides.



Step 3:  Cut a peephole for the camera.

See the notches?PLM: Cut a decent-sized notch in the top left corner.

FP: Trace the hole in the case and cut it out with a craft knife. See the fanciness of the rightmost example? We’re not so different! (Ok, yes we are.)


 Step 4: Insert paper into the case.

Insert the insert

Slide it in from the bottom to decrease the odds of accidentally creasing it. Run a finger around the inside edge to make sure it’s firmly in place.

PLM: Did I stutter?  What are you waiting for?

FP: Seriously, I can’t think of a “type A” way to do this.  You’re going to have to bite the bullet and do it the easy way.




Step 5: Insert the phone.

Wrong way, MaeInsert phone

PLM: Put it in backwards the first time because you’re dumb.

FP: Do it right the first time because you always do.


Step 6: Rinse, repeat.

Three case insertsMake people think you’re rich by having a new custom case every day.

PLM: Stack the inserts in the case so you always know where they are.

FP: Put them in individual protective cases and instruct your butler to file them in your private vault.  Fancy people have butlers and vaults, yes?