Category Archives: crafting

How to Make a No-Sew Kindle Case

Disclaimer: Two books were harmed in the making of this post.

It’s probably some kind of a crime, but I made myself a Kindle case out of an old hardcover book. (Because it’s also a crime to pay forty bucks for one from a store.) Once I got over the initial guilt about destroying a book, I found the process to be quite enjoyable and now I can’t look at a hardback without wanting to hack it up and put my Kindle inside.

Isn’t that ironic, Alanis Morrisette?

Here is what you’ll need:

  • A hardcover book (I recommend War and Peace or Ulysses)
  • Mod Podge (but you could also use equal parts Elmer’s glue and water)
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • A paintbrush
  • An X-acto knife

Optional supplies: decorative paper, felt or ribbon, hot glue gun, adhesive magnets)

First, find an old hardcover book that you don’t mind destroying. Make sure the inside pages are at least an inch wider and longer than your Kindle.

Using Mod Podge or a combination of equal parts water and Elmer’s glue, paint around the outside pages of the book to seal them. You will need 2-3 coats (wait until each one dries completely before applying the next.)

Podgin'

Note: Don’t seal the first page because you’ll need it later. Just leave it flapping.

When the glue has dried, on the second page of the book, draw lines to mark where you will cut the pages out. Again, make sure you leave enough space for your Kindle to fit snugly inside, but not so snugly that you would have to pry it out with a crowbar.

With an X-acto knife, make an incision along the lines you drew and gently remove the first few pages. The book will not feel a thing.

The book doesn't feel a thing

Continue cutting the pages out until you’ve carved out a little Kindle cave. Unless the book you’re using is very thin, you probably don’t even need to cut through to the back cover. (You could also begin cutting towards the middle and leave a nice chunk of pages on the top so the Kindle cave is truly a secret compartment.)

The cutting process can be a bit tedious. It is normal to get a blister or develop carpal tunnel syndrome before you’re through.

When you’ve created a deep enough Kindle cave, seal the inside of it with Mod Podge or glue. Again, you may need more than one coat. Next, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge or glue on the top of the cave and press the first page (the one you didn’t cut) down upon it.  Or, you can glue a piece of decorative paper on the top of the cave, like so:

Glue a piece of decorative paper to the top of the Kindle cave.

Close the front cover, weigh it down with a few heavy books, and wait for it to dry.

Using your X-acto knife, cut out the center of the top page. If you used a piece of decorative paper for the top page, you’ll also have to trim the outside edges so they are flush with the other pages in the book.

If, like me, you are unable to leave well enough alone, hot glue some felt or ribbon to the inside of the cave to further cushion your Kindle and to mask the hack job you did of cutting the pages out.

That little hair stuck to the bottom is from my paintbrush, you guys.

While wielding the glue gun, do mind your thumb)

Very painful

You can also go nuts and add a bookplate (I got the graphic from The Background Fairy):

And decorate the cover with pieces of leftover scrapbook paper. (I used about three coats of Mod Podge to seal it and only took one or two deep sniffs.)

If you want the book to snap shut, place self adhesive magnet strips on the inside.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

And pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself.

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It’s the Thought That Counts

Over Thanksgiving dinner with the family, I made a very important announcement.

“I will be making all y’all homemade Christmas gifts this year.”

The conversation immediately ceased. Forks were suspended in mid-air and silence reined in the dining room.

“Yeah, I’m a crafter now,” I explained to my peeps. “That means someone who does crafts.”

“I do remember you posting something about cutting and gluing awhile back,” my mother-in-law offered.

“That was child’s play,” I said. “I’ve graduated to actually sewing stuff together using a needle and thread.”

“That’s wonderful, Rima!” my mother exclaimed. She’s always been my number one fan, and she’s been pushing for simple, grassroots Christmases for years.

Just to prove how serious I was, I explained that I’d made one test craft gift already, a present for a friend’s newborn.

“What did you make?” the family wanted to know.

“A teething ring,” I said.

“That’s interesting,” my mother mused. “And you sewed it, you said?”

“Yeah, I sewed up a tube out of some fabric scraps and stuffed a bunch of wooden beads in it separated by knots. And I sealed the whole shebang off with some hot glue, which has hopefully cooled off by now.”

“Did you say, ‘wooden beads’?”

“Yeah, all sewed up inside some fabric with a big old bow I hot glued to seal it shut.”

(Contemplative silence.)

“And the baby sucks on the fabric with the beads in it?” my aunt needed some clarification.

“Right.”

“That’s kind of gross.”

“Not to mention a choking hazard.”

All of a sudden I started feeling kind of bad about my handmade teething ring. I guessed it was probably not the optimal choice for a first attempt at a sewing craft, what with it being a potential choking hazard and all. My mother was still being pretty supportive about it, but I noticed that other people in the room – such as one of the Brothers-In-Dawg – was snickering over his digestif.

“You know what?” I said. “Forget it. As soon as my friend opens the package – which by the way I handcrafted – I’m going to intercept her and throw that stupid teething ring in the trash!”

“You wrapped it up already?” somebody asked. “Like you were actually going to give it to her?”

“Well, yeah. But forget it. I’m just going to rip that teething ring right out of my friend’s hands when she opens the package and throw it out!”

“Well, wait a minute, now, Rima,” someone offered. “You don’t have to throw it out.”

“Yeah, just tell the mom it’s a hood ornament.”

Well. I ended up gifting that teething ring, after all, but I told my friend that under no circumstances should she ever give it to her child. “It’s kind of a choking hazard,” I said.

She seemed to understand.

But I’m not giving up. I already made my friend V her handmade Christmas gift, and gifts for all Jonas’ teachers’, too. I also made a funky little flower pin which Twitter confirmed looks vaguely communistic (you can see it on my sidebar), so clearly no one will be getting that. I’ve been AWOL in blogland because what I do now is just wander up and down the aisles at Jo-Ann’s crafts, stalking the other crafter ladies to see what they have in their carts.

I would share some of my creations here with you, but they’re gifts, so it’s a surprise.

But just remember, family, when you open your Christmas gifts this year: It’s the thought that counts.

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