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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19 thoughts on “How to Make a No-Sew Kindle Case

  1. alejna

    Very, very cool!

    Did you do anything to the spine to cover up the title and author? Or will it look to the world like you carry your treasured Dan Brown book with you everywhere?

    (I hope your thumb is better. That looks very…ouch! Perhaps the thumb should also be in the disclaimer: “Two books and one human thumb were harmed in the making of this post.”)

    Reply
  2. Rima Post author

    Alejna – I didn’t cover up the spine, but maybe I should. It would be a lot cooler if it actually was Ulysses or War and Peace. Or Snooki’s book.

    Reply
    1. alejna

      Ha! You know, I was thinking of Ulysses. Few people ever finish that one. (Including myself.) You would appear doggedly determined to carry it around for months or years. And War and Peace is one that I never finished, either! I read through the first half twice, which is almost like reading the whole book…except for the way in which it’s not. As for the Snooki book…I have no words.

      I was thinking you could put a dust jacket on it, but then it would cover your cool decorated front cover. With dust jackets, though, you could swap them out frequently to make it look like you were a super-fast reader. (“Yes, I did just read War and Peace, the Tale of Genji, and the Snooki book in 3 days. Why do you ask?”)

      I have a cool faux leather-bound book that I got from work (when I worked at a bookstore) that was misprinted on the inside. (I think chapters were repeated, or something like that. Or parts were upside down.) I can’t even remember what book it was, but as it is unreadable, it would be a great candidate to carve into. It looks quite dignified from the outside.

      Reply
  3. JCK (Motherscribe)

    Now, Miss RimaRama. I did not know that you were so crafty and this is pure genius. This would also be good for those people who claim that they hate the very idea of a Kindle and can only read real books- and then sneak home to use their Kindle. Beautiful!

    Reply
  4. Painted Maypole

    looks great, but how does the kindle stay in? I’d be afraid it would fall to its death. And do you not find that the mod podged cover sticks to stuff? I mod podged a cover on a scrapbook, and it got stuck to something else on the shelf (after I let it dry thouroughly!) and was a mess. But maybe that’s just because I lived in Louisiana, where the humidity is always somewhere between 85% and 110%.

    Reply
  5. Lauren

    This looks so great i just finished mine and it looked so good what i did is i painted the pages around the edge red because they went gray from all the time i have read it, it looks like a totally new book :)

    Reply
  6. Amanda

    Loved this project! I made it for an anniversary present. It turned out great. My girlfriend is a huge sports fans, so I cut up an extra program from a hockey game and decorated the outside. Thanks so much for the idea!

    Reply
  7. Loi

    This was amazing and funny. If it wasn’t so hot here in Jamaica I’d give it a try. Lately all my craft projects that include anything like glue, tape, mod podge, and even duct tape end up in the trash.

    Reply

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