Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting Crafty: DIY Kindle Case

Ever since my HelpX time in Válor, I've been itching to craft.  This interest was sparked by two of the other HelpXers I was with: Ida from Denmark and Kayleigh from Wales.  They were always doing some sort of creative craft.  One night Ida dyed pages of paper with red wine to use them for a book.  Kayleigh made a journal by stitching pages together.  It had a cardboard cover that was stitched to the pages, and she knit a cover for the journal as well.

Upon my return to Madrid (and the internet), I started spending some time every week every day browsing

Two weeks ago this DIY Kindle Cover caught my eye.  I decided I'd make it once my kindle arrived.

Last weekend while continuing my never-ending cleaning/organization project at Gregorio's house, I kept my eye open for materials I could use for this project or other crafting endeavors.  Although the DIY Kindle Cover directions called for a hard cover book, I found an agenda book from 2008 with removable pages on one of Gregorio's shelves.  It was less sturdy than a hardcover book, but it would allow me to skip the step of cutting out the pages from the binding from a hard cover.

2008 Agenda cover with calendar inserts removed
I also spotted a mini hot glue gun, but he had no idea where the glue sticks were.  I took the glue gun home with me, as I figured it would come in handy with the case.

Since my kindle arrived this past Friday, I was anxious to make the case as soon as possible.  Saturday morning before I had to leave for frisbee, I went to my closest chino shop in an attempt to buy everything I needed at one location.  I could have searched around for a fabric shop, but if I could find everything I needed that morning then on Sunday I'd be able to make it (even though all of the shops would be closed).

For the kindle case project I bought mini hot glue gun sticks, a vinyl table cover, and elastic.  Each of those items were a euro or less, except for the vinyl table cover which was 2,50 euro.  I also picked up some shoelaces, two small dish towels, and sewing needles and thread to be used for future projects.

I'll show you step-by-step what I ended up doing.  Remember, credit for the idea goes to Lori at Crown Hill.  I made some changes due to the materials I had available to me.

Step 1: Cut the book cover to fit the size of your kindle.

I was able to use a pair of scissors instead of an exacto knife since my cover was softer than a hard cover book.
Cut the edges to fit the size of your kindle

Just the right size

Step 2: Make four holes on the right panel of your book for the elastic.

I made sure the holes were in line with each other and that the elastic would fall where I wanted it to on the kindle.
While Lori used a drill for this part, I found a nail and hammer and was easily able to make the holes.

Making holes with a nail and hammer

Step 3: Thread the elastic through the holes.  In the picture below you can see how the length I cut the elastic compares to the size of the right book cover panel.  I'd rather trim the elastic a bit than finish threading it through and discover it's too short.

Cut the two elastic strips longer than the right panel's length

In order to get the thick elastic through these small holes, I ended up using the nail again.  I folded the corner of an end of the elastic over so that it was twice as thick and pushed it through with the nail.  I found that if you don't fold over part of the elastic, the nail will simply poke a hole through the elastic instead of pushing it down.

Being resourceful and threading elastic with a nail

Step 4: Adjust the elastic straps to the tightness you want.

I put my kindle in and pulled the elastic on the back side until I was happy with the tightness.

Adjusting the elastic straps before gluing them down

Step 5: Glue down the ends of the elastic straps on the back cover.

I used the hot glue gun for this part.  I tried to make the elastic lie as flat as it could when I glued it, but I knew the back would still be a bit bumpy after covering it.
Glue down the ends of the elastic straps

Step 6: Cut out your vinyl (or in my case, table cloth), leaving about an inch overhang on each side.  Then glue the vinyl to the outside cover.

I think Lori used some type of fabric glue for this part, then let it dry while being pressed under heavy books for many hours.  Since I only had the hot glue gun, that's what I used to glue down the cover.  Thick lumps of hot glue can dry quickly leaving an undesired bumpy texture,  so I was careful to only squeeze out a little bit of hot glue at a time.  I would smooth it out right away so that the glue would set as flat as possible.  I quickly turned to using the handles of my scissors to do the pushing and smoothing out, as that glue is quite hot - even through the vinyl!

Glue the vinyl to the cover

Step 7: Cut a diagonal at each corner, as pictured below.  

Trimmed corners

I realized at this point that I hadn't left enough space along the right side between the elastic strap and the edge of the case.  This was problematic because when I folded the vinyl flap over, it covered up part of the elastic straps.

To fix this issue, I made the cuts shown below so that the vinyl wouldn't overlap the elastic.  The first indent I cut was on the right side, but I went too deep.  The indent on the left side worked a lot better, as the material folded right up to the edge of the elastic.

Creative problem solving

Step 8: Fold the edge flaps in and glue them down.

Flaps glued down

Although this was just the inside of the case, I thought it looked a little sloppy since I hadn't made my edge lines very straight.  Then I had the idea of using that shoestring I had bought to make it look neater.  I'm very happy with the addition:

Looks better with shoelace

And that's it!  For now I'm just using some shoelace scraps to keep the cover closed, but on my next craft adventure I might try to make a more decorative elastic strap like Lori did.  Here are my current results:

DIY Kindle Case success!


I'm off to do some reading.  (On the kindle obviously!)


  1. Oh my! That is SO cute with the fabric! I also love how you lined the inside with the shoe laces. Great idea! Love the floppy cover idea too. Thanks for posting. It is great to see your ideas!

  2. Thanks Lori! I was lucky to have randomly seen and bought the shoelace earlier that day. (And even more fortunate to have seen your post right around the time I bought my kindle!)