Customized Phone Case

For my birthday, my parents gave me an iPhone. (Yay!) This is the first internet capable phone I’ve had, and I may be having too much fun downloading free apps for it. I also possibly find it a bit too amusing that my first time reading Pride and Prejudice was on my phone. ^_^

But one of the things that bothers me about iPhones is there’s not a lot you can easily customize about them. You can change the background image, and you can have a case to help protect the shiny finish. So of course I made a background for my phone, and I wanted to make a unique case for it. Since I’ve been really looking forward to having a more complete Steampunk costume for the Ball at the end of the month, I decided to do a Steampunk inspired phone case.

In my online search for cases, I found some wooden cases, giving me the idea to customize mine by burning an image into the wood. My search then became finding a wood case in my budget–under $20. Most of the reviews for wood cases are pretty bad, since the carved wood is fragile. With some cases, you can’t charge your phone with the case on or some of the side buttons aren’t accessible. The nicer cases can be upwards of $100, which I sure wasn’t willing to spend. I eventually came across this one:

At only seven dollars, I wasn’t going to pass this one up. And if I happened to really screw up my modifications, not much lost. My first step then was to find an image I wanted to burn into the wood. I wanted to do something with Victorian swirls, but I’m terrible at making them myself. I did a quick image search to find some inspiration for the swirls, and since I’m going with the Steampunk theme, I found an image with gears I could draw from as well. I traced around my phone for approximate size and sketched this:

I copied my sketch onto tracing paper so I could transfer it onto my case, but before I could transfer it, I had to sand off the case’s finish. Thankfully from the shop build I have a battery powered sander that took off the finish quickly and evenly. From there, I transferred my image and burned it into the wood. Remember folks, wood-burning is best done in a well ventilated area, not the dining room. Heh. ^_^;

After the design was finished, it needed to be sealed. Using a small brush and some quick dry polyurethane, I applied two coats to reseal the wood. Once the polyurethane had completely dried, I glued five watch gears near the large hole. It would have been awesome to rivet the gears onto the case so they could rotate, but I don’t have the tools to do that. Anyway, I’m really happy how this came out!

Hallowe’en Countdown: 17 days


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