Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Craft Log: Mori-Inspired E-Reader case

I usually don't craft much. Lack of time, lack of money, lack of patience- that pretty much sums it up. All I really do is make jewelry. Unfortunately, desperate times call for desperate measures, so in preparation for the trips I'll be taking over spring break* I busted out my hot glue and button collection and did some grade-A scrounging to make myself a travel-safe case for my Kindle. I'm sure this will prove utterly invaluable, considering this is my second Kindle since Christmas (yes, I know, I'm a bit of a clutz...) I know I'll need something to protect it, since I have no idea what I did to break my last one- knowing me, I dropped it, stepped on it, or spilled tea on it and stuffed it with jam.

It seemed silly to blow a lot of cash on something that I had plenty of materials around to make for free, so I decided (rather sternly, if I may add), to spend absolutely nothing on this project. That's right- I made it for free, using only things I found around my house. That meant scavenging for the biggest piece of felt in the building; it was stolen from a puzzle box (I have no idea what its original purpose was) and a brilliant forest green. I was stumped for a few days, because there are few shades I've absolutely never seen in lolita before, and this particular green was one of them. I had to delve deeper, and decided to play with a mori-girl theme instead of my standard frou-frou-princess-shit. I don't know why I went with mushrooms for the decorations. My mom tried to get me to do acorns, but for absolutely no reason whatsoever, I was hooked on shrooms (bet you never thought you'd hear me say that!)

 Here's what I used:
  • Felt in forest green, light blue, beige, and red
  • Spray glue
  • Cardboard
  • Hot glue
  •  Rhinestones
  • Cute button +needle and thread to sew it on
  • Some thin ribbon to make a loop for the button

The first step was to cut the cardboard... or if you're a huge weakling like me, have your dad do it for you. I used my Kindle as a pattern, and sketched two rectangles about a half-inch bigger on each side.

So, now that I had my cardboard protectors cut, it was time to measure the felt. Since I can't see myself ever really doing much else with this green felt, I didn't do it very thriftily; I found a fold in the fabric that was about at its center, placed the two pieces of cardboard on either side of this fold, and then measured to have about a half-inch to an inch on each long side; I didn't even bother to measure the short ends. I did this twice so I'd have two separate pieces that looked something like this...

Then I put them together using spray adhesive. I sprayed the bottom layer of felt with glue, stuck the cardboard in place (picture below), and then sprayed both the cardboard and the felt around the edges with another coat of adhesive so I could stick the remaining piece of felt to them:

Then I cut one short-end of the green felt to as close to the cardboard as I could without exposing it, and folded it together so the bottom of the pouch was where the original fabric folded. I used hot glue to fix the sides together, with the intention of someday stitching them up all pretty with embroidery floss. Then I used the cute mock-up I drew... cut out my mushrooms from the red, blue, and beige felt, and hot-glued them in place. The fat little red mushroom looked kind of sad, so I added some bling:
As you can probably tell, they were just shoddy craft rhinestones from Micheal's, nothing fancy or special, since I know this is going to take some abuse. After making sure everything was glued down well, I raided my button collection for something suitable to act as a closure. I wanted something vintage and kitschy but still classy, so I sewed on a cute mirrored silver one, as well as hot-gluing a small loop of brown ribbon to close it.

The finished product:

Sorry for the shoddy pictures, by the way, I left my own camera at home so I had to borrow my mother's. I'd really like to revise this one in the future! I think it'd be adorable with some embroidery and crocheted lace on the flap, which is currently plain, and a nice blanket-stitch around the edges to finish them some more. For now, though, it's doing its job well and I can finally take my Kindle out with me, without fear of damaging it again!

*Note: You may remember my plans to visit Tokyo over spring break that I talked about a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, due to the tragedy they're currently dealing with, my boyfriend and I decided it would be best to push our vacation back a few months; we'll be going in May instead.  There are supposedly intense food shortages, power outages, and whole train lines that are down, so as impatient as I am to go back, I'm taking the logical route (for once) and waiting until summer vacation. Besides, this way, we're going only a few days after my birthday!

If, like me, you're concerned about the state of the nation, you can donate to the Japanese Red Cross here. Please remember that in times like these, any little bit helps, and I hope the meager amount I could afford to send over is enough to give a meal to some families in need or bring someone closer to finding a lost loved one.

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