DIY iPhone Cases: Repurposing Holiday Glitz


For some reason, this holiday season was full of glitter. Whether it was hanging on the wall at our office New Year’s Party or on the floor in the form of giant Mylar confetti, it felt like everything in my life was coated in a thin dusting of shininess. Rather than throwing or packing it all away for the next celebration, I decided to repurpose some of it for a quick and easy vacation DIY.

During my week off, I spent a good chunk of time vegging out on the couch (and re-watching all of Modern Family‘s first season), so this project was the perfect way to stay creative without too much effort. Using some inexpensive clear cases I ordered online, I gave new life to leftover tinsel, glitter and photobooth streamers. Along with some paint, they added much-needed glitz to the clear cases and have given me a few fun options to use throughout the year. I made four cases in one evening (I let them dry overnight), and the next morning they were good to go. So if you’ve still got some vacation time, or just want a fun after-work project, this is a great way to be creative in a pinch (or make a belated holiday gift). If glitter isn’t your thing, consider using the Mod Podge to attach beautiful leftover holiday ribbon or gift wrap to the case instead. Happy crafting! xo, grace

The full project instructions continue after the jump . . .


Difficulty: 1–2
Cost: $10–$15 each (depending on what materials you have around the house)

Materials

  • glitter
  • tinsel or streamers
  • Mod Podge
  • brushes
  • paint
  • scissors and/or hole punch (I love this one.)
  • clear iPhone cases (I used these.)

 

Steps

1. Assemble your glitter components. I used about a tablespoon-sized amount of glitter, tinsel and hand-cut streamers. To make the streamer parallelograms, I took a few strands and cut them long ways and then bunched them in a group and cut at an angle.

2. Working on one phone at a time (the glue dries really quickly), coat the inside of the case with a thin layer of Mod Podge. Distribute your glittery elements the way you’d like, dropping them from above or gently placing them with the tip of your finger. Try not to smudge or move the Mod Podge too much or you’ll leave a smear.

*If you want to just use small glitter, you can mix it into a small batch of Mod Podge and apply it directly in one step.

3. When your Mod Podge is totally dry, remove any excess glitter elements that didn’t full adhere, and either apply another coat and more glitter or move on to your paint.

*You can use a small Q-tip to remove excess glitter, paint or Mod Podge.

4. Apply a thin layer of paint (black was my favorite, because the glitter really stood out against it) and wait for it to fully dry. I did two thin coats on each phone.

5. Once the paint has fully dried (I let mine dry overnight), apply a final thin coat of Mod Podge to seal the paint. Attach to your phone, and you’re done!

Eva

SO fun…totally doing this in a Pink/Gold combo. One question: What type of paint did you use?

Deco Review

This is called telepathy..I was planning to start my work on I-phone crochet case when lol I spotted this post. Nice work.

Mrs. Vallejos

This is very cool, and could be used to create a lot of different designs (i.e. put the mod podge in circles, attach glitter, dry, paint circles black, then paint the whole thing white or pink or…, then put final mod podge on). Excellent! I just needed the nudge and now the design world will be mine. Bwah-hah-hah!!!!!

emily

I love this idea! Do the cases feel tacky when dry? Sometimes when i use Mod Podge it feels a little gummy afterwards… but I am very impatient and glob it on.

Vanessa (Damask & Dentelle)

A lovely idea indeed Grace, thank you! With all the glitz left around the house after our “a little extreme” Christmas decorating, I should be able to do at least 50 cases. :o) Great!

Hall

Very Cool, that’s definitely cheaper and more creative than buying something from the apple store.

marni

doesn’t the regular acrylic and water based modge podge chip or flake off the smooth plastic of the case? what have you noticed after use?

Annabelle

I was trying to look through design*sponge’s old diy archive, but the pictures aren’t showing up properly. Once I got to around 2008, the pictures wouldn’t show up on the entries pages. I really wish I could see the pictures! <:(

Merissa

The instructions say to glue the glitter on the inside of the case, and then paint. I’m sure you didn’t paint over the glitter, so did you maybe glue the glitter to the outside of the case and paint the inside so that it shows through?

Grace Bonney

merissa

nope, you read correctly. i applied the glitter, waited for it to dry and then painted over that with the colored paint. then i sealed it with mod podge again. if you glitter first and allow it to dry, the paint won’t cover the glitter, it’s only a second layer on top. all the decoration is on the inside of the phone so the outside isn’t bumpy.

grace

Jennifer

I wonder if nail polish would work (both the glittery kind and the plain colorful kind, as well as the clear stuff for sealing it in)? As soon as I saw these I thought of all of the nail polish colors I have that I thought would look great!

Also, have another clear plastic case connection that is even cheaper: protective-plastic-back-case-for-iphone-4-4s-transparent-132881. I have ordered from them before, and although the shipping is really slow (it took several weeks to get my stuff), the shipping is included in the price, and everything is really cheap. Plus, if you order 10 or more, these cases are only 95 cents a piece…that’ll allow you to try every design you had in mind.

Summer

I LOVE your designs. Mine didn’t come out so hot. What kind of paint did u use? I didn’t like that I could see brush strokes.

Summer

Oops. Didn’t read other posts asked the same question. Not sure what I’m doing wrong :(

Anna

Is there any damage to the back of the phone when doing these? Does the glitter or paint scratch or stick to the back of the phone?

Ee

Do you put the glitters on the mod podge? and doesn’t the black paint covers the glitters too?

Deone

Do the paint and glitter chip after awhile and is it good to do the inside or the outside?

Amy Azzarito

@Deone – You paint the inside of the case and they don’t really seem to chip. Grace and I both used them for a long time. :) xoAmy

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