Upcycling Old Materials: DIY Eco-Friendly Phone Cases

Written by: Better Ask Me



Time to read 5 min

In today's world, where environmental consciousness is on the rise, upcycling old materials has become a popular trend. Why not extend this eco-friendly approach to our phone accessories? In this blog post, we'll show you how to repurpose everyday items like old fabric, plastic, and cardboard to create stylish and sustainable phone cases. Let's embark on a creative journey that not only showcases your personal style but also helps reduce waste and minimize our ecological footprint.

phone case

Upcycling Old Materials: DIY Eco-Friendly Phone Cases

Step 1: Fabric Phone Case

  1. Measure your phone's dimensions and add about 1/2 inch to each side for seam allowance: To start, grab a measuring tape and measure the length and width of your phone. Add an extra 1/2 inch to each side to accommodate the seams. This will ensure a snug fit for your phone inside the fabric case.

  2. Cut two pieces of fabric to the measured size: Choose your favorite fabric scraps or repurpose an old piece of clothing that you no longer use. Lay the fabric flat and use fabric scissors to cut two pieces according to the dimensions you measured earlier.

  3. Place the fabric pieces together with the patterned sides facing inward: Align the two pieces of fabric, making sure the patterned or colorful sides are facing each other. This way, when you turn the fabric inside out later, the pattern will be visible on the outside of the phone case.

  4. Stitch three sides together, leaving the top side open: Thread a needle with a thread color that complements the fabric, and sew along three sides of the fabric, leaving the top side open. You can use a simple running stitch or a more decorative stitch if you're feeling adventurous.

  5. Turn the fabric inside out to reveal the patterned side and slip your phone inside the case: Gently turn the fabric inside out through the opening you left in step 4. The patterned side of the fabric should now be on the outside. Slide your phone into the fabric case and adjust it to fit snugly.

  6. Fold the open top side inward and glue it shut neatly: To close the top side of the fabric case, fold the edges inward to create a clean seam. Apply some non-toxic and eco-friendly fabric glue along the folded edges and press them together firmly. Allow the glue to dry completely before using your stylish new fabric phone case.

Step 2: Plastic Container Phone Case

  1. Look for a plastic container that can fit your phone comfortably: Search your kitchen or recycling bin for a suitable plastic container. Make sure it's clean and dry before starting this DIY project. The container should be large enough to accommodate your phone with a little extra space for easy insertion and removal.

  2. Mark the dimensions of your phone on the container and use a craft knife to carefully cut it out: Place your phone on the plastic container and trace its outline using a marker or pencil. With steady hands, carefully cut along the traced lines using a craft knife or a pair of sharp scissors. Take your time to ensure a smooth and precise cut.

  3. Smooth the cut edges to avoid any rough surfaces: After cutting out the phone case shape, inspect the edges for any rough or sharp areas. Use sandpaper or a nail file to gently smooth the edges, making them safe to handle.

  4. Optionally, paint the outside of the plastic case to add some personal flair: If you want to add a personal touch, consider painting the outside of the plastic case. Choose eco-friendly acrylic paints or water-based markers, as they are less harmful to the environment. Let your creativity shine as you decorate the case with patterns, colors, or even your name.

  5. Once the paint is dry, slip your phone into the plastic case, and you're ready to go: Allow the paint to dry completely before inserting your phone into the plastic case. Make sure it fits securely, and you now have an upcycled plastic container phone case that showcases your artistic flair and commitment to sustainability.

Step 3: Cardboard Phone Case

  1. Find a piece of cardboard that is large enough to accommodate your phone: Look around your home for sturdy pieces of cardboard from old packaging boxes, cereal boxes, or other sources. Choose cardboard that is in good condition and large enough to cover your phone entirely.

  2. Cut the cardboard to the desired phone case size: Measure the length and width of your phone and mark those dimensions on the cardboard using a ruler and a pencil. Carefully cut along the lines you marked, ensuring straight edges for a neat appearance.

  3. If the cardboard is plain, feel free to decorate it using paints, markers, or glued-on fabric scraps: Cardboard provides an excellent canvas for your creativity. You can paint the surface using eco-friendly acrylic paints, draw designs with markers, or glue on fabric scraps to add texture and color.

  4. Once your design is complete, fold the cardboard along the sides to create a box-like shape: Hold the cardboard in place with one hand and fold the sides upward using your other hand. Make sure the folds align with the edges of the cardboard, creating a box-like structure around your phone.

  5. Glue the sides together securely and allow it to dry: Apply eco-friendly glue along the folded edges to hold the sides together. Press the edges firmly to ensure a strong bond. Set the cardboard phone case aside to dry completely before proceeding.

  6. Slip your phone inside the cardboard case, and voila, you have a stylish and eco-friendly phone accessory: Once the glue is dry, slide your phone into the cardboard case to check the fit. The cardboard should hold your phone snugly and provide ample protection. You now have a unique and eco-friendly phone case that showcases your creativity and environmental consciousness.

Step 4: Embellish Your DIY Phone Case

  1. To make your phone case truly unique, consider adding embellishments like buttons, beads, or even embroidery: Unleash your imagination and gather small embellishments like buttons, beads, sequins, or other decorative items. These can add a touch of personality and flair to your DIY phone case.

  2. Get creative and experiment with different materials to express your personal style: There are endless possibilities for adding embellishments. Consider creating patterns, shapes, or even writing your initials with the embellishments to make the phone case truly yours.

Upcycling old materials to create DIY phone cases is not only a fulfilling craft activity but also a small step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. By reducing waste and repurposing items that would otherwise end up in landfills, you're contributing to a greener future. So, the next time you want a fresh look for your phone, take a moment to explore your surroundings and see what you can upcycle into a one-of-a-kind phone case that reflects your style and cares for the planet. Happy crafting!

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