DIY Tutorial - Make an Inexpensive Duct Tape Case for Your iPhone, iPod Touch, or Other Smart Phone
How to Make a Duct Tape iPhone Case
You can make just about anything with duct tape, from wallets to pencil pouches to hats. One of the cooler things you can make is a case for your cellphone. While you can always make a simple slip case for your phone, it won't be very practical, because then you'll have to take the phone out each time. With a little bit of time, creativity, and effort, however, you can have a functional fold-over case for your phone!
Creating the Base
Measure your phone, then add 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to each side.Use a ruler to measure the length and width of your phone. Add 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to each measurement.
Make two duct tape sheets based on those measurements.Cut two strips of duct tape based on your length measurement. Stick them down on a cutting mat, overlapping the sides until you get your width measurement. Flip the sheet over, and cover it with two more strips of duct tape.
- Repeat this step for the other sheet.
- Use an craft blade to cut off any excess duct tape.
Cut four strips of duct tape for the trim.You will need two strips that match the length of your sheet, and two strips that match the width. Slice each strip in half lengthwise. You will have a total of eight strips when you are done.
- You can use the same color as your case, or a coordinating one.
Fold the trim strips over the edges of each duct tape sheet.Place one of the shorter strips over one of the narrow ends of your first duct tape sheet. Make sure that half of it is sticking out over the edge of the sheet. Flip the sheet over, and stick the other half of the strip down. Do this for the remaining edges on both sheets.This will hide the raw edges of the sheet as well as reinforce it.
Adding the Screen Cover
Cut a rectangle out of a heavy-duty Ziploc bag.The rectangle needs to be the same size as one of your duct tape sheets. If you don't have a heavy-duty Ziploc bag, you can use a freezer one instead.Make sure that you cut the rectangle out of a blank side, without any words, patterns or designs.
- Alternatively, you can make a large "duct tape sheet" using clear packaging tape.
- Don't use the small sandwich bags made from thin plastic. They are not very durable.
Stack one of the duct tape sheets, your phone, and the plastic sheet.Set down one of your duct tape sheets. Place your phone on top of it, making sure that it's centered. Place the plastic sheet on top of your phone.
Tape down the side edges of the plastic sheet to the duct tape sheet.Cut a strip of duct tape to match the length of your duct tape sheet, then slice it in half lengthwise. Place one of the strips over the edge of the plastic sheet, then carefully fold the excess onto the back of the duct tape sheet.
- Repeat this step with the other strip for the other side edge. Make sure that you pull the plastic sheet tightly across the front of the phone.
- You can use a contrasting color to make your case look more interesting.
Cut two slits into the bottom edge of the plastic sheet.The slits should be right next to the duct tape border, and about ½ inch (1 centimeter) long. You will have three tabs at the bottom of your plastic sheet: two solid duct tape tabs on each side, and a clear, plastic tab in the middle.
Fold and tape down the duct tape tabs.Fold down the left tab on your plastic sheet; it will make a sort of triangular shape. Secure it with a thin piece of tape. Repeat this step for the right tab.
Fold and tape down the bottom tab.Cut a strip of duct tape that is the same width as your duct tape sheet. Slice the strip in half lengthwise. Use one of the strips to tape down the center tab on the plastic sheet. Fold the excess tape over the bottom edge of the duct tape sheep and onto the back.
Add a trim to the top edge of the plastic cover.Take the other strip from the previous step. Stick it to the top of the plastic sheet, so that half of it is touching the plastic, and the other half is sticking out. Fold it over the top edge of the plastic sheet. Make sure that you are only taping the plastic sheet and not the duct tape sheet.
- Ensure that the strip doesn't cover the camera on your phone. Trim the strip down narrower, if you have to.
Assembling the Case
Cut a strip of duct tape the same length as your duct tape sheets.You can use the same color as the sheet, or a contrasting color. You will be using this to bind the two duct tape sheets together.
Place the strip on top of your duct tape sheets.Set your duct tape sheets down on your cutting mat, leaving a small gap between them. Place your duct tape strip over the right and left side edges of the sheets, covering the gap.
- The gap needs to be about the same width as your phone.
Cut a second, longer strip for the back of the binding.This time, cut the strip 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) longer than your assembled case. Use the same color as the first strip. This time
Cover the back of the binding with the second strip.Flip your assembled case over first so that you can see the outside. Place the second strip of duct tape right over the center seam, covering the sticky part.You will have ½ inch (1 centimeter) of excess tape sticking out over the top and bottom of the case.
Fold down the excess tape.Flip the case over so that you can see the inside. Fold the excess tape at the top and bottom edges down. Your case is now fully assembled!
Making the Strap
Cut two strips of duct tape for the strap.Each strip needs to be 4 inches (10 centimeters) long. You can match the color to your case or to the trim. You can also use a third color, but make sure that it goes well with the other two.
Overlap the strips by 1½ inches (4 centimeters).Place your first strip down, sticky-side up. Place your second strip right on top of it, sticky-side-down. Make sure that they overlap by 1½ inches (4 centimeters). You will have about ½ inch (2 centimeter) of excess tape along the top and bottom long edges.
Fold the excess tape along the top and bottom edges down.Fold the top edge down first. Flip the strap over, then fold the other edge down as well. You should now have a strap that has smooth, finished edges on both sides.
Tape the end of the strap to the back of your phone case.Flip your phone case over so that the back is visible. Cut a strip of duct tape that is 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) wider than your strap. Center the end of the strap on the back of the tape, then secure the tape to the back of your case.
- Make sure that the strap is centered; it should be halfway down the length of your case.
Cut and stick a piece of self-adhesive Velcro to the front of the strap.Cut a piece of self-adhesive Velcro that is a little narrower than your strap. Peel off the plastic backing from one side, then press it against the inside of the strap. Do not pull apart the two Velcro halves yet.
Peel off the backing from the other Velcro half, then stick it to the front of the case.Once you have the Velcro secure to the back of the strap, peel away the second plastic backing. Pull the strap across the front of your case to where you want it to be, then press down on it.
- Use your fingernail to gently pry the two Velcro hales apart. Press down on them
QuestionDo I cut a hole for the camera and speaker also?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should cut a hole for both the camera and speaker. If you don't, you won't be able to hear media properly or take a picture.Thanks!
QuestionCan you still use the buttons on the phone?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would recommend cutting a hole out for the buttons and camera.Thanks!
QuestionWill my phone break if I make a duct tape iPhone case and then drop it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt might. The case will offer some protection, but not much more than any other thin case.Thanks!
QuestionDoes it matter what size duct tape I use?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, the size of the duct tape doesn't matter.Thanks!
- Instead of cutting narrower strips of duct tape, you can buy duct tape that's already cut narrower. You can find it alongside the other rolls of duct tape in the arts and crafts store.
- Duct tape comes in lots of different colors and patterns. Check out your nearest craft store!
- If you are having troubles making a duct tape sheet, consider using a pre-made one. Cut two rectangles down to the right size, then stick them together.
- Cut more shapes out of a pre-made duct tape sheet, then stick them to the front of your phone case.
- If your phone came with a stylus, you can wrap a piece of self-adhesive Velcro around it, then place the matching Velcro piece inside the case.
- You can make your phone case open horizontally instead of vertically. Stat by taping down the top and bottom edges of the plastic cover, then the outside side edges.
- Glue rhinestones to the outside of your case to make it extra fancy.
- Decorate the outside of your case with stickers or washi tape.
- Not all plastic bags may work with your phone's screen. Place your phone inside the bag first, then try to use the screen.
- Make and add some credit card slots, then stick them to the inside cover.
- You can use this tutorial to make cases for other types of cellphones too!
Video: How to make a duct tape iPhone case!
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