Illustration by Mia Hovila

D.I.Y or Don’t

By Katie Naphas /// Features Editor

Here’s a little backstory for you: I’ve been using one of my roommate’s 10,000 phone cases for her iPhone 5S since I got my own 5S about a year ago. After much trepidation and reluctance to accept the fact that my iPhone 4S cases were rendered completely useless by my upgrade, I finally decided to buck up and get a case of my own — DIY style.

The main benefits of this project: it’s cheap, quick, and it gives you multiple options right away.

Here’s what you need:

— Scissors

— Cardstock paper (found for about a buck in JoAnn’s)

— A clear iPhone case

— Some paint or nail polish


Finding clear cases is super easy if you go through Amazon (which is a bonus if you’ve taken them up on their Prime Account offer for students). I got a Ringke case because it bends, which makes the rest of the process easier, but you might want a case that’s harder or clearer for your own needs.


You can do really cool things with paint and cardstock if you’re good at artsy things, but if you’re like me, you just want to do things with minimal effort. So, if you’re taking the artsy route, you can make a collage sort of thing for yours. If you’re going the easy way, then all ya gotta do is find a template of your phone’s shape, trace that onto cardstock, cut it out (especially where the camera is), and make sure it fits in the clear case. I personally decided to go back to my roots and make my case sparkly, so I broke out some gold glitter nail polish and painted the case itself to emphasize the glittery paper I used this time around. You could also use regular acrylics and paint polka dots, stripes, or whatever else right onto the inside of the clear case to get your desired look.


Once the nail polish dried, I put the paper into the case, put my phone in, and it was ready. All in all, the whole thing probably took about 10 minutes and now I can finally retire my roommate’s case (which I kinda broke anyway). Now that this is done, I’m probably going to order a few more clear cases so I can get a good rotation going. In any case, this tutorial is super easy to follow and yields some stellar results, so if you’re looking to change up your phone’s look, go for it the DIY way.


1 Comment

  1. Katie, you have at least one reader here in the UK – me – and sad as it may seem I am already looking forward each week to your column. It’s (almost) always practical, it’s always imaginative and light-hearted and it’s just fun to read. Thanks and keep going.

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