Tutorial : Kindle Cover

By GirlaboutBath • craft, kindle, tutorial • 22 Jan 2012

So as promised, although much delayed (apologies!), here is the tutorial for making a kindle cover like this:

First you’ll need to gather:

- Some pretty material (one piece 320mm x 60mm, another 320mm x 350mm)

- Buttons

- 3 hair elastics

- ribbon (from the inside of clothes for hanging on coat-hangers will do!)

- an old ringbinder, (one of the thick cardboard covered in plastic coating variety)

- a craft knife

- sewing machine

- iron

- some Wunderweb

An important thing to note is that I changed ring binders halfway through making – I changed how I was constructing it, so don’t be put off when it turns from yellow to blue!!

Right, here goes!

1. First you’ll need to cut off a side of your ringbinder – so that you have a flat piece of board to work with. With the half of the board that you have, you need to mark out the shape that you will want to cut out.  For the new kindle, the rectangle was 269mm x 181mm – this will give you between 5-10mm around the edge of your kindle, so it is snug and protected within the cover. In the picture below you can see what I mean about the edge surrounding the kindle.  NB: You’ll also see that the rectangle I have asked you to cut out is in three pieces here, your piece of board  shouldn’t be!! This was part of the original design, but I’ve found scoring worked better as you’ll see in a moment, and hence why the board is about to change from yellow to blue!

2.  To cut the rectangle out you’ll need to use a craft knife (I used the breadboard to lean on!) as it’s pretty tough stuff. Now you need to measure along the top and bottom of the rectangle and mark a spot at 128mm and 140mm.  Join up the dots to draw essentially the spine of the cover.  You then need to score these lines with your craft knife.  It should now look like this:

3.  Now to constructing a sleeve to go around this piece of board.  You’ll need two bits of material – I chose an Alice in Wonderland themed piece for the main section, and a blue and white striped material for the band. (Again, ignore the yellow board with the masking tape strips – that was from the original design!)  You’ll need to cut your main material to 320mm by 350mm and your band to 320mm by 60mm.

4. Now you need to match up the edges of your materials that are the same length (320mm sides).  Line up the edge of your band of material with the edge of the main material, with the right-sides of each facing one another.  If like me you have chosen a stripy material for the band, now is the time to make sure the stripe is going to be lined up and parallel with the edges.  Pin along the edge to hold it in place.  You’ll now need to sew along this seam to join the two pieces. I worked to pretty small seams (10mm or so) to avoid bumps in the finished product.

5.  You now need to do the same with the other long-side of the materials to form a tube.

6.  Carefully turn the tube inside out, to reveal the cover starting to come together, and test that it fits around the board-insert.  Muddle around with it until the band is in the position you desire, carefully slide it back off and then iron the tube to give it a top and bottom crease.

7.  Now you need to close up the end openings.  Turn the cover back inside out, and sew all the way up the left hand end, about a cm in from the edge.  It’s important for this end to be the tidier end as it’ll be more visible that the right hand side (the kindle itself will hide this fold to some degree).   Once you have closed up the first end, turn the tube back the right way.  We’ll close up the other end a bit later.

8.  Now you need to start putting in the fastenings to hold your kindle in place when it is inside the cover.  As you can see below, eventually you’ll have 4 corner pieces inside your kindle cover: two made from folded corners of material, and two from hair elastics.

At this point, you’re going to put in the elastic and stripy corner on the left.  Lay your kindle on the cover and work out where you want it to sit.  This bit is worth taking time over – to make sure that the kindle will fit snugly and not fall out.  For the top bit of elastic, I just cut a part of hair elastic to 60mm and when the kindle was in place, lay it over the corner and marked where the ends would need attaching (a little under where the kindle sits, so it wraps around it.  I then attached one end by sewing it securely to the material, before cutting off a tiny bit of the elastic, and attaching the other end by sewing also.  By cutting the elastic down to about 57mm, but still sewing it onto where previously marked for 60mm, it should be nice and tight (you may decide to cut off even more, see what works for you!) and pulling the material slightly.  Don’t worry about this because as soon as you slip the board back inside, it’ll pull it nice and tight to keep the kindle secure.  9.  Now for the bottom left corner.  You could use four pieces of elastic, but I chose to use the left over stripy material folded into a corner that my kindle would sit snugly in, which I then attached using Wunderweb to the cover (more about how to use this ‘wunder’ful (!) adhesive coming up!10.  This is the point where you need to attach a big button to the front of your cover, and an elastic to the back of your cover, to fasten it closed, while you can still get your hand inside the tube of material to stitch them on.

To fasten your cover closed, you’ll be pulling the elastic around the front and looping it around the button, so when you have sewn the button on, make sure you spend some time working out where to place your elastic on the back so that when it’s pulled around to the front, it’s tight.

11.  Before you attach the right hand side elastic/corner on the inside of your case, you need to insert the board back into the tube.  Then, using an iron for clean creases, I folded the material at the end as if I was wrapping a present.  You have a choice here, you can then sew up the edge, before folding it over, or if you have creased it well with the iron, you can get away without doing this (I ended up unpicking my sewing and ironing instead as I preferred the ‘look’ without the stitching – it’s personal taste).

You can now fold over this end and secure it in place with Wunderweb.  This stuff is awesome.  To use, you cut a piece of webbing to fit the area you want to secure, and lay it between the two pieces of material you’re sticking together.  Then you need to lay a damp tea-towel or jay-cloth on top, and hold the iron to fuse it all together, for at least 10 seconds.  It really does work like magic!

12.  I recommend leaving the Wunderweb section to dry out and become really well stuck before you stitch the final two corner fastenings in place, just like before.  I also then, using glue suitable for fixing materials, added a ribbon down the spine.  You should now have something that looks like this:13. It’s nice and easy now – we just need to do the ‘pretty-fying’!  I stuck 3 buttons on the outer spine along the stripy band:

I then contemplated adding more, but decided that actually I liked the more minimalist look, but there’s nothing to stop you putting anything you like on the cover now – even iron-on patches could look great.

And that’s it – your kindle case should be complete!

I really hope that this tutorial has been helpful and given you plenty of ideas on how to make a cover for your kindle.  I’d love to hear any feedback and to see any of your own versions – please send me pictures so that I can feature them in future posts.

A final thank you to The Makery for giving me such a wonderful choice of materials and buttons to choose from in the making of this – every visit to your gorgeous shop is a delight, and purse-lightening!

Feel free to link to this post from your own website, but please give me credit if doing so. 

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