DIY iPhone Case Liner: Greek Key With Monogram

After taking in some lovely cherry blossom photos yesterday, it's back to projects today - hooray! 

If you have an iPhone, I'll bet you've shopped for a cute case or two. If you're like me, you've probably seen quite a few that you like, which makes it hard to decide on just one. So when I got my iPhone back in the fall, instead of picking a case with a cute pattern, I went with the most boring case ever - one with a clear back and white rubber edges. Sounds lame, right? Surprisingly, it's not - because of the clear back. If you've got a clear case, the possibilities are actually endless because you can make a paper insert for it. Then you can change it up anytime you feel like it! And that's just what I've done. Three times in fact. 

Today I'm going to be talking about making your own iPhone case liner (or insert). I've mentioned making these before (here and here), but I've got a more in-depth tutorial for you today, since I just made a new one for myself this past weekend.

Why change it again? Well, it's because I can and I love designing new patterns. :) Oh, and I also managed to spill water on my other one.

{You get a good shot of my case here too.}

Whomp whomp. 

First of all, you'll need to design your case liner. I used Adobe Illustrator for mine, but I realize that not everyone has this software, so know that you can do this in Microsoft Powerpoint too. 

Before you start designing away, set the dimensions of your new document in either Illustrator or PowerPoint. In Illustrator, when you open a new document, you can set the dimensions right there at the start. In PowerPoint (I have the 2010 edition), open a new presentation, click the design tab (third one in from the left on the top row), then page setup. For either program, set the dimensions to 2.31"W by 4.87"H (for an iPhone5) or 2.31"W by 4.5"H (for an iPhone4).

I went with a Greek key pattern and slapped my monogram in the middle of it (why not, right? if it's going to be custom, let's make it custom). Print it out. Make sure that your printer is set to print ACTUAL SIZE. No shrinking to fit or anything like that, otherwise the proportions will be off.

I love the colors on this - bright pinks and orange are a perfect combo for spring. 

Next step is trimming the excess paper. Since the insert is the exact proportions of your phone, try to be as precise as you can in trimming. I used my paper trimmer first to ensure straight lines:

Since the corners of an iPhone are rounded, you'll need to round the corners of your case insert too. I forgot to take a photo of this step, but I think it's pretty self explanatory :). You can put your phone down on the backside of the insert, line up the edges, and use the phone's corners as a template. Use scissors or an exact-o knife to do this part.

Go ahead and put the liner into your case. This way, you can make sure it fits properly and complete the next step.

Does anything look funny to you about the photo above? Ah yes, the camera on the backside is covered up by your lovely new case liner. No good, right? Well there's an easy solution to this, but it takes a little finesse. 

Grab a pen or pencil, and trace the oval cutout on the case where the camera lens is hiding (upper left-hand corner).

Get as close to the edge as you can so that when you trim this part out, the edges will become invisible. This is the part that will make your paper insert look like it was custom-made for the case (because it was - by you!). Pop the liner back out of the case to trim this little oval out. I'd suggest using an exact-o knife for this - but be careful! The very top edge is going to be particularly fragile because it's very narrow. 

When you're done, put the liner back in, and voila! you've got a custom case. All for the cost of your time and one piece of paper.

I'm loving my new case insert. It's bright and fun, and a perfect way to customize the look of my phone without shelling out $20-$50 for a custom case.

Would you like one of these, but don't want to make one yourself? I'm happy to customize one of my Greek key liners with the colors and monogram of your choosing for $5. Email me for details or leave a comment and we'll get in touch!


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  1. I always wondered how they were made. Thank you for sharing your tutorial.

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