Customize Your Phone with Easy DIY Printable Case *with Special Bonus Features!

diy phone case

Though I didn’t get a smart phone until 2013, I’d been looking forward to the momentous day since middle school. Sure, I liked the idea of having a phone with Internet, Temple Run, and all my music, but equally important was the fact that I’d be able to customize it with a DIY phone case.

The day I saw the rabbit phone case with bunny ears and a fluffy tail at Mitsuwa, I vowed that I would one day own the Rabito, or more realistically a knock-off version from Korea or Amazon. Like I’ve mentioned before, Zooey Deschanel’s television aesthetic in 2010 played a formative role in my life, so seeing her carry my Dream Phone Case in New Girl only fed my confirmation bias.

However, by the time I actually got a smart phone (my pink iPhone 5C), I had a better idea. Though my parents initially got me the pink one and a clear case so the bright phone could stand out in my bag, I realized that the clear case offered me limitless possibilities at a comparatively low cost.

I’ve previously complained about the prevalence of Apple products here, but the limited availability of Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge+ phone cases makes this the perfect DIY for anyone with a Samsung, LG, Motorola, or any other smart phone that isn’t an iPhone. It’s also a good way to disguise how dirty your clear case and protector have gotten, which is why I recently returned to my old tricks with these DIY phone case printables.

  1. Make sure the size of the Powerpoint canvas is the same size as whatever paper you’re printing it on so everything is to scale.
  2. I looked up the phone specs and on Powerpoint, made a rounded rectangle through AutoShapes, the preferred graphic design tool of the experts, roughly the same size and shape as my phone.
  3. Then I made a light rectangle signaling the approximate location of the camera so I could avoid any significant design choices in that region. It doesn’t have to be precise, since you can just cut a small hole and tear away the part that blocks the camera. If there’s excess material that overflows, that’s okay, too because you can just cut it away after printing.
  4. Set a background for the phone case. The possibilities are endless; you can use any of the solid colors or gradient tools your Presentations tool offers or you can trawl the Internet for different floral patterns, abstract art, or prints. (Tumblr background + floral print, or Tumblr + grid print are good search queries.) You just have to right click + save as the image, then set the fill for the shape as a picture. It might require some fiddling with size and proportion, but it’s quite painless.
  5. If you want fun decals on top of your background, just google something along the lines of “transparent Tumblr png” or “__object name here__ png” you’ll find something.
  6. Select all the individual items on the template and group them so that if you need to move the template, they all move as one unit.
  7. Print it out, line it against the clear case, cut out the camera lens part.
  8. Enjoy your new phone case!

diy phone case

What’s nice about these printables is that you don’t have to really worry about losing or breaking your phone case (aside from the easily-replaced clear one) because you can always just print out another that’s exactly to your liking! In fact, if you wanted to, you could just Google Image-search phone case designs and replicate the design fairly easily.

While we’re here, let’s get some other design-related tips of the way aka Special Bonus Features!
  1. The clear case + design under formula can have other applications aside from printables.
    • You can decorate your phone with stickers or Washi tape and protect them with a clear case.
    • You can cut up a piece of wrapping paper or any sort of paper and place it underneath the clear case.
    • You can stick a small Polaroid picture underneath a clear case.
  2. Instead of buying posters for your dorm (or in addition to), print out pictures you really like on cardstock, mount it to a piece of colored paper if you want a frame, and hang them up on your walls. If you want to pimp your crib like my freshman dorm room, I suggest the cheerful artistic stylings of Tyler Feder, whimsical creations by Eugenia Loli, and Fly Art’s lyrics + classical painting combinations.
    • Sub note: if you want to print out a large image, you can go Abbi from Broad City-style and make a collated poster using several sheets of paper.
    • If I had the wherewithal to spend money on posters, I would support independent artists. However, the best I can do now is print them online.
  3. COLLEGE STUDENTS (and those who attend very cool high schools or are a part of very hip public libraries): If you’re looking for laptop stickers with simple designs, skip RedBubble and make your own stickers at your campus Tech Lab or a local Maker Space. Many of them offer vinyl-cutters like Cricut.
    • If you want to promote your publication, club, or Greek-life organization, making your own stickers (assuming the rates are reasonable) can save you a lot of money if you’re willing to put in the legwork for the DIY part of DIY stickers.

Cover image via Lovely Indeed