Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DIY iPhone Photo Cover Case

I thought I'd repost this great DIY iPhone cover project because I've been having so much fun turning my summer photos into cases.    This project is super easy to do and inexpensive to boot....especially compared to how much these personalized cases can cost if you order them online.  

I originally found this tutorial on a terrific blog, The Ambitious Procrastinator.  She has all kinds of great DIY projects...so check out her site.

Anyway,  my version is tweaked a bit....I used Photoshop Elements to resize my photo and she uses Word in her tutorial (if you are not familiar with PSE, check out her instructions....they are great!).

Anyway, after a going on our fantastic summer vacation, I was inspired to make several new covers to remind me of our travels for my phone.  Here is my latest.....cute huh?

To get this project rolling, the key item that you need is a clear iPhone case.  I searched all over the South Bay and ended up finding one at a kiosk at the mall.  My key requirements for the case was that it needed to have a clear back and that it needed to have rubber sides.

Note:  I first tried a hard shell case and decided I didn't like that because it was too difficult to take the case off and on.   I have the iPhone macro, fish-eye and wide angle lenses from Photojojo, so I needed a case that was easy to slip off and on.  

The one I ended up with cost $19.99 and was not a name brand...it was some off brand called Wireless (imported from China).

Onto the fun part.....creating your photo insert.........

1.  Using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, create a new blank file that is 2.25" by 4.5" and open the images you want to include (this dimension is for the iPhone 4S, size may differ for iPhone 5).  If you want to make a collage like I did above, you need to drag and drop your images onto the canvas and resize them to fit.  You can create any kind of collage grouping you like, you just need to play around with it.  If you want to use one photo,  that works too.....just drag that photo onto the canvas and resize to fill the canvas.

2.  After you've created your  insert, print it out on a 4x6 piece of photo paper.   Note:  In the select print size menu, be sure to click print actual size so that it does not fill the paper....see my sample below.  

3.  Cut out your image and round off the corners.
4.  Place the photo insert into your case and trace the lens/flash area with a pencil.
5.  Using either a craft knife or hole punch, cut out the lens/flash space.  I used a hole punch--I'm craft knife challenged.  I tried using it and the hole I cut out was jagged.  Using the hole punch, suited me better. :)  
6.  Insert your photo into your case and you are set!

The great thing about this project is that if you can easily swap out different photos and because the photos are protected by a plastic case the image doesn't rub off as it sometimes does with photos that are printed directly onto a case.

Here are a few other examples that I made.  As you can see, the sky is the limit on what you can create.


  1. Hi...what a great tutorial! How much fun to make a custom iPhone cover...thank you for sharing! Love your blog!

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  3. Das Cover ist wunderschön. Auf eine solche Idee muss man ja erst einmal kommen. Sieht einfach klasse aus.

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  6. We get the same clear back cover in India for $2 only ! Love the tutorial..Thankyou for sharing. I will be doing it with mine soon.
    Keep posting fun stuff.


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