I've been having one of those days today. You know the ones I mean, where you know exactly what you need to do but everything seems to take you so much longer and doesn't seem to go the way you want it? Yes? Well today is one of those days for me. Creative block has set in and I desperately need to get back on track.
I read somewhere a while ago (I can't remember what it was or where I found it but if I remember, I'll let you know!) that one of the best things to do when your creativity is feeling a bit, well, blah for want of a better word, is to wake up your brain by using a different set of creative skills to the ones you're stuck in a rut with. As most of my work revolves around sculpting clay and using my hands, I decided to go for a more design-style graphic approach today, and it totally worked! And I even turned it into a tutorial for you, in case you fancied having a go yourself!
So, I decided to update my phone case. Last year, very cleverly, I managed to get some superglue on the back of my phone. I was devastated but, as those of you who know me well will agree, I probably shouldn't be allowed to use superglue unsupervised...I've managed to get it on my favourite jeans (which I then ruined trying to get it off), in my hair and have stuck my fingers together (luckily not for long thanks to warm soapy water and nail varnish remover!). Still, the pretty, unmarked, shiny back of my phone now has a big glue mark on it. There aren't a lot of phone cases out there that fit my phone so I decided to create my own, using a clear plastic case that I found on eBay for a couple of £. The best thing about these cases is that you can easily swap the images in them, so you can change your case whenever the mood takes you :)
The first thing you need to do is make a template for your background. Rather than drawing around your phone, measure the width and length of the back and draw it on to a plain piece of paper. This way, your image will cover just the back of your case and you won't have to worry about cutting away bits for your charger and buttons. Cut out your template and decide what image you'd like on your case. In my experience, lightweight papers work best whereas card is a little too thick and difficult to work with. You could use a photo, origami paper, a page from a book, a concert ticket perhaps...just a few ideas to get you started!
I decided to use Canva to make mine as I wanted to wake my brain up with colour and patterns...I found it surprisingly therapeutic lining up all the lines and playing with the colours to get a bit of an ombré effect - try it and see! Once I had created my design (you can download it absolutely FREE at the end of this post too - yay!), and printed it onto glossy photo paper, I decided which part of the pattern I was going to use, placed my template onto it and cut around it. Easy!
Now put your image inside your plastic case and rub your finger around the inside edges so that the paper creases around to fit the case. You could also pop your phone in to make sure that it fits. If you have a lot of excess paper that's covering those important charger points or any buttons, just remove the plastic case, take the image out and cut away along the creases to make it a better fit.
Now comes the tricky bit! We need a hole for our camera! There are two ways you could do this; if you're using normal, matte paper, put your chosen background and phone in your plastic case and, with a pencil, lightly draw around the hole in your plastic case onto your background image (don't push hard - you don't want to damage your phone!). Remove the case and cut around the hole with a pair of scissors.
If, like me, you're using a glossy paper, the easiest thing to do is to pop your background image into your plastic case, facing down, put the case on a solid surface and press the paper slightly into the camera hole so that you get an indent. Remove your background and cut out the shape with scissors or, if you have a craft knife, you can carefully cut around the hole while it is still in the case, using the plastic case as a template. Make sure that you use a cutting mat if you decide to do this as the last thing I'd want you to do is scratch your table or something! Also, take extra care not to cut yourself - safety first and all that! I bought my swivel craft knife and self-healing cutting mat from The Range and they weren't too expensive - you should be able to pick them up from most craft stores and they are excellent if you plan on making your own papercut artwork (I'll do a tutorial on this soon if you're interested!).
You also need to make sure that any holes in your case are transferred to your background too so that your phone can do all the wonderful things it's supposed to! A sharp pencil will probably work for those before you snap it onto your phone.
The only thing to do now is pop your phone in and give yourself a round of applause for making your unique phone case...and maybe make yourself a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate to celebrate your awesomeness :)
I'd love to see what you create! Share your creations on social media by using #elsaroseboutique and I may even feature them in a gallery :)
Now for your freebie...If you want to download the pattern that I used to make my cover, simply click the button below and I'll send it to you via email. No junk email or subscription, just the pretty background and a word of thanks from me :) The beauty of this pattern is there are more colours on it than the ones featured in the pictures in this post so you can play around with it a bit and should be able to make at least two covers from it, depending on how you place your template. Let me know what you think!
Wishing you all a lovely, creative and sparkly weekend!