Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From Cricut Tool Kit Case to Kindle Cover

(Try saying that fast three times.)

My granddaughter informed me just minutes before her 9th birthday that she wanted a case for her Kindle.  I was actually pretty excited because I was way ahead of her.  Well, ahead in the sense that I knew she needed something to protect the Kindle that I kept finding in the most unsafe places around the house.  I had been looking online, first to see how much the cases cost, and later, to see how in the heck I could make one to avoid paying the exorbitant amount they were charging for these things.

On Youtube, I found some covers people had made from old books, with the book reader nestled into hollowed-out pages.  Nah, not really what I wanted.  I started closely examining the ready-made covers.  I think I could make that.  But wouldn't it be so much easier if I could skip a step!  A few of those cases reminded me of something I'd seen before...

Yes, that was it!  I had been holding on to this case from my Cricut tool kit, "collector" that I am.  How could I throw away a perfectly useful thing like this, even if I had no use for it at the time?  Who's laughing now?  I located the Kindle and crossed my fingers that it would fit inside.  Just like Cinderella and the glass slipper, it was the perfect fit!  For once, my refusal to throw anything away paid off.

Now to figure out the details.  Would it be difficult to remove the foam inserts?

Well, yes and no.  The first piece came out perfectly, leaving a nice foam pad on which to rest the Kindle.  Could it really be this easy?

Of course not.  The second side started ripping as soon as I tried to pry the shaped foam tool holder from the backing.  Oh well, I'm still a step ahead of starting from scratch. 

I then measured the inside to see what size to cut the fabric to make padding for the "naked" side (even though my measurements are shown on the padded side--they're the same size and it photographed better).
Inside Measurements

I cut my fabric the width of the case plus a little extra for seams.
fabric width

I cut my fabric length roughly three times the length of the case to allow for seams and a small pocket.
fabric length

I folded it in half lengthwise, stitched across the width leaving a couple of inches open in the middle for turning right-side-out later. (Sorry, I forgot to photograph this step.)  I then adjusted the fabric so that the seam was about halfway down the fabric length, then stitched both side seams closed (this would allow the seam to be hidden on the backside).  I turned the piece right-side-out through the opening in the seam and pressed smooth.  I didn't bother stitching the opening shut since the case isn't washable and the seam is hidden.

I flipped the piece over so the seam was on the back.  I then folded the bottom up to make a pocket, leaving the finished piece the same length as my earlier measurements.  I pressed the pocket in place.
measuring for final size

I cut a length of ribbon to trim the pocket edge.

I then opened the piece to sew the ribbon in place (shown from the back side).

I then folded the pocket back into place (note the ruler showing the lengthwise measurement of the case).

I turned the ribbon ends under the fabric piece and stitched along both sides to hold the pocket in place.  I used a combination of fabric glue and hot glue to hold the fabric piece to the inside front of the cover.

I then cut two pieces of ribbon to make the lower corners that hold the Kindle in place.  These were cut long enough to double (for added strength) and with enough extra length to hand stitch to the sides and bottom of each lower corner.  Just an FYI:  this step wasn't easy.

I then cut a length of ribbon long enough to go across the top from side to side with a little extra to turn under.  I added a short piece of elastic on each end to allow enough flexibility to slip the Kindle underneath.  (This was originally going to be two corner pieces, but after the trouble I had with the first two, I didn't want to attempt that again.  She's only nine years old; maybe she won't be too critical of my shortcuts.)

Top piece, ready to be sewn in place.  I tried to position it so that it wouldn't interfere with reading.

See how nicely the Kindle fits inside?  How lucky can one woman get???

I used these two items to glue the inside padding/pocket piece.  You could use any fabric glue; this just happened to be what I had available at 1 a.m.

I then ironed some Heat 'n Bond to a piece of the same fabric I used for the inside.  I wanted to cut a flower to cover the Cricut logo on the front with something more appropriate for a young girl.  Don't hate on me all you Cricut lovers!--I still used my Cricut to cut the flower.

I used Design Studio to hide the inner cut lines from a flower shape I found on the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge.  After cutting it on my Cricut (my first attempt at cutting fabric and it worked great!), I used my sewing machine to zigzag the edges.  (Not the neatest job in the world, but acceptable for a rush job at 1:30 a.m.  We'll call it "shabby chic".)

I didn't actually iron the flower to the front cover because I wasn't sure how heat-resistant the case was, but I glued it down with fabric glue.  I attached a jewel to a green button for the flower center (looks like an olive, and at this point I really could have used a martini, or something with a shot of booze).  I cut a piece of ribbon long enough to loop into a leaf-type shape, and glued it down where the pieces met in the middle.  I then cut a length of ribbon for the stem and glued it under the bottom of the flower and over the middle of the leaves down to the bottom of the case (not shown; sorry, but it was nearly 2 a.m. and just hours before the birthday party).

As a final touch, I attached a small piece of ribbon to the zipper pull. 
Here's the finished interior, ready to protect the Kindle from everything except a careless 9 year old.

And here's the finished front cover.  Sure, I could have made it even fancier, but if you know me at all, you know I don't get much fancier than this.  Besides, it's for a young girl who will either lose it or get tired of it soon.  This way, I won't get nearly as annoyed when I find it in the trash.

Thanks for looking!  Hope this inspires you to repurpose something from your hoard!


  1. Repurposing at its best! Great job!

  2. Genius was exactly the word I thought of too! Mama taught you well! Stan just paid 60 bucks for a Kindle cover. They sure know how to get you. Way to show "them"! (And yours looks better, too!)

  3. Great idea!!!
    I hope she liked it!!!
    I am sure she did, great job on the tutorial also.