Friday, March 16, 2012

Do It Yourself Kindle Cover from a Vintage Book

Hello. I am a kindle.

A what? You don't look like no kindle to me. You look like a book with a pretty cover. A kindle is flash and dazzle. You belong next to a cup of tea and a rocking chair.

Yes, it's true, I am dressed like a lady, but on the inside, I have the soul of a Star Trek episode.

Take a look. But be gentle, remember, I'm a lady.
No, really. I got a kindle for Christmas and then I realized I needed something so that I could carry it around. Could I have bought something off of Amazon? Yes, but I didn't want to. I am categorically opposed to buying something when I can make it instead. It doesn't always make sense, but there it is.

I don't have  tutorial for this, because it was kind of experimental, and I combined a bunch of different online tutorials to make it, but I'll tell you how I did it. 
First, I found a book that was a good size for my kindle. It was quite a few inches larger than the kindle, and that was fine with me. 
Then I removed the pages from the binding by slicing carefully along the inside spine, with an xacto knife. Be careful you don't cut through the binding. I did a little, but knew I'd be covering it with fabric, so it would be ok. This book was also an old canvas covered book, not paper covered, so I think it was a  little stronger. I got the inspiration and some instructions for repurposing a book from this tutorial. However, I didn't have all the supplies she did, and I am still intimidated by my sewing machine so I knew I'd prefer to sew by hand so I worked out my own details.

 First, I didn't like the cover of my book very much, so I decided to cover it.
 I picked out my fabric, this is some upholstery remnant that I thought was pretty. At this point, I simply covered the book with the fabric, the same as you might cover an old text book, but I glued it down.

I placed the book on the reversed fabric and cut it out to size, so that there would be about two inches all the way around the book. Then I covered the book, back and front with glue and pressed it down on the reversed fabric, carefully in the center. I smoothed out any wrinkles or bubbles and then turned the book over onto the inside.

At this point I cut off the corners of the fabric at an angle so that they were no longer square, so when I folded it over it wouldn't be too bulky. I put more glue on the inside edges of the book and folded the edges over, smoothing down the glue as I went. I used elmers white glue, thinned slightly with water, for this part. I think a spray fixative might work even better, but it definitely should be a thin film of glue so it adheres evenly and smoothly with no lumps of glue. 

I used this tutorial here to help me cover my book with fabric, except as I'd already cut out the pages, it was simpler to cover the spine area. I had no pages to work around.
 The inside portion was tricky. This is where I kind of figured it out as I went along.

I didn't have elastic or velcro or anything that other people used to hold their kindle in place, so I kind of took my inspiration from photo corners, like in old style photo albums. But how was I going to fasten my corners to my book cover?

In the end, I decided to cover the inside with a pretty felt that matched my fabric and to sew my kindle corners onto that felt before I glued it down. So I cut some triangles out of more felt in a contrasting color, also matching the fabric. There is a trick here. You do not want to cut out right triangles, because right triangles sewn onto a right angle will make a flat pocket but a kindle is about a half inch thick, and you need to make a three dimensional pocket so the kindle can fit in it. So cut the triangles to a wider angle. Test them against the edge of your book to make sure they will pop up enough. They shouldn't be TOO wide, because there will be some give. Also note that the whole set up is still larger than the kindle. About a half inch on each side. The kindle has room to slide around a bit, but does not fall out. My triangles are big enough for the extra room to not be a problem. They also leave room for the buttons and the usb jack, which I can use without removing the kindle from the cover. Pin the corners down and test the kindle out for all of this before you sew anything.
When I finished sewing my felt corners onto my felt lining (I used a blanket stitch for most of it) I glued the felt down to the inside of the book cover, firmly, using fabric glue. Hot glue would also work. And then it was done. It was a bit time consuming, but once I worked it all out, it didn't turn out to be that difficult. To be honest, my glue might not have been the best glue, because the corners do actually pop up from the book, but the center is firm and I have not had a problem with it.

Some day, I'll make another one using better glue and then I'll take pictures for a real tutorial.

I'm not even sure what lesson I can learn from doing this kindle, except to say that sometimes it's fun to figure things out on your own. I am very satisfied with how I made this. I didn't use the methods that everyone else used, and I went old school instead of newfangled, and it turned out far better than I expected.  There is a satisfaction in doing something by hand, also, that is quite remarkable.


Agata L. said...

Rowena, thanks for your help with pinterest spam! :))

Agata L.

Rowena said...

No problem, Agata. It was annoying.

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