Over the weekend - I had the idea to make a needlepoint phone case. It ended up being a quick, easy project to stitch in a few days & a great way to use leftover thread. I learned a lot along the way, so I wanted to share the steps in case you want to make your own!
Here's what you'll need:
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-Needlepoint Canvas (I used 13-mesh)
-Thread (great opportunity to used left-over thread!)
A Little Disclaimer:
Now, before we get into the steps, my phone case did not turn out exactly as I had hoped. But don't worry - I'll give you tips on how to avoid it and what I think will work instead. I am not a professional finisher by any means. The only finishing I've done is with self-finishing items, so I wanted to approach this phone case in a similar manner. My plan was to stitch the design, cut it out, stick it to 3M adhesive, and lay it on the inside of the phone case (sandwiched between the back of my phone & the inside of the phone case). I didn't realize until after that the thread + canvas was too thick to fit in the phone case with my phone. It would still work if I can find a 'deeper' phone case - I'm not sure if that exists since cases are meant to be tight around your phone. NeedlepointbyLaura on Etsy have me the idea that an 18 mesh canvas with a cotton might be more thin and able to fit inside the case and I agree!
Instead, I adhered the needlepoint to the outside of the phone case, but at this point it was already cut out. I didn't do a binding stitch or extra rows - this was an issue. When I held my phone, I could feel the mesh on the sides prick my fingers, which was pretty unpleasant. Luckily, this can be an easy fix if you know this before you start stitching. I'll get in to how to fix this below and what some of your options are.
1) Gather Supplies (mentioned above!)
2) Trace your Outline
I found my iPhone's dimensions online (iPhone 11 Pro Dimensions) and then printed an outline of the phone dimensions to scale. I laid the canvas over the print-out and lightly traced the outline onto the mesh.
One tip I would suggest is to think about your camera placement and trace around it. I didn't want the canvas to cover my camera. If you look at the photo below, you can see that I didn't stitch where the camera was. I chose to not stitch the side near the camera so that I could cut the mesh out. Does that make sense?
3) Stitch your Canvas
I used 13-mesh canvas to stitch it up quickly. I used a mix of Silk & Ivory and Planet Earth Silk from my stash. This is a great way to use up old skeins. If you plan on sticking your canvas to the outside of the phone case, I recommend using a binding stitch on the edges since it might get some wear and tear with use. I would also suggest stitching 2-3 extra rows and turning them under during the finishing portion. More on that later.
4) Roughly Cut Out Your Canvas & 3M
Once you're finished stitching, roughly cut out your canvas. Then, cut a piece of 3M adhesive off that is about the same size as your cut canvas.
5) Stick the Canvas to the 3M & Trim
Peel off one side of the 3M and stick the canvas to it. I used this tool to help adhere them together. You will want to push hard so they adhere properly. Once they're stuck together, carefully trim the edges.
6) Carefully Cut Out the Camera Area
This next step requires a little bit of patience. I carefully cut out the canvas that was covering the camera area. I started with a rough cut that wasn't close to the edges (shown above) and then used my gold bamboo scissors to help get a closer cut. This was the most time consuming out of all the steps.
7) Adhere the 3M to the Case*
This step has a * because there are some other options that I will mention below. If you stitched extra rows, I would suggest turning those underneath and sandwiching them between the 3M & back of phone case. This will help the canvas mesh not poke out.
If you don't care about the mesh poking out - just stitch your canvas regularly and cut close enough. I'm super particular about the touch of objects so this bothered me a lot - but that doesn't mean it bothers everyone.
Another option may be to adhere the canvas to the phone case & cover it with resin. I have not tried this & I'm not even sure if it would work, but I thought I would throw it out there as an idea. I have never used resin and tbh I'm a little bit scared of it - which is why I didn't try it - but that's not to say that you can't. I'm not sure if anyone has used resin over needlepoint and I'm not sure if/what it would do to the thread, but if you have time to experiment it may be worth a shot.
Then, you're done! I know this isn't an exact comprehensive guide because mine has not worked the way that I wanted it to *yet*, but I wanted to share it with you + my ideas to make it work. I feel like I should share the positives and negatives on my blog - and this was one of my ideas that didn't work perfectly and that's OK!
How am I fixing my case?
Currently, I'm pressing my needlepoint below several heavy books in hopes of compressing the thread enough to fit between my phone & phone case, since that's the only option for this stitched & cut piece. I'll report back if this works!
If this doesn't work, I'll re-stitch with a binding stitch & finish it on the outside of my phone case. I'll fold over the edges while finishing like I mentioned above in hopes that the mesh will not poke me.
If I ever take a class on resin or grow a pair (lol), I might even try to use resin if all else fails!
As always, thanks for sticking with me & supporting MJD! If you have any better ideas on how to finish needlepoint into a phone case, please feel free to leave them below because I believe we can ALL learn from each other!