Bitty Bee and Gamer are both pretty big readers, just like Hubs and I are. So this year, for Christmas, I was able to get them each a Kindle. I found them at Half Price Books for about $20 each. I couldn't pass that up! I've been spending some time loading them with books that I think they will enjoy and making sure they're ready to start reading right away.
But they needed something else. Something to hold them and protect the screens. I know my kids, they're kinda rough and tumble. I'm sure the Kindles will be tossed in backpacks for road trips frequently. But why go out and buy something when I can make it, right?
I spent some time searching Pinterest for tutorials and couldn't find one that I liked, so I decided to do my own thing.
Kindle/Nook/iPad/Tablet of Choice
Hot Glue Gun
First, you'll need to measure your device. The Kindles that I have measure 4.5" x 6.5".
Add 1/4" to each of these measurements, for me, that resulted in 4 3/4" x 6 3/4".
Cut two pieces of cardboard out with that measurement.
You will also need to cut a piece of your stiff felt out the same size as your cardboard.
For the outer fabric, you will add 1/2" seam allowance to the height of the cardboard, in my case, giving me a height measurement of 7 3/4". For the width, you will double the cardboard width, add 1/2" seam allowance to both sides, plus 1" for a spine. For mine, it was (4 3/4 x 2) + 1 +1, giving me 11 1/2" across.
I also cut my lining piece to this same measurement.
If you are adding embroidery to the front, cut a piece of stabilizer larger than your cover fabric. This will also serve as interfacing, giving the cover some added stiffness. Do not trim or cut the stabilizer after you finish your embroidery, except to trim it down to the size of your cover fabric. If you are not adding embroidery, then cut a piece of iron-on interfacing the size of your cover fabric and attach.
To keep the cover closed, I wanted something simple that won't get in the way. An elastic band seemed to be the best option, no buttons or snaps to get in the way or cause annoyance, easy for them to slip the elastic over the cover when done reading. Cut the elastic 1/4" longer than your cover height. You'll want it to be snug when it's closed. I cut my first one a little long, but it still works.
Pin the elastic about 1 1/4" from the edge of the short side that will end up being the back of the cover. Pin the lining piece in place, right sides together. Sew the three sides of the cover, leaving the short end that will be the front of the cover open. It will look like a long pillowcase.
Clip the corners and turn the case right side out, then press. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of these steps. If I make another one, I'll remember and add them later.
Slip one of the cardboard pieces into the cover, making sure it fits snugly and is all the way to the back seam. Seam 1 in the picture is the seam along the edge of the cardboard, securing it in place. I used my zipper foot for this seam. Seam 2 is sewn 7/8" from Seam 1. This creates a spine for the cover.
Now slip the second piece of cardboard in. Tuck the open edge in around the cardboard, I found it best to fold the cover fabric in first, then fold the lining fabric in. I used a hot glue gun to close this opening, that way there are no stitches showing. You can also whipstitch it closed, but I'm not a huge handsewing fan.
Now set that part aside for a bit. Take your felt and some more of your elastic. I cut 4 pieces of elastic about 5" long each. Place your tablet on the felt to find the best elastic placement for your device. For the Kindle, I discovered that on the top corners, the elastic was best placed 1" over from the corner on both top and side. For the bottom, however, I went in 1" on the bottom, but 2" up the side. Tape the elastic in place and flip to the back side. I used the hot glue gun to glue the elastic pieces in place along the back.
Left: Showing placement of the top elastics, 1" from corner on both top and side, also showing glued elastic at the top of the picture (from gluing the bottom pieces)
Right: Showing placement of bottom elastics, 1" over on the bottom and 2" up the side.
To attach the holder to the case, I once again used the hot glue gun. I lined up the edge of the felt with the seam along the edge of the cardboard. Make sure you glue all along the edges and the corners. You can use a different glue, such as E6000, but you will need to make sure that you place something heavy on top of the glued area and allow it to dry completely, usually 24 hours. I like how the hot glue dries so quickly and I can move on with my projects.
Congrats, you're done! Slip your device of choice in the elastic and start reading!
I hope that Bitty Bee and Gamer like their Kindles and the new cases to go with them. Now to get them wrapped and under the tree before they discover my present hiding spot!!!