Friday, June 3, 2011

kindle case tutorial

"where's my kindle???" i asked, scanning the room.
"...did you just say your kindle?" the husband teased me in mock irritation.  

oops.   busted.  

this past christmas i bought the husband a kindle.  i was a bit nervous about the gift, because i wasn't quite sure how he felt about e-readers, so i was relieved and happy when he received it with great excitement.  

i was pretty excited too.   i had been interested in the kindle for a while myself, but hadn't been ready to take the plunge.  the husband still had some real books that he had lined up to read, so during our new year's trip to tahiti, he kindly let me use the kindle.  

i was totally hooked, as you can see, from the short conversation from above.   once i uttered those words, i knew it was time to get my own.  

i spent some time deliberating the kind of case i wanted to make for our kindles, and eventually came up with this.  the covers are padded and semi-firm.  the kindle is held inside on one side with elastic bands, and the cover is held shut with an elastic band.  the construction of this cover is really simple, except for maybe the placement of the inside elastic straps- if you're indecisive like me. 

what you'll need

for the inside padding: 
1 piece 8x11.25" extra firm non-fusible interfacing (i think this is referred to as ultra-firm stabilizer) 
2 pieces of 8x11.25" felt 

the outer shell:
1 piece 8x11.25" light weight fusible interfacing
1 piece outer fabric, 9.25x 12.25" *
2 pieces inner fabric, 6.5x9.25"
1/4" wide elastic, about 25" total**

*i used my kiwi bird parade fabric for my case, and marimekko's onnellinen fabric for the husband's.  i also dyed my elastic pink. 
**depends on where you decide to put your elastic, it's better to have more than less! i underestimated how much i needed and had to get creative.

first make the inside padding.   
take your extra firm interfacing and the 2 pieces of felt, cut rounded corners on all the pieces. you can use your kindle as a guide if you like.     
place the three pieces together and pin. i put the interfacing on the bottom, with the two felt pieces on top.  sew them together, with lines down at intervals, and then around the edge.  you should now have a fairly stiff piece.   put it aside for now.

take the light weight interfacing piece and iron onto the outside fabric (in my case, the kiwi bird fabric).  

take one of the inside lining pieces and decide where to place the four pieces of elastic.  i needed about 4 inches (each) for the top two pieces and then 3.25 inches for the bottom two.  i wanted to have the bottom bands angled at about 1.25" x 1.25" (the elastic being the hypotenuse, if you imagine a right angle), making the actual coverage of the corner of the kindle to be about .5".  for the top i aimed for the elastic to cover a bit more of the corner, so i angled them at about 1.75" x 1.75" (again, imagining the elastic being the hypotenuse).

bear in mind that you still have seam allowances to consider when you pin down your elastic, so you'll have to do a little bit of geometry.  it helped me to mark where the actual kindle would sit on the fabric and then play around with the different placement options before i made a final decision.  once you've decided where to put your elastic straps, pin them down, and sew them to the lining fabric to hold them in place (you can skip the sewing part if you want, i just prefer doing it to make sure they don't move around later).  if you need help doing this, feel free to e-mail me.  

cut a piece of 9.25" elastic. pin it about 1.5" from the left edge. sew to the seam allowance.  

take the second lining piece, and fold one long side (the 9.25" side) in .25".  finger press or iron.  with the outside piece pattern side facing upward, place the lining piece with the folded edge on top.  the raw edge of the folded edge should be facing upward.    place the other lining piece with the elastic to the left side, elastic facing down.

cut rounded edges.  pin, and then sew around the edges, leaving a .5" seam on all sides.  trim excess fabric, and then flip inside out. iron!  slide in the stiff pad you made earlier into the opening slot.

to finish up, sew a seam down the middle to close the slot, and then sew around the entire edge of the case. 

originally i was concerned that the elastic straps wouldn't be able to hold the kindle in adequately, but so far they keep it firmly in place.  i have found this case to be a perfect light-weight protector.

do you have an e-reader, or do you prefer the feeling of an actual book?   


**p.s. if you use this tutorial, i would love to see your versions!


  1. This is awesome! But I need you to sell them, because I have no ability to make this. There is only one non leather kindle case out there and it's a little bulky. If you make some for the shop I will send some kindle owning vegans your way for sure.

  2. Including me, because I have a kindle and want that case.

  3. LOL I love that conversation! Only because I have had that exact same one but with an iPad! :P That is such a cute case!

  4. bitt- will let you know if i ever decide to put any in my shop!

  5. That looks great! I agree, you should be selling them x

  6. love the smell of a book and the way that they feel in my hands. Yet I will admit I hate the way they feel on my back. For this my chiro is thanking the KINDLE! :) and I have to admit I don't hate it :)

  7. what size is your kindle

  8. You should make a video so people that don't know what ur talking about can see it. :)

  9. I have three things to say about this:
    1. This case is so cute practical too!
    2. I wish I knew how to sew, because I'd make one!
    3. Well, I'd have made one when I got my new kindle and before I bought the case (that i'm not sure that I like or not.) I'd probably buy one if you had them for sale.
    As for which I prefer, a real book or the Kindle; that's a tough question for me to answer. I love the feel and smell of a real book, and I like that they are yours to lend or borrow at will; but I like the portability and ability to make the font larger for easier reading of the Kindle. So I guess it's a toss up!

  10. Thanks for taking the time to post this tutorial; I wouldn't have known where to start when I was making my Kindle case without getting these great ideas. Here's a link to my creation:

    Thanks again!

  11. my kindle is: 7.5" x 4.8" x 0.34"

    thanks again everyone. glad this is helpful.

  12. Thank you for the tutorial. At first, I got confused around the part where you put everything together (right before stuffing it), but then I figured it out. I'm doing this for my mother's kindle as a birthday gift.

  13. Thank you for the tutorial. I'm from Germany and tried to find some good german tutorials for my kindle for so long. But then I found yours and its just so easy. Actually, the only tough part was, when I had to convert it into centimeters.

    But now I'm really happy that my kindle is perfectly safe.

    Thank you again

  14. Thank you for the tutorial! I'm making nook covers as an accessory to the Amy Butler weekender bags I have planned for my sisters, mom, and future-MIL.

  15. I am a little confused on how you attach the inner lining with the elastic to the outer material. Do you just do right sides together and turn before you do the last piece?

  16. jchilds, i'm not sure i understand your question, but i think what you're saying is correct. after attaching the elastic to the patterned kiwi bird side, and then the elastic to the pink lining side, i faced them together and turned them before inserting the foam piece.

  17. Hello, I did one with your tutorial (I'm French, sorry for my poor english) ! You can see it on my blog (in French, then...) :
    Thanks a lot !



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