Monthly Archives: August 2010

COMING SOON – The first “Only in New Jersey” Contest!

Free stuff is cool! Free stuff from New Jersey is double-cool! So bookmark this blog because over the coming days I’ll be announcing the rules and prizes for an exciting give-a-way, including an amazing ‘only in New Jersey’ Kindle Cover Contest!

Fun, easy-to-make SUPER BEAUTIFUL padded Kindle cover for under $7

UPDATE: While you can still find the original tutorial below, there’s a new, redesigned version of this cover, along with several other Kindle case designs, in my daughter’s book, Make Your Own Kindle Cover – VOLUME 2 – THE SLIGHTLY MORE CHALLENGING (BUT STILL SUPER-EASY) COVERS. The new version uses slightly different materials and cuts out several steps, making a cover that is even easier to construct and comes out nicer than the original design.

And here’s the original (and at one time pirated in its entirety, right down to the picture of our funny cat) post of the original design:

Pretty, isn’t it? It wasn’t very hard to make: all it takes is some basic skills most of us learned in Kindergarten.

homemade kindle cover, diy kindle cover

A little while back I threw together a super easy, super cheap cover for my Kindle, which you’ll find further down this page. It was working perfectly for me; however, as is my way, I immediately began to consider how I could improve it. First off, as some of you suggested, padding would afford the Kindle more protection. And second, I wanted something that felt a bit less… well… plastic. I wanted something a touch more elegant, something people would admire when they saw it, something more befitting my dear Kindle.  I’d watched an interesting show recently that showed how leather-bound hard-cover books were made, and I realized I could incorporate a number of those steps into creating a new cover.

There is NO sewing required. Don’t get me wrong, I love to sew; over the years I’ve acquired several vintage Singers dating from 1916 through to 1962, though my favorite is a 1930 Model 101, which I’ve used to sew everything from clothing to upholstery and boat canvas. But I know not everyone has access to sewing machines and I wanted to keep this a strictly scissors and glue kitchen table project.

diy kindle cover

Everything you need to make your own diy Kindle cover.

So here are all the components you’ll need:

1.    Rubber cement: $1.79
2.    One Poly (plastic) 2 Pocket folder: $1.99
3.    One paper folder:    $0.25
4.    One sheet of ‘Foamy’ craft foam: $0.99
5.    Four Command adhesive strips: $0.76 (out of a 16 pack)
6.    One adequate size scrap of pretty fabric from the remnant bin: $0.99
7.    Pencil, Scissors, Wax paper: (surely you have these around the house!)
8.    One small piece of medium sandpaper: (I have much of this around my house)
9.    One cup containing the hot caffeine beverage of your choice: Vital
10.    One feline supervisor: Costly though not essential – likely to interfere at wrong times
11.    A clean kitchen table: Priceless


While I am aware this collection of materials visually clash, in the end the only parts you’ll see will be one side of the poly folder and the fabric of your choosing. So long as you can fold the fabric over your Kindle with an inch border on the top, bottom and side, it’s big enough.

You could use any fabric from a pretty remnant to some faded denim cut from an old pair of jeans. Everything else shown here is structural and won’t show once the cover is completed. I recommend you read through all steps first before starting.

Note: I don’t specify any measurements because your Kindle may be a different model than mine, but the same process applies no matter the size. I could probably just trace the old one, but for demo purposes I’ll start fresh.

Got everything together? Great. To begin, place the Kindle along the folded edge of the folder. Trace around your Kindle with the pencil onto both folders. On the paper folder trace wide and on the poly folder keep the line closer to the actual edge of the Kindle.

diy kindle cover

Trace the Kindle…

The goal is for the paper folder to be slightly larger than the poly one. For demo purposes you can see on the paper folder how I’ve outlined the Kindle. On the poly folder I lined the Kindle with the upper edge; it’s one less side to cut. On the outer corners I like to round the curve, but leave it straight along the crease of the folder. However you approach it, be sure to ADD ½ INCH TO ALL OUTER EDGES to allow for the thickness of your Kindle.  Once you cut each folder out you’ll have two kindle sized folders, and again, the paper one should be the slightest bit larger than the poly one. The Kindle should fit inside with a nice edge around the outside to protect it. Take the poly folder and trace it 2 times onto the foamy. Cut that out as well.

diy kindle cover

Choose which side you’d like on the poly folder as the visible interior. This pattern is pretty but clashes with the fabric so I’ll go with the plain white as my exposed interior. Now, SAND whichever side you WILL NOT see when you open the cover.

diy kindle cover

The reason for this step is that rubber cement does not adheres well to smooth plastic. Once sanded, the rubber cement will stick like…well, you know.  Do this over a cutting board or work bench, not your 70 year old kitchen table, then wipe everything clean.


Warning #1: One key ingredient in rubber cement is acetone, which keeps things in a liquid form until the acetone evaporates. Acetone is also a key ingredient in various solvents including nail polish remover. In other words it can really mess up your manicure, so wear gloves if that matters, and cover any surface you’re working over lest you damage the finish on your dining room table. Work over some wax paper; keep that on hand as you’ll also be use it to keep the glue-coated pieces separated.

Warning #2: Work in a well ventilated space. One whiff of rubber cement takes me right back to grammar school art class where we were all given little brown tubs of it for projects. But that familiar, flashback-invoking odor is not something you should breathe too much. Perhaps excessive rubber cement exposure explains why I was rotten in math class. Rubber cement is also fairly flammable, so use proper precautions.

So, do you remember how this stuff works? It’s messy, slimy, looks like snot, (both when wet AND dry.)  Once it dries it sticks to anything else coated with dry rubber cement. The bond will be flexible and won’t become brittle. Start by coating the paper folder and foamy… those will get coated on BOTH sides, but DON’T let any pieces touch each other.

diy kindle cover

Is your tea getting cold? Stop and take a sip, then get ready; for the next step you’ll need to work fast. Have your piece of fabric close by and ready. No, I hadn’t told you to cut it, not yet; it should be at least 1 inch larger than the open folder on all sides. Coat the sanded side of the poly folder and don’t worry if any gets on the other side, it’ll peel right off. Make sure there’s LOTS of wet rubber cement on the poly, lay it on thick then QUICKLY grab your fabric and lay it WRONG SIDE DOWN onto the still wet rubber cement and press it down. Don’t worry if the rubber cement bleeds through; it’ll dry clear. Now check everything over. You may want to re-coat areas that seem too thin.

Step back, let everything (including your hands) dry. Peel any cement off  your hands… you don’t want things sticking to you as you proceed.


Lay both pieces of foamy to the outer edges of the paper folder as shown. You want a gap in the center to allow for backwards folding. Lay the paper over a sheet of clean wax paper and fold it closed, foam side out, taking care not to let the inner glue-covered sides touch.

diy kindle cover

Now lay out your fabric, glue (wrong) side up, and place the paper folder centered on the fabric as shown. Press down firmly. flip to fabric side up and smooth. Now check the edges. If any haven’t adhered as well as you’d like, this is the time to add some glue. Peel the fabric back, coat it and the foam with more glue, let them dry then smooth them down.

homemade kindle cover easy to make kindle cover
Now take the fabric and flip it over. Don’t let the picture confuse you, the coral colored folder I’d been using is blue inside. Now we’re going to trim the fabric a bit. I bevel the corners as shown to make folding easier and less bulky.  Now it’s time for more glue, this time slathered thick over the exposed fabric and the inner folder, in order to be sure thing hold together nice and secure. Again, go sip some tea while you let this dry.

diy kindle cover

Starting at the corners, fold the fabric gently over the inside edge, pulling the fabric inward as you press it down. Trim away SOME fabric overlap but don’t trim too close to the edge. We’re on the home stretch now! Coat all that folder over fabric with a fresh layer of glue, be sure to work some under any folds on the corners, and read a chapter on your Kindle while it all dries.

make your own kindle cover simple kindle cover

All dry? Smooth down any creases in the fabric, then very carefully line up the middle crease on the poly folder and align it with the crease on the now fabric covered folder then gently press them together.

homemade kindle cover

The whole arrangement will be a bit stiff to fold at first but it’s best to work it back and forth. It will relax the more you use it.  Now rub off any excess rubber cement inside the folder. Place command strips on the back of your Kindle as shown, then attach the Kindle. It’s easiest to fold it closed slightly to position it where it would best fit.

homemade kindle cover

inexpensive kindle cover

home made  kindle cover

And that’s it! If you’d like, you could even use Velcro as the fastener, I’m considering that so I could change covers from day to day if the mood hits. I’m sure this won’t be my last version, I’m already tossing around a few ideas for further improvements.  But enjoy your new and totally unique cover. Send me a picture if you’d like, I’d love to see how they come out.

And if you’re looking for more cover ideas, check these out!

Super Easy, Super Cheap (under $3) DIY Kindle Cover…

There is much I can say about how I’m enjoying my Kindle… but that’s not the subject of this post. When not in my hand the Amazing Kindle resides in my favorite old messenger bag, a space it shares with my wallet, netbook, digital camera, digital recorder, Ipod and, on any given day, a random truck or boat part in transit to or from said truck or boat. It’s a simple fact of life that all things in my bag must all coexist and though there are separate compartments to prevent gadget scuffles, a bit of protection is good insurance. However, there were two things holding me back from buying one of those Kindle covers you see on Amazon: 1. I’m too cheap frugal, and 2. It just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t somehow come up with my own jury-rigged version, one more specific to my own use.

homemade kindle cover

Simple, easy and cheap homemade kindle cover

As for that use, I dislike anything that bulks up some nice slim gadget — with the collection I carry ever bit of bulk adds up. And more important, all those lovely fancy covers attach in a way that, by all appearances, look as though it would obstruct me from holding the Kindle in my left hand and pressing the left side ‘next page’ button while cooking or holding a cup of tea/eating chips/whatever with my right hand. I came up with a solution using a rugged plastic 2 pocket folder I bought in Staples and some 3M Command strips.  Here it is — it’s simple, easy, sturdy, cheap and removable, and the whole thing cost less than $3.

Pretty, isn’t it? A bit too pretty, in fact, for my tastes but I’ll either live with it or cover it with bumper stickers. What you see here is one of those flexible plastic ‘2-pocket’  folders you find in Staples. The next picture shows the remains of the original folder and the cover I cut from it. That wasn’t too difficult, I traced around the Kindle (adding in 1/2″, you can always trim it smaller once it’s around the Kindle) with a pencil and cut the folder with scissors. (For the Kindle 2, that’s roughly the size of a standard 8.5 x 11 paper folded in half.) Real tricky indeed.

diy kindle cover

It’s easy to make a Kindle cover!

So how did I manage to keep the Kindle within the cover? I considered Duct tape, but that can get a bit messy over time. I wanted something cleaner and more inclined to stay put… like those nifty little 3M ‘Command Strips’ that allow you to hang hooks on anything and then remove them. Four Command Strips tucked strategically between the Kindle back and the inside of the cover and Whala! (I know, voila!) we’re not going anywhere!

diy kindle cover

And here you are, a simple homemade Kindle cover!

And best of all, aside from being wonderfully sleek and exceptionally cheap while protecting my screen from scrapes and scuffs, is that the cover can be flipped completely around, as shown below, allowing me to read in the comfort of my left hand!

diy kindle cover

Your diy Kindle cover is good to go!

If you’re interested in something padded, you can check out my daughter’s fancier cover. She’s taken my idea a few steps further, and the results are beautiful. The Kindle case she designed involves a bit more work, but not much, it’s super pretty and fun to make.

For those of you trying to determine what I’m currently reading, it’s Donald Westlake’s ‘Get Real’, a book I highly recommend.  Westlake was a brilliant writer and one of my all-time favorite authors.

And if you’re looking for more cover ideas, my daughter has put together a few ebooks with her beautiful designs. Here’s a bit about them:

Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers
For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer

by Evie Grundler

Would you like a beautiful new one-of-a-kind Kindle cover, but without spending lots of money, and without needing to sew? Then look no further! I’ve put together four super-cheap books that show, step-by-step, just how easily you can create your own stylish, one-of-kind covers, simply and inexpensively, using materials you already have and easy-to-find supplies. Make your covers as stylish, playful, elegant, or rugged as you’d like.

These covers are really quite simple and easy to create — all you need are the basic crafting skills you learned in kindergarten. Over 200 photos accompany detailed descriptions guiding you through every step of the process, and these covers can be as simple or complex as you’d like.

The possibilities are endless—your only limit is your imagination. And they aren’t just for Kindles — these customizable designs work for all models of e-Readers and tablets, so once you’ve made your own, you can create wonderful personalized and unique gifts for family and friends as well.

VOLUME 1 – THE SUPER-EASY COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make A Super-Simple, Ultra-Cheap DIY Kindle Cover, A Duct Tape Kindle Cover, The Padded Placemat Cover, and The “Phone Book” Stealth Cover. Only $0.99

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VOLUME 2 – THE SLIGHTLY MORE CHALLENGING (BUT STILL SUPER EASY) COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make The Upcycled Hardcover, An Old Jeans Ipad (Or Other Device) Sleeve, A Durable Yet Elegant Fabric Cover, and A Stand-Up Cover. Only $0.99

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VOLUME 3 – THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS guides you through every step from start to finish to make a Kindle cover like no other. And if you’re looking to give a younger Kindle reader a one-of-a-kind gift, what could be more amusing and unique than their own plush cover. Instructions show how you can add a strap, so it can be carried like a shoulder bag as well.

Make Your Own Kindle Cover - VOLUME 3 - THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS (Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer) [Kindle Edition], diy kindle cover, make your own kindle cover, easy to make kindle cover, no sew kindle cover, kindel cover, make my own kindle cover, funny cat kindle cover, cheap kindle cover

And finally, for only $1.99, you can get all the tutorials listed above in NINE DESIGNS – LIMITLESS VARIATIONS.

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This is just a test…

Seriously, it is. That is all. Thank you.