I made a phone belt case

I printed some parts, sewed some leather onto the parts, hit it with a hammer a few times, and voila! Total Awesomesauce!

I recently picked up a Galaxy SIII because my EVO 3d starting to get a wiggy touch screen.  My brother in law gave me a BodyGlove case for it. One of the crazy tough ones – you know, HUGE!  I can’t find a belt clip case that fits it. I’ve tried.  This thing won’t fit into most cases the wrong way. Did I mention it was rather large?

So, I decided to make one.

With a solar panel.

The openscad source file is on my github, but you can preview the stl at https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/blob/master/CellPhoneCaseSide.stl It is shaped for the phone case and has holes in it to sew the leather onto.

I have a solar charger battery pack that I incorporated into the case. There is a vinyl window for the solar panel. The charger doesn’t so much charge the phone as give me an additional half an hour of talk time. It’s a nice to have item in a pinch. It’s also a flashlight.

So I guess you can say I have a phone case for my phone case with a built in solar powered flashlight.

Seems absurd when I think about it that way.

So I won’t.

In album Phone Case

This is the finished phone case sitting on a table. I think I actually like it.

Measuring and laying out the leather and my 3d  printed ends. You can see the holes in the red ends for sewing them to the leather.

Most of the case will be double layered to protect the phone from the metal fasteners on the outside of the case.

Some duct tape to help hold pieces while assembling the case.

The hole with the piece of vinyl is for a solar charger for the phone.

The belt loop clip is rivited on with most of it on the inside and the clip outside. The hole for the clip is punched on either end and then slit. Hopefully this will keep the leather from tearing.

The window is stitched in. The magnetic latch is attached.

This is the inside. The duct tape area will be the future bottom inside of the phone case.

The small gap is deep down inside the case and isn’t visible when completed.

The red plastic 3d printed ends are sewn into place. This will form the case around the phone.

Sewing these on with a harness needle. Each spot needs to be punched with an awl. The eye of the needle is just a smidgen too big, I kept crushing it and breaking the needles.  At a nearly buck a needle, this is irritating.

The case ended up being pretty floppy. So it needed some reinforcing.  This plastic tray from the last time I spent a week in the hospital with one of my girls is perfect. Soft, strong, bendy plastic that cuts with a scissors. Sometimes it’s good to keep ‘trash’ like this.

The case isn’t finished, so I can slip the plastic pieces in. It firmed the case up very nicely. Makes it from an utter disappointment to a ‘meh’ project.

Tandy was having an end of the year sale, so I bought a snap set kit so I don’t smash the daylights out of the rivets and snaps anymore. The metal ‘Anvil’ with the bowls for the snap heads is what I was interested in, it would be the hardest part for me to make on my own.

The right tools makes the job SO much nicer. One of the other things I bought was glovers needles. I broke about 8 of the harness needles I was using for the first half of the project. The glovers needles went through my leather without needing to punch holes first.

These snap sets aren’t the right tools for what I was doing. But they are SO much better than what I had before. The washer is an adapter for the mag-snap. I didn’t deform the snaps horribly this time.

The space for the solar charger is defined by the rivets and the larger mag-snap. The window was made bigger by about a quarter of an inch  – rip the old window out, make a new one. The Binder clips are to hold the shape while I start sewing the edges.

The solar charger can slip out of the case as needed. The cable for the charger is also stored in this spot, down towards the end. It actually works quite nice in there.

The glossyness to the leather is from an application of neatsfoot oil.

You can see the curves to the printed parts here. This enforces that the phone can go into the case with the screen facing in so it’s less likely to get damaged.

The phone case slips down into the belt case just about perfectly. The curve of the 3d printed pieces matches the curve of the phone case.

The case is rather large on my belt. A buddy keeps telling me “Nice purse”, but I don’t care.

It turned out pretty well for my first mixed-material leatherworking project. (I started my moccasins after I started this, but finished them first. < http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/11/i-caught-the-bug-and-decided-to-make-my-own-moccasins.html >)

4 Replies to “I made a phone belt case”

  1. The solar battery is terribly undersized at 600mah, but when I bought it, it was the only thing under $75 I could find. It's built well, so it can survive being strapped to my hip. It takes about 24 hours to charge via the sun, and runs my phone for about half an hour. I can plug it into a USB port and charge it in an hour or so.

    It's really convenient to have it integrated into the phone case. I've lugged the little guy around a lot in the last couple of years, but it always seems to get put down and left at home for a week or two before it's 'found' again.

    It's good enough to power up a dead phone and make an emergency phone call. All I really expect of it.

    Oh, and finding things in the dark. It's good for that too.

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