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Making a cross-stitch iPhone cover (and why you might not want to)

I recently (fiiiiinally) finished my Mass Effect iPhone cover. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But I’m not sure it’s actually such a good idea.

mass effect iphone cover

Shown here on my Titanfall notes, since it was the closest sheet of paper I had to hand

First, the good parts: you can create a customized iPhone cover, which is rad.

Also, it was cheap. I bought the kit (which includes the cover, five shades of floss, and several blank pattern sheets) at Walmart for about $7. I had to buy the custom floss colors separately at a crafts store, for the princely sum of about 79 cents x 5 skeins of floss.

And it was a lot easier to stitch than I thought it would be. I was afraid it would be hard to push the needle through the holes on the cover, and my fingers would get tired. But that was not a problem.

Here are the issues, though. It turns out there are some very valid reasons why iPhone covers are not usually made of fabric.

1. I’m kind of a clean freak when it comes to my electronics. This cover can’t be cleaned very well or very often, and it can’t be disinfected. (Have you ever seen the kinds of germs your iPhone picks up?)

2. It will wear out eventually. I can already see signs of chafing on the embroidery floss.

3. Even aside from the germophobe problem, the cover will get grubby. Shouldn’t be too big a problem with this design, but if your design features bright colors or light shades, you will notice. You can wash it of course, but stains and spills are still going to take their toll.

4. It has a good grip. But if you are the kind of person who likes to be able to slip your iPhone easily in and out of a pocket, the embroidery floss has friction that will probably annoy you.

5. Possibly the worst issue: adding the embroidery floss to the cover causes it to deform and bell out along the long sides. You can see this happening in the photo above. It doesn’t fit snugly, which is annoying.

I’m still trying to decide which is worse: a cover that is a little bit loose on the sides, or using double-sided tape and getting my iPhone sticky.

Still though… totally worth it.

6 comments to Making a cross-stitch iPhone cover (and why you might not want to)

  • Avery

    I have never done anything like this myself, but perhaps you could use some sort of fixative to cover the embroidery floss? It would cut down on the wear and tear while also keep it from picking up unwanted dirt.

    As for the fitting problem, I know they make a removable double sided tape that may cut down the amount of residue on your phone.

  • Kt

    I don’t have fancy-shmancy touch pad gloves. If I need to skip a song in the cold, I use my nose!!!

  • Bless you for reporting the important things; how the floss affects the fit. I can imagine the cover/floss roughness being a pain for pocket usage, but no worse than the magenta sequined case I picked up at a computer parts store for $6. I guess I kinda assumed the floss would eventually get gross and worn and need replacing, which is the glory of a self-stitch case.

    But the fit.

    The fit.

    These are important things to consider.

    • Erika

      Yeah I thought people would want to know that. It’s the first thing people notice when they actually pick up my iPhone. “The cover’s loose.” It’s not so loose that it falls off, but it’s not the snug fit you expect from a cover.

    • Apeiocratipn for this information is over 9000-thank you!

  • Melissa

    Is it a soft enough plastic that you could maybe put it in very hot water to soften it a bit and then cool it into a better shape? Just came to mind and thought I’d throw it out there.