Intern DIY: Wood Covered Phone Case

Veneer Phone Case-8

I recently acquired my first iPhone. It is the Apple product of my eye, and since Apples don’t fall too far from the tree (or fall at all because that would be tragic and expensive), I knew that it needed a sturdy case so that its accident-prone mother could not shatter it into a million pieces. Luckily, I was gifted a  really nice, white case completely free of charge which simultaneously satisfied my main desires in life: to protect the things I love and not overdraft my bank account.

When I was thinking of a DIY to do, I tried to be realistic; I love crafting things and have many of my creations scattered throughout my bedroom, but they always tend to look like a five-year-old completed them. What could I not mess up too much that would still benefit me and look nice, too? The white case, of course!

Here’s an inexpensive and simple way to spruce up a plain phone case with some balsa wood and paint. Admittedly, you (or a five-year-old) could do a much better job than me (I’m the editorial intern, okay. I do stuff with keyboards, not glue). So keep that in mind as you begin your DIY endeavors, and may your phone case AT LEAST look like a child of nine made it.


– Phone case in need of sprucing

– The thinnest of balsa woods

– E-6000 glue

– X-acto knife

– Paint marker of your choice

Veneer Phone Case-9

Veneer Phone Case-10

1. I originally started making the case with iron-on wood veneer strips. However, they didn’t adhere to the case very well, so I decided to just use balsa wood and glue. I traced the case on the wood with my X-acto knife and cut out the shape of the back piece. I also cut out pieces for the top and sides of the case, but I later decided I preferred just the back to be covered. This can perhaps be attributed to my poor craftsmanship and the knowledge that I would have to cut out more small holes for the sound buttons and whatnot. Who knows. Your discretion.

2. After I had the back piece finished, I cut out the camera hole. This is where things went awry. I traced around the existing hole in the case and tried to cut it out with the X-acto knife. Despite the knife’s valiant efforts to make clean, straight cuts, my shaky grip made somewhat of a jagged hole and sort of cut off one of the corners of the balsa case. Oops. Things happen. I moved on.

3. Next, I spread the E-6000 along the edges of  the balsa wood using a popsicle stick to keep it off my fingers. Spoiler alert: it still got on my fingers. Who entrusted me to use powerful adhesive?

Veneer Phone Case-5

4. I put these clamps in place to aid in the glue-drying process.

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5. Then I took a blue paint marker to the wood and measured out three stripes an equal distance away from each other. My marker was uncharacteristically wet, so when I went to draw the stripes on, it bled into the wood grain and created the sort of ombre radio-wave design that I totally meant to do and wasn’t an accident at all. Not to worry, though. Even if your marker doesn’t bleed, the design will still look sleek and cool.

6.  After letting the paint marker dry, I tried to go back and repair my previous camera hole errors by haphazardly gluing on tiny pieces of wood to cover up the areas I had mistakenly cut off. This is, of course,  my own personal signature to ensure that it appears as though a toddler helped make it. Feel free to skip this step and just, like, trace and cut the camera hole like a normal person in the first place.

Veneer Phone Case-8

There you have it! The paint against the wood looks really sleek, and it makes a trendy addition to your already trendy phone.

Elizabeth is an Editorial Intern at Whimseybox.

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