Victorian Leather E-Reader Cover

A month ago, my Kindle was stolen. Note to non-Chicagoans who ever plan on visiting the city, keep your purse zipped when riding public transit.

The joke was sort of on them — I’d just set up the password protection on the device. The joke was also on me — because I had just finished making two new e-reader covers for it.

The first cover was made with cardboard panels, white t-shirt material, felt and fabric scraps from Nettelhorst Elementary in Boystown.

For those who don’t live here and haven’t seen this, every summer, the students of Nettelhorst bring in scraps of fabric from home and tie them to the fence outside the school on the corner of Broadway and Melrose. The colors of the fabric form a giant rainbow. It’s the school’s (and the students’ and their families’) way of saying how much they love their neighborhood and the people in it. All of the people in it. For a queer kid from the Midwest , that did my heart so much good and really clinched the fact that I’d chosen the right place to be in the city.

Of course, the first week the rainbow was up, a might wind came across the water (as it’s wont to do) and scattered some of the fabric that hadn’t been knotted too tightly to the fence posts. I gathered up and re-tied several pieces on my way to work each day but ended up pocketing a few pieces that I thought were particularly memorable (bad me), not sure what I was eventually going to do with them.

The second was a simpler design — two pieces of suede, one black, one brown. I used leather needles to string the elastic through and to stitch up one side. The rest of the leather I bonded together with cement compound. With one of my Victorian brooch buttons for the fastener, I ended up with a cover that looked similar to a clutch bag. This, of course, was the cover that got snatched along with my Kindle.

One trip to Best Buy (and a side trip to Michael’s) later, I had a replacement and I got started on a new cover.

Realleather black leather trim piece
Tandy Leather Factory brown leather trip piece
Recollections Toiles scrapbook paper
Recollections Paris scrapbook paper
Recollections Moths scrapbook paper
Aleene’s spray gloss acrylic finish
Black 1/4″ knit elastic
Organic Cotton Twine
Yarn Needle
Tapestry Needle
Victorian decorative buttons
Ruler
Scissors
Cement Compound
Scrap Cardboard
Scrap Paper
Pen

While I enjoyed making the suede cover, having to clean it every few days (my Kindle is pretty much always with me) got very tiresome. So, for the new cover, I opted to work with some thicker, tougher leather — black for the inside and brown for the outside.

One thing that I liked and thought did work from the suede cover was the lack of cardboard panels. The softer cover allowed emphasized the density and stability of the device while protecting it and without adding a lot of unnecessary padding. To loosen the design further, I cut the black leather piece into two panels and used the scissors and the yarn needle to punch the holes (1″ from each side of the panel) and string the elastic through. Afterward I used the tapestry needle and black embroidery floss to secure the elastic/

The idea to have windows with images in the front cover popped into my brain sort of out of the blue. I was more than a little bored with just having covers with a solid color and I liked the idea that I could construct windows and fill them with images I already had in store. I measured out the stencil for the windows on a piece of scratch paper and found a good size (2″ x 3″) for each window that wouldn’t look too small or be so large that it destroyed the structure of the front cover.

The scrapbook images were all sheets I had in bulk back at the apartment and I loved the juxtaposition of the three together — the death’s head moth with the provincial children at play with the images of turn-of-the-century Paris. It had a very 19th-century feel to it, which I loved and is a good reflection of most of the stuff I read on my Kindle (Sherlock Holmes, looking at you).

Once I had the stencil set up where I wanted it, I used my pen to trace the three windows on the front cover and my scissors to cut them out. It was tough going (next time, I’m using tougher scissors, but I managed to pop out three windows more or less the same size and “perfectly” aligned.

Once the windows were finished, I used the cement compound to mount images on the inside flap and the other piece of leather to secure them.

The button was a find in a little packet of decorative buttons I got for $1.99 at Michaels. I loved the little high button shoe and I thought it worked very well in conjunction with the images on the front cover.

For the “loop” bit of the clasp, I ended up with a slightly too loose bit of elastic which I sewed to the inside edge of elastic on the front panel before gluing the whole thing to the back of the e-reader with the cement. To solve the problem, I ended up tying a knot in it.

Nothing is going to top the love I have for the Shakespeare and Company and Green Lantern covers, but after much trial and error, I think this might be my best made e-reader cover yet.

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~ by blackmoodcraft on September 26, 2012.

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