My girlfriend is obsessed with Doctor Who. And for her birthday, I decided to craft her a leather iPad case in the style of River Song’s Diary.
So first of all, I needed to learn to how manipulate and dye leather, but that is boring, so instead I bought the tools and taught myself, albeit some troubles along the way.
The first thing I learn’t about buying leather, is that it fairly sturdy stuff depending on where it comes from, and how thick it is. And cutting it with scissors is not an easy task, so I decided to buy a cutting knife.
Even dying the leather wasn’t as simple as I thought. My first attempt was with a sponge, however that came out patchy, so I decided to try an old rag. Which has better results. Leaving it submerged for a while gave a very dark colour, but took way too long to dry.
I was thinking of embossing the TARDIS plates, it didn’t look right, so instead I decided to cut them out and glue on the front, so I bought leather glue. My girlfriend later pointed out that were back to front, out when they should have been in. I think it looks better.
I used two types of leather, one thin and the other thick. The thick would be for the outer solid cover, and the thin for a nice soft interior. After dying the leather, and leaving it to dry, I glued the sides together. A slot for the iPad to go into was the most difficult task, trying to keep the shape.
To give it a more leather feel, I decided to buy a sewing awl and stitch the edging in place. This task took me a few hours, and occasionally had to redo when I did the stitch wrong.
The stitch line wasn’t perfectly straight, but I thought it looked nice and it added a lot more character to it.
At this point I realised that it was not waterproof, I had managed to wash most of the dye off my hands, which was better than looking like a Smurf. So I bought some leather finisher which would seal the dye and give it a nice glossy look.
However, it also made it stiffer which I had not planned on.
Overall, I was quite happy with the result. Thought I think Mark II will definitely has some improvements on it when I get around to it. Also I accidentally cut the inner pocket for the iPad which left a nasty gash and was out of leather to replace it.