If you like it, then maybe you should put a little bling on it… And by “it”, I mean your phone case. Sure,you can buy one for too much money. Or - DIY your own phone case (or 12) with a little paint, an IOD Decor Mould, and some Amazing Casting Resin.
No time now? Pin this project for later.
Fair warning: when you see for yourself how easy it is to customize a plain (as white bed sheets) smart phone case, you’ll be tempted to make one for every season in the year. Or maybe you’ll make one for every week in the year! (Save yourself - give some of those as holiday gifts.)
I’ve edited down a Coffee + Create live to just the meatiest 10 minutes in this video. Watch, learn, and create your own, or keep scrolling for the full list of supplies and complete, step-by-step instructions.
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET YOUR BLING ON
- Get the KIT
- Rethunk Junk Paint in: Wild Berry, Peacock Feather, Pewter, Midnight
- Rethunk Junk Flat Top
- Amazing Casting Resin
- IOD Decor Mould Fleur De Lis
- IOD Decor Mould Sunflower
- TiteBond Glue
- Heat Gun
- Binder Clip
- Emery Board
- Inexpensive smartphone case (plastic works great)
READY TO DIY YOUR SMARTPHONE CASE?
I visited a near-by big box store to grab two clear smartphone cases. They had some random phrase printed on them - but I painted right over it. I recommend grabbing a couple of cases so you can try different color combos and castings.
REMOVE THE PACKAGING FROM YOUR PHONE CASE AND PAINT THE BASE COAT.
I worked on creating two cases at one time, and that’s not difficult to tackle at all. It gave me the chance to try my two favorite colors on the cases and experiment with different castings.
So step one, I painted each case with a base coat in the colors I chose: Rethunk Junk Paint in Wild Berry and Peacock Feather. I love how bright these two colors are and they made the castings pop.
I didn’t paint the inside of the case but I made sure to get a good coverage over the outside and the curved sides on all four edges. Lay them aside to dry and be prepared to wait a few hours. The ambient temperature where you’re painting impacts drying time - and if it’s humid...well, tack on another hour or two to be safe.
Before you move on to mixing your resin, grab the mold with the image you plan to use and make sure it’s going to fit on your phone case.
MEASURE, STIR, AND POUR THAT RESIN
Don’t be intimidated to work with resin. It’s easy to measure and mix, and if you know a few tricks, it’ll come out great. How do you learn the tricks? If only you knew someone who’s made every resin mistake in the book…
YOU DO - it’s me. Yes, I’ve learned a lot about casting with resin mostly through my mistakes. So, take a few minutes and watch this part of the video (link above) at minute 2:33. It’s where I explain what to do if you (and by that, I mean me) make a mistake while measuring and mixing the resin.
HINT: you’ll pop it in the freezer, pull it out, throw the frozen resin away, and start over.
Here are your key steps for successfully working with resin:
1. Check the volumetrics for the casting marked on the mold. The newest IOD Moulds (Sunflower Mold) have this next to each image.
2. Open the Amazing Casting Resin box and pull out the three cups, Part A & B bottles, and popsicle sticks. I started with the Sunflower mold and used the corresponding volume of 26 ml. Part A & B must be mixed in equal parts, so that meant 13 oz of each to have the correct volume.
3. I always pour Part A into one of the cups in the resin kit, and Part B in the other cup. The third cup is for combining the two, and you’ll see when they’re poured together, the mixture becomes cloudy.
4. Grab a popsicle stick and begin stirring. This is how you activate the chemical reaction between both solutions.
5. As you continuously stir, you’ll see the solution clear - that’s when it’s ready to pour. You have a few minutes or so before the resin starts to cure, so get to pouring as soon as it turns clear. Next, take the popsicle stick and pull the resin into the detailed edges of the sunflower image.
Next - well, that’s all there is to it. You can set the mold aside and go to the next step. But you can also watch the resin cure and begin to turn white before your very eyes! You know the casting is ready when you gently pull back an edge of the mold and it starts to lift out.
If it’s not lifting, it’s not ready.
In order to make both the cases in my project, I cleaned out the cups once I poured the resin into the sunflower mold. Then I repeated all my steps creating the first batch of resin to pour into the jack rabbit, leaf, and acorns in the Fleur de Lis mold. As an older mold, it doesn’t carry the volumetrics as the Sunflower mold does so I made the same amount (26 ml) for my castings.
WHEN THE CASTINGS ARE READY TO BLING
I released my castings one phone cover at a time. Since I made the Sunflower casting first - it was ready to release while it was still slightly warm. (The resin heats up with the chemical reaction)
When the casting comes out of the mold, if there was over pour involved (too much resin or slightly spilled) you can easily remove it from the mold by pulling it up. If the casting has an edge of excess resin, you can also pull that off or use a regular Emory board to lightly sand it off the casting.
Yes, find sandpaper works, too, but the Emory board is smaller and easier to handle around all the details of these intricate castings.
I chose to place the casting in a way that the edges of some petals overlapped the sides of the phone case. With the resin a bit warm, I was able to apply the TiteBond Glue to the back, place the casting on the cover and press down. I wrapped the petals over the edge, but needed extra glue to get a good adherence.
If your casting is not warm, try using a heat gun to warm it into pliability. If you watch the video, you’ll see I didn’t have time to take one more step (because this was a project I did Live) - but you can do it on your project. That is to use clips to hold the petals in place - you can even use a binder clip to hold the shape.
Now set aside the Sunflower case and move onto the Jack Rabbit, leaf and acorns from the second pour. They easily popped out of the mold for me. I laid out my design composition before committing to gluing the castings in place.
PRO TIP: for best results with the TiteBond glue, I use the bottle to apply glue to the back of the castings. Then I dip a small paintbrush in water, wipe most of the water off to leave it damp, and smooth the glue on the casting completely.
When you place the glued casting on the phone case and push it into place, you’re likely to see glue seeping out from under the casting. You can use a damp Q-tip to wipe the excess from the sides of the casting. Or you can leave it there and paint over it - a little added texture to your design.
PAINTING YOUR TOPCOAT
Once you’re satisfied that the glue is dried and the castings are securely adhered to the phone case - it’s time for the second coat of paint. You can paint both your cases with their corresponding Rethunk Junk Paint color. Then set them aside to dry completely.
I finished my cases by applying a blended color - Rethunk Junk Pewter Metallic with a very small amount of Midnight to darken it. I didn’t measure my portions, and I think color blending is all part of the creative process. So start with a few drops and mix them into some Pewter. Continue until you’re happy with the results.
Completely cover both cases with a thin layer of the blended color. Next, grab a soft cloth and wipe back the dark paint. Leave it in the crevices and details of the castings. I left areas of the case shadowed with the darker paint as well.
Set them aside to dry completely. When they’re ready, apply a coat of Rethunk Junk Flat Top as a sealer. Again - one final drying period and you’re blinged!
Now think of all the different ways you can bling your smartphone case. Next up - try the Seashell Mold, or how about the IOD Laurel Mold or the IOD Seashells Mold. Oh the things you can make!