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Turn Your Instagram Photos Into an iPad Case

Mar 4, 2014

by spoonflower handmade and vintage goods

Darci Moyers is part of the Spoonflower team, a website out of Durham, North Carolina, where you can design, print, and sell your own textiles and papers. She loves working with creative folk and supporting a global community of makers and independent designers. Find her on Instagram sharing DIY endeavors, traveling and discovering rural North Carolina on the back of a sweet motorcycle.

We all love taking photos, but getting them off the phone and into the world can be tricky. This project offers an ingenious solution. Collect your favorite Instagram images and turn them into a one-of-a-kind fabric using Spoonflower (you can also get your images on wallpaper or gift wrap — projects for another day). With a few simple steps, your custom photo fabric will become a unique tablet case that flaunts your favorite shots.

You will need:
A computer and your Instagram feed
1 Fat quarter of custom-printed Spoonflower linen-cotton canvas
Flannel or cotton batting for lining*
A sewing machine
Snap closure
Thread + needle

*amount to be determined by your device measurements

Design Your Fabric

To turn your Instagram photos into a fabric design on Spoonflower, you’ll need to export and collage your photos using Instaport and PicMonkey (both are free).

Step 1: Export Your photos From Instagram


Visit Instaport to download all (or selected photos) from your Instagram feed. (We used photos from Etsy’s Instagram feed to create the custom fabric in this tutorial. Follow along here!)

Alternately, you can capture screenshots of your photos by visiting your Instagram feed in your browser.

Step 2: Collage your photos


On the PicMonkey site, open the collage tool, and import the photos you’d like to use for your fabric design. We used the 5 x 5 “Square Deal” grid layout.


Save the collage to your computer.

Step 3: Upload Your file to Spoonflower


Upload your file to the Spoonflower site by selecting “custom fabric” under the Create menu.


Once you’ve uploaded your file, choose the linen-cotton canvas fabric option, in the fat quarter size, and add it to your shopping cart. A fat quarter of Spoonflower’s linen-cotton canvas (27” x 18”) is large enough to create a sleeve for an iPad or e-reader. It’s even enough fabric to make a sleeve for a small laptop!

Sew Your Sleeve

Wait a few days for the Spoonflower team to print your custom photo fabric and ship it to you from Durham, North Carolina. Once you receive your fabric, it’s time to sew!


Step 1: Measure + Cut Your Fabric

Measure your iPad or other electronic device, and add 2 inches to the length (for the longest side of your iPad, the side where your photos will be upright), and 1 inch to the width.


With your photos facing upright, fold your photo fabric in half, selvedge to selvedge, and cut your folded fabric to size (2 inches taller than your iPad, and 1 inch wider).


Fold your flannel or batting in half, and cut your folded fabric to the same size (2 inches taller than your iPad and 1 inch wider). You’ll end up with one piece of photo fabric and one piece of flannel that is two times larger (plus a little extra for seams) than your iPad when you open the fabric pieces.

Step 2: Sew Your Seams


Unfold your fabric and flannel, and place your photo fabric on top of the flannel with the photos facing down. Pin the pieces together at the top edge of your photo fabric.


Sew a ¼” seam along the top.


Open your sewn seam and iron it flat.


Fold your fabric lengthwise, right sides together to create a long tube (your photo fabric should be facing inside). Sew a ¼” seam along the side (you’ll be looking at the wrong side of your fabric). Iron the seam flat.


Now you’ll sew the bottom seams of your exterior photo fabric and the lining to close the bottom of your sleeve. Sew a ¼” seam along the edge of your photo fabric. Then, sew a ¼” seam along on the edge of your flannel, leaving a 3″ opening in the center. Place two pins right next to each other on each side of your 3″ gap to make sure you don’t sew over the opening.

Step 3: Turn Your Sleeve


Turn your tube inside out through the opening.


Use the end of a wooden spoon or a knitting needle to push out the corner seams of the photo fabric.

Step 4: Finish Your Lining


Tuck in the raw edges around your opening, then sew a seam very close to the edge to close the opening (or hand stitch it closed).


Top stitch a ¼’ seam around the edge of your flannel lining. This will help the lining lay flat inside your sleeve.


To finish, fold your flannel lining inside your photo fabric and iron your nearly completed sleeve.

Step 5: Sew on a Snap Closure


Mark the middle of your sleeve, and hand stitch each side of your snap closure about ¼” from the top edge of your sleeve.


Slide in your iPad, Kindle or e-gadget of choice, snap it shut, and admire your handiwork.

All photographs by Alex Craig.

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