Leather case for my Nexus 5

Last year I bought the Nexus 7 (and made a leather case for it). Since I really enjoy the “Nexus-experience”, and since I needed a new phone, I decided to buy the Nexus 5 when it came out. Here’s how I made a leather case for it.




First cut out a strip of leather. I use a piece of glass as a ruler since it allows me to better see what I’m doing. IMG_3276 To mold the leather to your phone, soak it with lukewarm water (not hot water, as it can cause the leather to harden). Let it dry a bit. Wrap your phone in cling film. Now mold the leather around the phone.IMG_3277

I decided to decorate this case. I sketched my design on the leather with an empty ball point pen.IMG_3278 I used this egg holder to help me draw the curves…IMG_3279…And this washer to draw those curves. As you can see I used a grooving tool to make a groove along the side to protect the stitches later on.
IMG_3280 IMG_3281 IMG_3282 IMG_3283

I was kind of making it up as I went along. I thought these shapes looked good.IMG_3283 To accentuate the design I used a swivel knife and stamp. I also dyed the case brown using light brown dye. As you can see, it turned out to not be light brown at all. I used a stitching wheel to mark the stitches and hand-stitched the sides in my stitching pony.IMG_3284

I finished the leather with Rapide Leather Creme, and then some homemade furniture wax (which turns out to be great for waterproofing leather!)
As you can see the case is not quite symmetrical (teaches me that I shouldn’t make these things in a rush). I’d also been using it for a couple of weeks when I made the pictures below, so it’s already got a few scratches and such. I think it all adds character.
Front and back of Nexus 5 case

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2 replies on “Leather case for my Nexus 5

  • Tommy Smith

    Hi, great website, I have started making knives and would like to make a leather sheath for it, also maybe a wallet inspired by the one you made. Would you be able to list the main tools needed to produce such items, many thanks.

    • Lieuwe

      Hi Tommy,

      The most important tools, as far as I’m concerned, to start leatherworking are an awl (like this
      , for example), needles and good waxed thread. After that, I’d buy a stitch marker (one of those little wheels) or one of those diamond shaped stitching chisels. I use both for different applications. The rolling markers are more versatile, while the chisel is much faster. A couple of good round punches for punching holes are also helpful. You will need those if you plan to use rivets, buttons or chicago screws (but I didn’t use those in the projects you refer to). Use a scratch compass or groover to mark where your stitches are going to be relative to the side. I’d also recommend a rounding plane (also called rounder, beveler) and a good burnisher for neatly finishing the edges. Leatherworking tools are expensive, but the neat thing is that you can start with very little and build your arsenal little by little. Every time I’ve sold a couple of things, I treat myself to a nice new (or antique) tool. Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Best, Lieuwe


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