Designing a Phone Pad
by John Phillips
I’ve gotten asked many times if I would ever get into designing clothes. While I’ve had ideas here and there, it’s never been an interest of mine. But what has seemed more appealing is accessories. As you know, I love accessories, so the thought of designing them has been on my mind for quite a while. I just didn’t have to motivation to make the jump and/or solve a need I have…until now.
I don’t like having cases on my phones. I admire the physical design of devices too much to want to have it covered up all the time. Normally I’m pretty careful with my phones, so dropping it was never a concern.
After getting the iPhone X, I realized a habit that I had been doing for about the past 10 years. I was always looking to put my phone on something instead of a hard desk/counter top. I was either putting it on a notebook, a soft coaster, or even some type of cloth next to my bed. While it got the job done, it wasn’t an elegant solution. And after a little searching online, I didn’t find a product that fit my style/need.
Scratching My Own Itch
In came the idea to just design my own. I had just two minor requirements for this thing; it had to be portable and easy to move around, and it had to look very stylish sitting on a surface. I had two materials in mind that I really liked which were felt and leather. Just going with felt would look good, but the material is fairly slippery on hard surfaces and I didn’t want it to slide around. So I thought that I’d use the felt for the top layer, and some quality leather as the base layer, which provided much more grip.
After a bit of initial research on leather craft (thanks /r/leathercraft) and idea gathering on Instagram, I bought a few basic tools, bought some felt, and ordered some quality Horween leather that felt good to the touch.
I made a prototype version from a piece of crappy leather just to test out the process and get used to the hand-stitching stitching. It turned out just ok, but as a first timer, I was into it.
I felt like I had a good grasp on making it better, and proceeded to make a few more for myself; to put in my home office, bedroom, and for work.
The Final Results
I have to say, I love these things. I know I’m biased, but they turned out close to exactly how I wanted. And they look really good and stylish sitting on various surfaces. They’re also something super easy to throw in your work bag and carry it around with you.
I still have a ton to learn about this kind of crafting, and working with leather, but I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. I enjoyed working on the different versions that I made. It’s also pretty fun pre-determining how it’s going to look; the color of the leather, color of felt, and stitching color. Going from a mere thought in my head, to holding the product after a few hours of work is satisfying.
So now what? I don’t feel like I should keep these to myself, so I’ve been considering selling a limited run of these. I’ve gotten some pretty positive initial feedback and thinking of an approach to being able to produce more of these. If you think you might be interested in one, have any questions, or just want to give me feedback, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.