Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Crafting 1: Dragon-Scale Phone Case

Dragon-Skin Phone Case over Otter Box
Time: 1 day
Materials: Duct Tape, Paint, Crafting Knife (razor/X-acto)
Success Level: Eh?

See directions and tips below.

Hello! So this post is a bit of a crafting failure (or pseudo-failure [see below for why]). As a rule I don't typically do crafting projects; it's just not my area of expertise. However, my Otterbox case has been looking quite decrepit as of late (the softer plastic part was peeling) so I've long been planning to cover it up with duct tape. However I couldn't just have a boring silver finish; I wanted a dragon-scale case. I wish I would've taken more pictures to show the process but it's super inconvenient to take pictures of the thing you normally take pictures with...

Anyways this was a really simple project following the following steps:
1: cut rows of scales into duct tape with a crafting knife
2: lay scales AS NEATLY AS POSSIBLE (one of my failures) on phone case covering entire case
3: brush over scales with colored paint
4: brush upwards over scales with black paint to accentuate the scales

Ways I failed:
1: I cut really sloppy scales of all sorts of different sizes
2: I laid out my scales really messily and didn't really bother to cut out the other openings in the case
2a) I had little wrinkly bits of folded scales
2b) I had some scales almost completely overlapped
2c) I didn't bother to make smooth duct tape edges on my case
3: I used glass paint that is heat-set. Of course I knew better than to but my plastic phone case in the oven, but turns out the paint didn't take to the duct tape, so now it's all peeling off. I think acrylic paint is supposed to stick to duct tape perhaps, but don't quote me on that.
4: I cut the duct tape such that the grain was horizontal though I wanted my scales to have a vertical grain. I kind of achieved this by brushing both the colored and black paint vertically

Other Tips:
1: Find paint that sticks to duct tape
2: If you can find a paint that's supposed to stick to duct tape (probably acrylic ?) also try to find one that's transparent so you maintain the shine of the tape into the scales
3: Cut the duct tape scales with a vertical grain
4: Take the time to cut the scales as neatly and same size as possible
5: Take the time to lay the scales down neatly - try to avoid wrinkles and bunches
6: brush on the black paint stroking upwards so that the paint accumulates in the crevices of the duct tape scale design and accentuates the scales. This also helps to hide any rough edges on the cuts.

I'm really glad I went for it and created my dragon scale phone cover even though I messed up a bit along the way. Overall I think this design has a lot of potential especially in the hands of a crafty person who can cut and place neat scales. I'm not sure how long mine will last since the glass paint I used is flaking off. If all the paint comes off I may try to redo it with my acrylics; or I may decide to redo the whole project; or I may decide to do something else with my peeling case. [Note I plan on getting a new phone within the year which is why I totally don't mind doing whatever with my current phone case]. This design was a ton of fun and even though I wished it would've come out a little better I'm still pretty content with the results! (At least until all the paint falls off)...

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