Monday 1 July 2013

Make your Marc – How to DIY a Marc Jacobs Stardust iPad Case

A case of Branding 101 for crafty technophiles


Not wanting to give the ending away, the acquisition of a new tablet coupled with a need to celebrate the pleasure and convenience of using one inspired me to create a glamorous new home for it. The Marc Jacobs Stardust iPad case took the cake and not just because the brilliant neon and soft, squishy shapes meant it looked good enough to eat! No, it was the dandy digital-look logo pattern that recalled perhaps the only key 90s trend that 2013 fashion hasn’t yet referenced: The art of conspicuous branding.

The best example of the decade that I can remember? Once upon a time Victoria Beckham was seen as “Quiet, Aloof Spice” in the background (commonly shortened to “Posh”), while Mel “Sporty Spice” C ruled the roost in terms of fashion influence; she inspired a ubiquitous teen and pre-teen uniform of Adidas tracksuit bottoms – in particular, the ones with the random panelling across the mid-calves that made them look as if they had been shoddily lengthened rather than aesthetically intended. Their respective means of sartorial influence were completely different: People dress “Posh” now because of the clothes she is photographed wearing, people dressed sportily then because they already had been for the past half-decade or so. It was an auspicious time for Ms. C because it was all about the logos!

As a less nouveau riche, more sane person I would say label fetishes are among the fads best left in the past (along with cheesy, formulaic pop bands, but that’s another story!) unless they entail rewriting the logo in a novel, artistic way. Then, the logo doesn’t become the sole, stand-out design feature, rather a new design is incorporated into the branding, rendering the final product a bit less naff (yes, that’s a good 90s word, too!).

So, while that concludes my presentation on why I just kinda felt like replicating the Marc by Marc Jacobs Stardust case, keep the word “branding” in mind…

You will need

Also, all-purpose scissors and some means of tracing onto faux leather are a must, like a gel pen and…

A thin tea towel for ironing

The adhesive letters I used can be purchased here


Very Easy

That’s all there is to say. Also, it helps if you like ironing.


Okay, confession time: After 8 exhausting hours of trial and error, I finally came up with the solution. It then emerged that I didn’t have enough faux leather to complete the cover so this tutorial’s all about the tried-and-tested process.

I’d estimate it as being about 1- 1 ½ hours and easily doable in an evening.

Press on…

Use your iPad/tablet/laptop case to trace out the area needed to cover each side. Cut your pieces out.

Arrange your design using the letters M,A,R,C,B,Y,J, O and S. You might want to throw some star shapes into the mix if you have any appropriately-sized ones. Above is a single letter for demonstration purposes (see “Time” section).

Completely cover your material with your tea towel and iron over it for about 1 ½ - 2 minutes, pressing as hard as you can. The temperature can be a delicate balance to strike - synthetic fabrics burn and melt very easily but too low a heat won’t do the job properly. I’d recommend a two-dot setting on your iron or an equivalent setting (about ¾ of the way along) but I’d also strongly advise experimenting on some scrap first to avoid accidents. This technique fixes your letters in place permanently, even after the material cools down. It's also the reason you need to use faux and not real leather.

If you’re not lucky enough to find some faux leather in the colour you want, use some fabric paint (I used Pebeo fluorescent orange which is about £4 per pot). Make sure you use opaque paint for dark material.

Your paint will probably become tacky after it has dried so use a quick spritz of clear lacquer for a smooth, protective finish.

Repeat this process with the other side and craft mount your pieces in place.

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