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Make a Photorealistic Gadget Pouch

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Marsupials are jerks.*

Look at ‘em, with their beady little eyes, lording it over us because they’ve got pouches. “Look at us,” they say, “our young don’t even have to walk because we’ve got these rad pouches.”

We found the cure to pouch envy.

It’s an amazing way to turn photos into pouches. All you need is some easy-to-find photo fabric and some glue: you don’t even need to sew.

These are just like the pouches you see in hip shops that look like cassette tapes, tacos or PB&J sandwiches. You can make your pouch look like any object you can find!

Now we can carry anything: cameras, credit cards, spare batteries, tiny fetal marsupials…Take that, smug koalas of the world.

How To Make a Pouch That Looks Like Anything

p.s. Facebook called. It said you should probably “like” us.


Why’s it so frakkin’ rad?

We’ve been seeing these little pouches in hipster gift stores that look like tacos, cassette tapes, pizza, etc. And we thought, “That’s so easy, we could totally make those ourselves!”

So we did. And now we’re gonna tell you how. You can make yours look like anything, but we’re going to start with one that looks like a vintage camera.

Whatcha gonna need?

ingredients

  • Something rectangular to photograph (like a vintage camera)
  • Sheet of white or black paper
  • Ruler
  • Inkjet-printable canvas (found at places like Staples or Office Depot)
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Clean kitchen towel or t-shirt
  • Fabric glue (found at sewing/craft stores: Unique Stitch or Liquid Stitch are brands you can look for)
  • Small Velcro dots (the kind without adhesive on the back)
  • Scotchguard or other waterproofing spray (optional)

Step 1: Photograph the Camera

ingredientsLay the camera face up on a sheet of paper.

Take a photo of the camera from directly above. Fill the frame as much as you can while getting all of the camera in the shot. Turn the camera over and take a photo of the back.

Avoid directional lighting so you don’t get shadows or highlights. We used diffused window light and bounced our flash off the ceiling.

SHORTCUT!: If you’d like to skip over the shooting/making your own image part, you can download one of our PDFs to make a pouch that looks like a vintage camera. Click here to download the vintage camera PDF.

Step 2: Measure the Camera

ingredientsUse a ruler to measure the length and height of the camera itself.

We like using centimeters because it’s easier to be accurate when taking small measurements.

Step 3: Crop the Photo

ingredientsIn Photoshop (or iPhoto or whatever), crop the photos as close as you can to each edge of the camera, while leaving a little sliver of negative space on every side.

Resize the photos to be slightly larger than life-size. For example, if your camera is 12cm long, make the photo about 13 or 14cm long. Set the resolution at 300ppi.

Step 4: Create a Layout

ingredientsCopy and paste the front and back photos of the camera into a new document sized 8.5″x11″ at 300ppi resolution.

Center the photos in the middle of the document, one above the other.

The photo of the front should be on top, right side up. The photo of the back should be on the bottom, upside down.

Step 5: Contrast & Sharpening

ingredientsAdjust the contrast of the photos so they look a bit darker, more contrasty and more saturated than you think you want. Photo fabric tends to look washed out when it’s printed.

Sharpen the photos to compensate for the texture of the fabric. We used Unsharp Mask at Amount 100, Radius 5 and Threshold 4.

Step 6: Print

ingredientsPrint one copy in grayscale on plain paper to see if the size looks right. Scale the photos up or down to make them close to life-size.

When you’re satisfied, print the image in full color on photo fabric. Refer to the package instructions for loading instructions and printer settings.

Let the print dry and see if you need to adjust contrast, color balance or sharpening (our first print came out looking dark and yellow).

After adjusting your color, sharpening and contrast to your liking, make your final print and let it dry completely.

Step 8: Cut It Out

ingredientsCut out the photo, leaving about 1/2″ or 1cm blank fabric around each edge. This won’t show in the final pouch, but you need some extra fabric to put the glue on. (It’s called a seam allowance.)

Fold the extra fabric toward the back of the print. Press the crease down hard with your fingers to make a nice sharp edge.

Fold the print in half along the divide between the top and bottom photos. Make sure that all the edges line up flush and square.

Step 8: Cut Corners

ingredientsTo make the pouch corners lie flat, cut the corners of the seam allowance off at an angle without cutting into the print.

Step 9: Iron the Fabric

ingredientsHeat the iron to the synthetic fabric setting.

Place a clean tea towel or old t-shirt over the print and iron the creases flat. Putting a cloth over the print will keep the finish from melting and sticking to your iron.

Step 10: Connect the Dots

ingredientsGlue Velcro dots to the seam allowance along the top of the pouch. This will be the opening to your pouch.

Put the fuzzy side at the top edge of the front photo, and the hooky side at the top edge of the back photo.

How many dots you use depends on how large your pouch is and how tightly you want it to close. You can cover the whole edge with a line of dots, or use just one. Up to you!

Let the glue on the dots dry completely before you test out the Velcro, otherwise you’ll end up pulling the dots right off.

Step 11: Glue it Together

ingredientsLast step! Yay!

Now glue the sides together. Use a thin, even layer of glue on the seam allowances, and smear it as close to the folded edges as you can.

No biggie if the glue oozes beyond the edge when you press the seam allowances together; just wipe it off.

Let the glue dry completely, then spray the finished pouch with Scotchguard. This is optional, but gives your pouch a little added protection from the elements.

And you’re done! Hooray!

Extra! Extra!: More Amazing Ideas

  • Make these pouches any size you want: 2×3″ to carry credit cards, 5×7″ to carry makeup or tech gadgets. You could even make huge 8×10″ ones by using two sheets of canvas instead of one.
  • Leave one of the short sides open instead of the long side. Leave the Velcro off to make a slipcase instead of a pouch.
  • Try photos of different objects: plates of sashimi, slices of Swiss cheese, packages of bizarre foreign candy. Once you get more comfortable making these, you can try different shapes like vinyl LPs or slices of pizza.
  • If you sew, try making a version with a zipper instead of Velcro. How clever you are!
  • Make a padded version: cut a layer of felt or fleece the same size as your print and glue it to the back of the print before you glue the seam allowances together.

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