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Monday, February 9, 2009

diy ipod nano case with urban camo option

** UPDATE–our new project! diy cut-and-fold paper iphone **

the new ipod nano is amazing but what a pity that cases are still unavailable.
amid reports of scratch-sensitive screens we propose a solution: take matters into your own hands and make your own nano case.

how it works:
1. download the nano template and print it out.
2. following instructions, cut on solid lines and fold on dotted ones.

and even better is to use the cutout as a guide to trace onto any other material. fold and tape. voila! (here’s a secret: a packet of eclipse gum is nearly the perfect size–one less piece of packaging clogging up a landfill, and no one will know what you’ve really got in your pocket.)

you can probably do better, so feel free to tweak template (.ai illustrator vector format)-mix, modify, improve. send the files and pics (sneakmove at gmail) of your achievements and we’ll put ‘em online.

need an ipod? get one here and help support sneakmove… on

if this has been helpful to you and you’ve got some spare change laying around, feel free to donate a buck via paypal.


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  • Jon Sublet said,

    this template has proven to be very useful. thanks SM. you fellas rock!

  • sam biguity said,

    That is really nice work.

  • gary tijuana said,

    getting some great feedback and some good suggestions - thank you everyone.

    here are two more diy case options that have been sent my way. nice work fellas!

    leather sheath case:

    another printable PDF case:

  • halfway said,

    I don’t own an iPod in any form and I still think this is fantastic.

    Dynamite work, BB!

  • Dawn said,

    Cool! Thanks for the template. I customized mine by bringing the template into photoshop and imposing it over a favorite photo of my daughters before cutting it out! Now I’m off to find a can of Brasso to fix those scratches…

  • gary tijuana said,

    this sweet nano case design was sent in to us by dawn, using qarki’s pdf template: dawn’s case.

    here’s another great leather diy case design with screen and wheel windows: .
    (thanks )

  • Anonymous said,

    an ipod nano can fit in a gum box!?!?!? amazing

  • Austin said,

    Instead of making one, buy one for about 7 bucks. i did and it works great.

  • Anonymous said,

    Yeah, Because no-one will see those headphone wires

  • gary tijuana said,

    the decalgirl stickers look really cool–a great way to personalize your ipod.

    keep tuned for my review of the protective nano covering, which i installed this weekend. i’ll give a hint: its pretty amazing. i do wish it were cheaper. or that they gave me one free to review. but that wouldn’t be fair and unbiased, would it? ok fine, i’d sell out to save $20.

    i will keep using the trident gum case though, to try to stay as inconspicuous on my bus commute as possible. the nano still gets way too many uncomfortably long stares.

    here’s a great story about a guy that . guess what–it still works like a charm.

  • Anonymous said,


  • Anonymous said,

    I tried it and it was a couple of millimeters too tight. I recycled an old thank you card. Thanks!


  • joe said,

    great template. i decided to slightly mod it by making a Photoshop file, place the template in a layer, and create another (background) layer to post images into. and i then sized it so it prints nicely on a 4×6 photo print (using my Kodak photo printer). nice and glossy, pretty durable… it’s posted here —

  • gary tijuana said,

    Fantastic tweak, Joe. Even more forward-thinking than the original template! .

    , made by colin. He’s got a great instruction sheet writeup.

  • gary tijuana said,

    using the template and some metallic wrap. Nice use of the plastic for the window.

  • Stefan Engeseth said,

    Really cool iPod, things you make!
    Have anybody heard about the new iPod model with a perpetual battery?

  • gary tijuana said,

    another awesome job, this one from Robbie:

    Thanks for the ai template. I modified it a bit so it would be a little more snug and fit into the dock. I also swapped the headphone and input cavities to be positive. That way I could use the template in photoshop to lay out my graphics. I’ll attach all my files here (click to see images). Feel free to offer my psd file to others if they want a photoshop template. Thanks again for the idea.

    looks great robbie! direct link to this pdf.
    one note–as reported above, if you are tracing this onto heavier cardstock you will want to push the dimensions outward just slightly to compensate for the thicker material. The nano is so small that even the difference between paper and light cardboard makes a difference.

  • Wolrah said,

    I used Quarki’s template to craft this little piece of work. Check it out at my site (With pics!!!!).

  • Anonymous said,

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I downloaded the template and the .pdf, and niether one fits my nano. they are about .25″ short, and the template holes don’t line up.

  • Aaron said,

    Make sure to turn off “page scaling” in Acrobat when you print it.

  • NealC said,

    Am I the only person whose nano came in a little clear plastic cover with ‘Do Not Steal Music’ written on it…?

    Only, I noticed that this writing rubs off like _really_ easily, and a ballpoint pen is just the thing to poke a hole in the bottom for the headphone jack…

    30 seconds, one iPod protective cover to see me through until the proper ones arrive. Another minute with a sharp knife, and I have little cut-outs for the dock connector and lock switch as well…


  • guillo said,

    True, the Nano comes with a platic cover already. All you have to do is make a little hole on the bottom of it for the headphones. And put a small piece of tape on the side so that it doesnt open.

    The only downside is it doesnt protect the corners. Works for me.

  • Anonymous said,

    Missing part of the instructions: fold it so the lines are on the *inside*! Otherwise the dock and headphone jack will be in the wrong spot. I could easily do without “be a good person”, ya freakin hippy. :) I’m so not doing this again. It’ll do until the case and skin I ordered from the Apple store arrive. Nothing local except that loopy armband that doesn’t even protect the screen and even the Apple store has a 2 week wait on what I ordered… Grr.

  • Chris said,

    I felt pretty bad at the comments of a person who, after helping himself/herself to a free gift, took the time to be critical, not only of the template, but of the giver, as well! Wow! It takes all kinds, I guess, but some we could do without!

    At any rate, I just wanted to let you know that this template is well-designed and has been helpful to me. I also am thankful that you took the time to “be a good person”. THANKS!

  • Anonymous said,

    I too thought I would just use the clear plastic sleeve that came with my Nano. Alas, it was scratch-free when I put it immediately back in the sleeve. Pulled it out after an hour in the sleeve, and in my nice, clean hooded sweatshirt pocket - and it was scratched all to heck! So I went overboard - Staples, K-mart, etc have these little neoprene cellhone / gadget holders that you hook into the vent on your car. I bought one, ran the sewing machine across it, cut one end open, and my Nano now has a nice, tight wetsuit that has been all over the country and not added a single scratch to the unit.

    anow - for the template… I saw a package of HP self-adhesive paper that was an iPod pre-cut shape. You could print out whatever you want and just stick it on. It was for the larger (4th generation) iPods. Anyone seen this? Great work on the template - I might try it out of neoprene yet!

  • Anonymous said,

    Printed the template on the back of photo paper for my InkJet. Then pasted a self-adhesive clear liner over the photo on the front as protection before cutting (avoid air bubbles). Works great, and I have a unique Ipod skin now! Thanks for saving me the money for these ridiculously expensive Nano Tubes (they probably cost pennies to make). Two things I noticed: 1.) When printing in Acrobat, needed to select ‘None’ in Page Handling - Page Scaling in the Print screen to get the right size. 2.) There was no opening for the HOLD button in the template. Needed to add while cutting.

  • Anonymous said,

    What’s the concensus on the clickwheel. Cut a hole and expose it? Or protect it by leaving the overlay on it?

  • horrorxpop said,

    Okay so i tryed downloading it a zillion times and it wont work =[ Does anyone have a link to the template ? Pleeeeease. If you do e-mail me at

  • horrorxpop said,

    could someone pleease e-mail me the template [not a downloadable filee thing, just like the template so i can print it]-

  • Anonymous said,

    anyone know of a template like that for a diy case for the ipod video(30gb)? if you do drop me a line at
    thanks, and much appreciated

  • saiyajin18 said,

    A small box of Chiclets gum is the exact size for a nano. Just cut holes if desired (preferably with an xacto knife, so you don’t have to deconstruct the box) and you have a perfectly fitted urban camo case.

  • Anonymous said,

    Hey i made a pretty kool case from that new gum called stride…its actually pretty kool i made it like some of those cases that veclcro or however you spell it closed with the little flap.. here ill post some pictures at the end of the comment

    as you can see my cutting skills pretty much suck i just used my knife soo here

  • Anonymous said,


  • Anonymous said,

    i agree with this guy above me l but who cares??? even though people would find out it still looks awesomely COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NICE WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • becky said,

    ummm i dont get get it like why dont you like just like go to the fircken like store and but like a fricken ipod case like is it like really like that fricken difficult like i went to like the mall and like i went to like the apple like store and like bought the cutest like pink cas like it is like so fricken like cute! and it like matches every outfit like because i like always wear like PINK!
    call me!

  • Anonymous said,

    That is hilarious! I never would of thought of using a gum case…

  • Anonymous said,

    Wow, Becky needs some language skills. She’s an idiot.

  • Anonymous said,

    i have a nano 2nd. gen and the pattern needs some adjusting. i know how to do it, but my computer won’t open it up with any programs that i can use. any suggestions???

  • Anonymous said,

    Never Mind!!!! i figured it out. smart smart!!

  • Jess said,

    wow this is a great idea can sum one post the 2nd generation template as i dont no how too alter the orignal one, please

  • SamBee said,

    About a year ago i recieved a black ipod nano as a gift. Later i went to the dollar store adn bught some chicklets, they came in little boxes with a pack of five. The bos fits perfectly on my nano as if made for it. Even the opening for the candy is right over my hold button. I just cut out holes for te screen and the turn wheel and its awesome!


  • Anonymous said,

    The case is for the 1g nano. the newer ones are a bit different, so the case doesent fit as well. Thamks though!

  • Anonymous said,

    Get a life!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Anonymous said,

    becky said…

    ummm i dont get get it like why dont you like just like go to the fircken like store and but like a fricken ipod case like is it like really like that fricken difficult like i went to like the mall and like i went to like the apple like store and like bought the cutest like pink cas like it is like so fricken like cute! and it like matches every outfit like because i like always wear like PINK!
    call me!

    You are in desperate need of english skills. BTW, you forgot the areacode.

  • Hillary M said,

    I went searching around the house, and I found a awesome taffy box and made a case out of it. Ill put up pictures later. Thanks for the template! I don’t know why people are complaining…it worked perfectly for me! Its great, you saved me from spending $10 on a make your own case set. Pics will be here soon!!!

  • mark r. said,

    just spend $5 bucks and buy one like i did… … itll last longer and these have a lifetime warranty… -mark

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