Behind the Scenes: Making a Phone Case

Behind the Scenes: Making a Phone Case

March 28, 2016

Here at Hand and Hide we work hard to make sure each individual case turns out beautifully. In our small studio this process looks a lot different than it does for a large manufacturer.
We make our products from start to finish in our studio in Portland, Oregon. Each and every step we do ourselves, and we take pride in that.
So we decided to give you a peek behind the scenes, and take you on a mini tour of how we craft our items. 
Note: we are always improving our process. This is how we make our cases now, however changes will probably be made in the future.

Step One: Select the Leather

The first thing we do for all our products is choose the leather.

For our device cases we use full grain vegetable tanned tooling leather that has not been sanded or coated with anything.
This means that the leather will have small scars and other natural marks that the animal acquired during its life. Most leather products are made with a highly processed surface that removes most or all of this natural character.
Using full grain leather is important to us, so we take the time and carefully select each piece of leather that we cut based on our own case patterns. We cannot avoid all marks and blemishes, but we choose as carefully as we can. Any marks that make it through our selection and quality checks are proof that our leather is full grain and genuine.  

Step Two: Clean

In this step we remove any dirt or dust, and prepare the leather for dyeing. 

Step Three: Dye

Dyeing is a challenging aspect of leather work. We are always perfecting our technique to give our customers the best color possible.
During this process, small scars and quirks in the leather tend to make their presence known by dyeing slightly lighter or darker than rest of the piece. 

Step Four: Wax

We wax the leather to protect and seal it, and to make it water resistant.

Step Five: Hand Sew and Assemble

At this point we hand hammer the rivets that hold the pockets together, add the snaps, and meticulously stitch everything together. Hand sewing is something we are proud of, and that we enjoy doing. This step is also when we mold each case specifically for its phone.

Step Six: Finishing Touches

Now the case is almost ready to ship. All that is left is for us to finish the edges and give it a good polish before we wrap it up and tuck it in a bubble mailer.
We hope you enjoyed your mini tour. Each of our cases is lovingly tended during its journey through our studio. Each of us checks it for quality along the way, and it receives one final check before it is shipped out, to make sure it is exactly the way you want it. We love putting our time and energy into making quality products for our customers.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Leathercraft

New Wallets!
New Wallets!

August 04, 2016

We are introducing three new wallet styles!

Slim, Small and Micro.

Read More

Custom Motorcycle Bag for Art of Gear

February 15, 2012

I was contacted by Owen of Art of Gear to make a custom bag for his motorcycle. I agreed to make him a great deal in exchange for a review on his website (unfortunately no longer around.) Owen sent me some photos of the space available for the bag and gave me free reign to come up with something suitable. I made a few sketches and sent them back for his approval before getting started. The design is very similar to my bicycle bags, utilizing the same durable oiled leather and the...

Read More

Hand and Hide Leather Fireman Bag Power of the Purse 2013
Power of the Purse 2013

February 26, 2013 1 Comment

A few months ago, I was invited to return as a designer for the 2013 Power of the Purse charity auction organized by Girls Inc. of NW Oregon. I had a great time last year when my "hop" bag sold for over $3000, so I readily accepted the invitation for this year's event. For my "purse-o-nality" I was...

Read More


Like what you see here? Sign up for our newsletter for discounts, the latest news and a glimpse behind the scenes at Hand and Hide