#ThinkDoMAKE: Rubble Sack Phone Case

Return to the Polypropylene page to see all resources 

#ThinkDoMAKE: Polypropylene rubble sack phone case

A phone case made from polypropylene rubble sacks which are cheap to buy and which make a great, easy to use, wipe clean material suitable for a range of applications. You can also download the resource with the information from this page as an editable PowerPoint 

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This is a starting point for an idea only. The idea will need to be developed and a scheme of learning created in relation to the context of learnersAn iterative design approach is encouraged. Credit should be given to the original source where appropriate.

  • Polypropylene (click here for more Let’s Learn information on polypropylene)
  • Fluorescence (click here for more Let’s Learn information on fluorescence)
  • Microfibres 
  • Sewing machine skills
  • Quilting
  • Binding
  • Woven fabric (polypropylene)
  • Knitted fabric (microfibre)


Developing the idea & the learning further (these are a few examples only)

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  • Adding a fastening
  • Add a pocket
  • Change the decorative technique
  • Experiment with other materials
  • Developing the shape e.g. adding a flap
  • Develop the idea for a different product e.g. SLR camera, iPad
  • Change the product from 2D to a 3D one e.g. add a gusset
  • Make the product in a different way e.g. seams instead of bound edges
  • Use of a theme for the decoration e.g. artist/designer
  • Develop the idea to meet the needs of a specific user
  • Develop the functionality of the product e.g. add electronics
  • Develop the size of all or part of the product
  • Develop broader learning links e.g. environmental impact of the materials used, marketing & branding of the product, costs of materials, time plans for manufacture


Review the learning that could be included in this project against the key learning areas curriculum document


Materials & any specialist equipment used in the example

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  • Polypropylene rubble sacks or tarpaulin (2 colours)
  • Microfibre fabric (or any soft fabric)
  • Fluorescent thread
  • Fluorescent ribbon

(For rubble sacks visit your local DIY store)


Tips on using the rubble sack material

  • Pins leave holes in the fabric. Bulldog clips & paper clips are good alternatives to hold fabric together. You can also use a light layer of glue e.g. a glue stick for a short term hold while you stitch things together.
  • Test your fabric in the machine to make sure it doesn’t get stuck. If you have problems with machine stitching use a walking or Teflon foot.
  • Don’t pull too hard on stitches as they can rip the fabric
  • Don’t iron the fabric as it melts with heat
  • The fabric might blunt your needle so make sure you have new ones just in case you need them


Making the paper pattern

  • Measure your phone
  • Double the lengthwise measurement and add 2cm. This gives you the length of your pattern.
  • Add 2.5cm to the width of your phone. This gives you the width of your pattern.
  • Use the pattern to cut 1 piece of polypropylene fabric. Cut the microfibre fabric slightly larger than the pattern shape.
  • Cut 2 pieces of binding fabric that are 2.5cm wide & the width of the short edge of your pattern
  • Cut another 2 pieces of binding (also 2.5cm wide) that are half of the lengthwise measurement of the phone
  • To get your ribbon length add 3cm to the lengthwise measurement of your phone


Making the phone cover

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Polypropylene phone case


You can download the resource with the information from this page as an editable PowerPoint 



Practical activities and ideas are provided as a starting point only. Students should use these as inspiration as part of an iterative design process developing the idea further themselves. Credit should be given to the original source where appropriate.


Return to the Polypropylene page to see all resources 


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© Boyd Education  2012   text, images & ideas on this website are the copyright of Julie Boyd & may not be copied or reproduced without permission.. All rights Reserved.