Book Hoarding Rehab & a Totoro Kindle Case DIY

Like many other reading enthusiasts out there, I have developed into a kind of book hoarder over the years.  In an attempt to recapture my life from the towering masses of paperbacks sliding recklessly off of my bookshelves, I got a Kindle.  The initial novelty of the electronic library eventually wore off on me, and I found that I still longed to hold and flip actual paper pages.  

Things, however, started getting ridiculous.  It just wasn’t feasible for me to relocate my library anymore, and I became very mobile in the 2 years since graduating from college.  I began to seek to simplify my life, and have since tried to eliminate my dust and clutter.

Hence the re-emergence of the Kindle as my constant reading companion.

I made a cover for the thing when I first got it; one of the first sewing projects I’ve done!  Since I’ve been utilizing my electronic library more recently, I decided to revisit this DIY!

I don’t have many pictures from my process (as I was mainly improvising and bullshitting my way around the sewing machine), but I listed out the steps as best as I could!  This DIY can also be tailored to match any tablet device/anything flat and rectangular!  

Thrifty Tip: Try to find fabric in the spare scraps/odds & ends section at your local fabric store.  I found everything I needed for an even bigger discount!

Finished Totoro Kindle Case

Totoro Kindle Case


  • Gray colored leather/pleather
  • White colored leather/pleather
  • Black colored leather/pleather
  • Gray thread
  • Black thread
  • Fabric for lining
  • Batting (for extra cushion)
  • Magnetic button closure
  • Green leaf shaped button


  1. Measure out your device.  You will need to add an extra 1/4 inch on each side of your fabric.
  2. Cut 2 long rectangles (1 from the gray leather and 1 from the fabric lining) a little more than double the width of your device.  
  3. Cut 2 pieces of batting, both roughly the size of your device.
  4. Cut 4 large squares from fabric lining (which will be the corners for securing your device)
  5. For Totoro’s features:
    • White Leather: 2 circles (outer eye) and 1 long oval-ish shape (belly)
    • Gray Leather: 4 rounded triangles (ears), 2 long skinny rectangles (for paw/button clasp), and 5 crescent shapes (belly markings)
    • Black Leather: 2 smaller circles (inner eye), and 1 rounded triangle (nose)


  1. Measure (either make a small mark or pin) midline of the largest rectangle of lining fabric book-style along the longest edge
  2. Take your 4 squares of lining fabric and fold each diagonally into a triangle.  Take 2 triangles and pin to bottom and top right corners of lining.  Take the remaining 2 triangles and pin to top and bottom midline corners.  Put aside.
  3. Measure midline of the largest rectangle of gray leather also book-style along the longest edge of fabric
  4. Pin Totoro’s features (eyes, stomach, nose, ears, belly markings, whiskers, leaf) to the right of the midline and arrange as follows:
    • Ears: Align (right sides facing out) 2 of the gray leather rounded triangles and sew edges together. Repeat for other 2 triangles.  Pin to top edge of gray leather
    • Sew/glue black inner eye to larger white outer eye.  Sew/glue eyes to gray leather
    • Sew/glue black nose to gray leather
    • Sew/glue belly markings on white oval belly shape.  Carefully sew around white oval-ish shape to gray leather.
    • Add whiskers to gray leather with black thread
    • Sew leaf button to the “forehead”
    • Note: I glued the eyes, nose, and belly markings onto my case.  I would suggest sewing these on instead because I’ve had to re-glue these on after the continuous wear and tear of taking the case in and out of my bag. Fabric Layout
  5. Insert the magnetic button closure (female end) about midway down the right side of the gray leather and approximately an inch from the edge. Put the large gray leather piece with completed “face” aside.     Completed "Face"
  6. Take the 2 long skinny rectangles (the paws) and stitch together right sides facing inward, tapering the stitch into a hexagon shape.  Leave one side open.  Flip paw inside out and add details for the paws with black thread.  Attach the male end of the magnetic button closure to the bottom of the paw (side without black thread detail) about 1 inch from the end of the paw. Set piece aside.
  7. Align the gray leather piece and the fabric lining right sides facing out and the lining fabric side facing up.  Make sure Totoro’s “face” is on the left side (facing down) and the side with the 4 triangles on the lining fabric is on the right side.
  8. Insert “paw” strap (button side facing up) on the right edge of the fabrics between the gray leather and lining fabric.  Pin in place.  Make sure the 2 magnetic button halves line up.
  9. Sew left, top, and right fabric edges together.  Make sure the ears don’t fall out between the leather and fabric lining!
  10. Take the 2 pieces of batting and insert 1 piece on each side of the midline of the case.  The batting may need to be trimmed to fit.
  11. Sew the bottom edge of the case.
  12. Finally, sew midline of case and fold closed! And voila! 

The whole project cost about $10, and I have a ton of extra fabric and materials to make a few extra cases!

I’m going to be making a sleeve version of this case and will post a better tutorial in the very near future!



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