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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hacking my Otterbox Defender - customizing my colors

This post isn't food related, but I thought you might enjoy it anyways.  It is also cross-posted on my static site ( and at Chenergy Consulting.

I've been wanting an Otterbox for my iphone for quite some time now.  Through all my iphones, I've only had silicone skins or cheap plastic cases that I purchased on ebay for no more than a dollar.  After receiving the iPad 1 for Valentine's Day this year, I decided that there was no way I was going to use it without an Otterbox.  I searched high and low for the best bargain Otterbox Defender for my new toy  (it happened to be on Amazon, normally ~$90).  For $50, a new black and hot pink Otterbox Defender was on the way to me.  *I'll be trading my new iPad 1 for the iPad 2 on March 12th.  Otterbox currently doesn't have an iPad 2 case yet.

iPad 1 in pink and black

In the meantime, my iPhone 3Gs was about to naked.  The current plastic silver and hot pink case was starting to crack, and it doesn't provide much protection anyways.  So I hopped on eBay and started bidding on Otterbox Defenders for my iPhone.  Many of the auctions frequently got into the $30 range, except for a black/black used one in Oklahoma.  While I was a huge fan of the color, I was able to snatch that baby up for $8.  New Otterbox Defenders for the iPhone are $50.

I'm not a huge fan of black cases for my gadgets because it makes them difficult to find in my purse.  The inside of my purse is black, my wallet is black, and my camera case is black (the camera itself is bright red).  I try to make it a point to get cases that are bright in color so that they stand out in my purse and in public.  It is pretty easy to spot my gadgets if someone decides to "borrow" it for a while.  Once I got my Otterbox iPhone case, I decided that the all black case was too dark.  It needed some color and funk.  I thought about covering it with stick on bling, reflective tape, spray paint, or glitter stickers.  And then it hit me.  Nail polish.  I dug around the house and found a two year old bottle of nail polish called pretty penny.  It was an iridescent coppery rose color, and it was perfect.

I decided that the rubber part of the Otterbox would be hand washed frequently, I didn't want anything on it.  However the hard black plastic parts that stuck out were perfect candidates for a splash of color.  After washing and drying the case, I carefully (or not so carefully) painted the hard plastic parts that would show through the black rubber with nail polish.  It took about five minutes to paint, but you'll want to let it dry for at least 30 minutes or more.  The second coat of nail polish can take a really long time to dry completely. 
Now I have a customized Otterbox Defender that cost me less than 20% of retail, and is one of a kind.  Be different. It keeps us all interesting.

The black rubber protection.

There's a little splash of color.

All the parts waiting for assembling. 

That's what it looks like the black hard plastic covering.

With the black rubber protection.

Tada! All done, except that little rubber nub I need to push back in. 

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