Learn how to make an inexpensive cardboard keyboard cover used for developing keyboarding skills. This project should take less than an hour and requires tools that most should have access to.
Keyboarding is an integral skill in education today. The days of practicing handwriting, especially cursive writing are long gone. I recall my first experience with a keyboard was "typing" class in high school with a typewriter. I did not use the skills for two more years until I was in college. Today, kids are learning at 5th grade or younger.
You might have keyboarding tutorial software on your home computer for your child to learn the skills necessary to be efficient with their schoolwork. But, do you have a keyboard cover to keep them from cheating as they look at the keys of the keyboard? Probably not.
You can have one of these great and durable covers for less than $1 in materials. Make one of these for your kids or friends and help them develop awesome keyboarding skills. No more looking at the keys because they will not be able to see them.
Make one for yourself just to see how often YOU look at the keys! Oh.. and please Vote!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Tools and materials are minimal for this project. You will need...
- 21x6 inch piece of cardboard (a large pizza box top worked great for this project)
- Utility knife with new sharp blade
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Duct Tape
- Marker,Pen or Pencil for marking
- Straight edge (not pictured)
- Spray Paint if you so desire.
- The side template provided in this Instructable (KeyboardCover.pdf) You will need to print 2 copies.
Step 2: Layout Templates and Design
- Trim off the flanges from the box top
- Cut out the template provided in the previous step.
- Layout your templates
- Draw an 18x5 inch rectangle. Recommended that you use a straight edge for straight lines.
Step 3: Transfer Template to Cardboard
- While holding the templates in place, make a dot on the cardboard at each angle.
- Connect the dots with a marker and straight edge
- Use a utility with sharp blade to cut out your parts.
NOTE: A dull blade can really make this look ugly with jagged edges in the cardboard. Use a new blade!
Step 4: Pull Out Parts
When pulling out your parts you may need to finish off your cuts with your utility knife.
Step 5: Mark and Cut Score Lines
Next you will mark and cut your score lines. The score lines will be for a bend in the sides. Basically, you are creating a flange to fit under your keyboard as feet of the cover.
- Place your printed templates back on top of your side parts.
- Mark where your score lines will be.
- Use a straight edge to make your lines with a marker.
- Cut your score lines. Be sure to just break through the top layer of paper on the cardboard. YOU DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.... SCORE THE LINES!
- Do not cut all the way to the edges of the templates, Leave a about a 1/2 inch uncut to leave integrity in the board.
- Bend the sides away from the cut to make a flange in the side. This flange will act as a foot for the cover.
Step 6: Connect the Parts
- With duct tape make a butt joint by connecting the sides to the top of the cover.
- Tape both sides
- Tape acts as a hinge for bending sides from legs.
Step 7: Install Keyboard Cover
Test our your wonderful creation.
- Make bends at the taped butt joints for legs.
- Make bends inward toward keyboard at score lines for feet.
- Slide feet under the keyboard
- Voila!!! Your keyboard has disappeared out of sight!
You should have plenty of hand room and cover assembly should be plenty sturdy and ridgid.
Step 8: Send to Paint Shop
If you so desire... paint it! Once again, spraying with some spare paint.
Step 9: It's Done... Start Keyboarding
This will be a great learning aid for all who use it. I challenge everyone to make one just to test how often you look down at your keyboard to type.
Within time from normal usage of installing and removing, the bends will become more flexible and your cover will stow away nice and flat.
All of this for less than $1!
Make It, and PLEASE VOTE! This is worth at least a T-shirt! LOL!