Introduction: Convert a Hardcover Into an IPad Stand

Picture of Convert a Hardcover Into an IPad Stand

What could be more poetic than propping up your shiny new robot omni-book with one of its poor, obsolete dead-tree ancestors?  

A few dollars in materials and a modicum of craftwork can net you a very capable and stylish iPad stand.  

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

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You will need:

•A hardcover book. Size is up to you; even a small book will make a fine stand.
Aluminum angle, 1/16" x 3/4" (about $6 for a 6-8ft length at your local Lowe's equivalent)
Velcro Sticky-Back squares (pick a shape and color; about $3 for a 12-pack)
3/4" two-sided foam mounting tape (~$10 for a large roll)
•Ribbon (Express yourself.  1.5-2 in. width works best.  You'll need about a foot.)

You'll probably be forced to buy more than you'll need of each material, but think of it this way--at least you'll have extra when your jealous friends ask you to make them stands. 

You will also need the following tools:

•A hacksaw or pipe saw capable of cutting the aluminum
•Rough grit sandpaper to smooth your aluminum runner's edges
•A box cutter and/or scissors

(Note: Although this process involves permanently sticking a couple things to its cover, the readability of your book is not at all affected by standifying it. Why not add functionality to that copy of Eat, Pray, Love you're carrying around anyway?) 

Step 2: Prepare Your Aluminum Lip

Picture of Prepare Your Aluminum Lip

The aluminum angle will form a lip on which your iPad sits as it leans back against the book.

•Measure and mark a length of aluminum about an inch shorter than the long edge of your book.
•Cut with hacksaw.  The aluminum is stiff and easy to cut, but beware of the jagged edge you will leave.
•Mark and cut the corners off of both ends of one of the aluminum's lips.
•Carefully sand your rough edges with sandpaper.  Rounding the angled corners you cut into smooth curves will allow your stand to slip in and out of your bag without snagging.

Step 3: Stick Your Lip

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Next, we'll attach the lip to the inside cover of the book and use it to anchor our ribbon. 

•Cut a piece of 2-sided foam tape just shorter than your aluminum and stick it to the side on which you did not round the corners. 
•Peel off the backing of the second side of the tape to expose the sticky.  Carefully place one end of the ribbon in the center of the tape.
•Open the front cover of the book and line the aluminum up next to it, making sure it's centered.  Then, flip the lip over and press down firmly to stick it in place.  Take care to make the lip as flush as possible to the cover's edge.  
•The lip forms a sandwich with the book that holds the ribbon in place. 

Step 4: Stick the Ribbon

Picture of Stick the Ribbon

Finally, we'll get our ribbon the right length and anchor it with velcro at the other end.

•Place your book spine up, with the ribbon underneath it.  Slide the covers apart slowly until they form a 45-60 degree angle.  You may wish to place your iPad on the stand in order to fine-tune the angle you want.  (Your velcro will allow a small range of angle adjustment once the stand is complete.)
•Peel the backing off a velcro square and stick the prickly side to your book, the soft side to your ribbon, and marry the two.  Push firmly.
•Trim the extra ribbon above the velcro.  Try something fancy--you're worth it.

Step 5: Miller Time.

Picture of Miller Time.

Congrats - you've made a stand.  You'll find that this puppy supports the iPad well in both landscape and portrait modes.  Touch with confidence.

It's also very portable.  When you're ready to go, just toss the stand in your bookbag.  The lip is barely noticeable--you could probably read the ol' book in public and no one would notice its hidden superpower.  

(Then again...why would you ever read on dead trees again?  You've got an iPad, bro!)  

Optional: If you're concerned about the spine of the aluminum lip scuffing your delicate surfaces, just stick a little rubber or felt under there. Laptop Lifts work well.

Optional: If you don't care about the book you've used and want to maximize portability, you can cut all the pages out (see image).  This makes the stand lighter and lets it fold up thinner, but you obviously lose some of the booky charm.


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