I 'member! Now they're in a laptop case...wow!
After converting a real book into a case for an older laptop, I wanted to try my hand at making one from scratch. It turned out way better than I expected! The Zelda and Mario hieroglyphics give off a discrete and complex pattern without looking too cartoonish. This was the 3rd and best version of the case.
It is well padded, and while soft, it is durable. It can also be adapted to a tablet.
Laptop case choices suck. Let's fix that.
A copy of this DIY can be found on my Imgur page
Step 1: It's Dangerous to Go Alone! Take These Items and Make Something Cool Out It!
Most of these misc household items you can grab at the
99c store or dept. store if you don't have them already. Some additional things I forgot to include:
- I recommend that you use a bone folder, but the flat side of the utility knife should do.
- You will also need some heavy flat weights (board, thick cutting board, etc)
- A nail file to smooth out panel cuts
- 91% alcohol for cleanup
Depending on how much fabric & canvas panels you get, you can probably make at least 2-3 cases from these materials! Also, if going to Joann's or Michaels, grab their weekly 40%-60% mobile coupons from their respective websites.
1 Bone folder
2 Thin Canvas Panels (11 x 14 or larger based on your laptop dimensions)
1 Fabric Spray Adhesive (Loctite 200 works well)
6 2mm Craft foam sheets (11.8" x 17.7 in"). 4 of them must be white
1 E6000 Adhesive
~ 5 in Velcro (transparent if 2-in-1s)
1 Right angle
1 gel pen / fine tip marker
1 utility knife
1 Firm rubber to elevate laptop for venting (used an old mousepad)
0.5 yard Fabric (Inner)
0.5 yard Fabric (Outer)
1 Meter stick (preferably metal)
x Heavy flat weights (thick books/cutting boards/etc (NOT SHOWN)
Step 2: OPTIONAL, But RECOMMENDED
Choose Scotchguard for a softer feel of the fabric and
natural look or water-based Polyurethane for a firmer feel / longer lasting protection.
1 Pad of construction paper sheets or newspaper to protect surface
~ 3 inch Thin elastic strap to hold pen / stylus
1 Scotch Guard or water-based polyurethane / foam paint brush
1 Electric scissors (Makes cutting quick and easy!)
1 Crafting cutting mat
Step 3: Place a Canvas Panel on the Cutting Surface and Your Laptop on Top of It.
Step 4: Align Your Laptop to One of the Panel Corners. Decide How Much Edge Overhang You Want to Have.
I chose to start at the bottom right and leave 3mm overhang, making sure any buttons/ports would be protected
Step 5: Trace an Outline of Your 3mm Edge Overhang on the Side and Bottom.
Step 6: On the Opposite (left) Side, Trace Your Laptop.
Step 7: Mark Your 3mm Left Edge Overhang From That Line...
Step 8: And Trace the Left 3mm Edge Hang Border. Use a Right Angle to Ensure Each Corner Is Square for the Line
Step 9: Mark Your 3mm Edge Overhang for the Backside.
If you'd like to include a pen/stylus holder, place the pen behind the laptop, leaving a tiny gap between, and mark on the line you made. The idea is that when the case is closed, the pen will be secured to the spine behind the laptop.
Step 10: Square Up and Trace Out the Backside Edge Overhang Line
Step 11: Hold the Meter Stick Up to the Left Edge Overhang Line to Score and Trim Off the Excess Panel.
Step 12: Trim Off the Backside Excess. DO NOT DISCARD This Excess Piece As You Will Use It for the Spine.
Step 13: Place Your Trimmed Panel on Top of the of the Other Panel and Trace Out the Trimmed Panel.
Step 14: Trim Out the 2nd Panel So It Has the Same Dimensions As the 1st.
Step 15: You Now Have 2 Panels and a Piece for the Spine
Step 16: Form the Inner Thickness (aka Signature) of the Case for Measurement.
Stack your materials and laptop in the order shown in the picture.
This will determine how much spine you need. If you laptop has vents underneath, you will need the firm rubber pieces to prop it up for airflow.
Step 17: Measure the Inner Thickness.
My apologies for the angle of the picture. Extend the
bottom panel out a bit and place your ruler on top of the bottom panel. While lightly depressing the top panel, measure the distance to the UNDERSIDE of the top panel. Add 1 millimeter. Write down this measurement. Mine was 27mm.
Step 18: Disassemble Your Material Stack. Time to Work on the Spine.
Verify the spine piece is the same width as your panels.
Step 19: Measure and Mark Out Your Measurement on the Spine Piece.
Step 20: Trim Off the Excess From the Spine Piece.
Step 21: You Will Now Have the Pieces to Form the Book.
Step 22: I Recommend Lightly Filing Down the Sharp Edges of Your Cuts.
This will reduce chances of them cutting through the materials.
Step 23: Protect Your Surface Work Area by Laying Out Construction Paper or Newspaper.
Adhesive is a pain to clean up
Step 24: Lay Out Your Outer Fabric FACEDOWN. Decide How You Want the Outer Fabric to Look When the Book Is Closed.
After making portraits and landscape versions of this
case, the images on the print were not square and it was too difficult to get them to line up. So I chose a diagonal print for the final build. The design looks better in a diagonal comic book style, IMHO.
Place 2 white foam sheets side by side, connecting them by their longest sides. You can place your canvas pieces on top of them as weights
Step 25: Trace Out the Foam Outline on the Fabric and Rough Cut Out the Fabric Leaving at Least 1/2 Inch on All Sides
Let the lines will be your guide.
Step 26: Lay Out the Fabric Facedown and Foam Sheets Next to Each Other. Use the Adhesive Spray to Spray Both the Fabric and Foam Surface
Follow the directions on the can and make sure you have adequate room ventilation.
Step 27: Line Up and Place Each Foam Sheet on the Fabric.
Align one foam sheet edge with the guide line on your fabric, and use the
bone folder to help lay out foam along the fabric. Depending on how light your fabric is, you might need help holding down the fabric to keep the fabric from bunching up as you lay out the foam. Also, if your fabric is printed like mine, take care not to stretch the fabric too much or it will warp the look of image.
NOTE: The colors in some of these pictures may look off due to changes in my room's lighting.
Step 28: While the Adhesive Is Still Wet, Flip the Foamed Fabric Over and Run the Bone Folder Over the Fabric, Ensuring No Wrinkles/gaps
If need be, pull the fabric from the foam and lightly
stretch the fabric to eliminate the wrinkles and to ensure no warped images
Step 29: Clean Your Tip!
wipe off your spray tip with acetone or 91% alcohol after each spray session
Step 30: Place Some Flat Heavy Weights on Top of the Fabric and Let It Cure for About 10-15 Min or Per the Adhesive Directions.
Step 31: In the Meantime, Eat a Juicy Pear on a Fork
Step 32: When Sufficiently Cured, Place One of the Panels on the Foam.
Square it leaving at least a 1 inch border of foam. Trace out all sides. This will be the guide lines for the left panel
Step 33: Measure and Mark Out 1/4 Inch + Spine Thickness From the Left Panel
Credit to Sea Lemon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av_rU-yOPd4
for these measurements
Step 34: Draw That Line on the Foam.
Step 35: Place the Spine Flat Against That Line. Place the Meter Stick Along the Bottom Edge to Line to Keep Things Square.
Trace out the spine on foam.
Step 36: From the Right Spine Line, Measure and Mark 1/4 Inch + Spine Thickness.
Step 37: Draw the Line That Will Serve As the Left Side of the Right Panel
Step 38: Place the Right Panel Along the Line and Draw the Outline of the Panel. Use the Meter Stick to Keep Things Aligned.
Step 39: Tadow.
Step 40: Measure Out a 1 Inch Border From the Panels. Using Sharp Scissors Trim to a 1 Inch Border
Use scissors not the utility knife as it may fray the fabric
Step 41: Spray Adhesive Onto the Panels Pieces ONLY and Apply the Pieces to the Foam
Step 42: Place Weights on Top of It and Allow It Sufficiently Cure
Step 43: Here's How We Fold the Corners.
Fold 2 sides and pinch the corners together.
Step 44: Fold the Corner Flap to One Side
Step 45: Fold the Flap to the Other Side. Repeat Several Times to Establish the Creases.
Step 46: Release the Flap and Lay It Out. You Will See the Corner Creases. Notice They Do Not Connect in a Straight Line, Which Is Good.
Step 47: Trace the Corner Corner Creases and Draw Out a Tab Like So.
The tab is about (10 mm x 5mm). Credit to Redditor /u/CommZod for this tab trick (http://i.imgur.com/tHHcaZA.jpg)
Step 48: Repeat for the Rest of the Corners.
Step 49: Trim the Corners.
Test the corners by up folding the side flaps and pull
the tab in between the folds. If need be, trim a little bit off the tab so it fits between the side folds.
Step 50: This Is How the Corners Should Look When Finished.
Step 51: Spray the Flaps!
Protect your work area and protect the inside of the
canvas. Start with 1 side at a time and spray the adhesive on the flap only and on the panel where the flap will meet .
Try not to get spray on the tab or the adjacent side at this time.
Step 52: While Wet, Fold the Fabric Over Onto the Panel Using the Surface to Do the Folding. It Will Make an Even & Tight Fold.
Step 53: Place Weights on Top and Allow Sufficient Time to Stick But Don't Let It Fully Cure Yet.
It should hold together in about 10-15 min
Step 54: While Still Tacky, Use the Bone Folder to Press the Flap in the Between the Spine and Panels. Let Cure for Another 10 Min or So.
Step 55: Spray Adhesive on the Adjacent Side and on the Tab.
Fold the flap over the same way as the previous step and press the tab in between the sides. Push in the corner for a more rounded corner look.
Step 56: Repeat for the Rest of the Sides.
Step 57: Good Job!
Step 58: Measure Out and Trim Foam Sheets That Will Set in the Middle of the Panels. Spray and Adhere Them to the Panels
I had some extra peel n' stick craft foam sheets lying
around so I used that. It saved me an extra step of having to spray adhesive to the foam sheets
Step 59: Peel N Stick Craft Foam
Step 60: The Colors, Man. the Colors.
Don't forget to use the bone folder to press the foam inside the spine creases!
Step 61: Measure and Trace Out a 1/8" Border Around the Inside.
Step 62: This Will Serve As Guide for the Inner Fabric. Measure and Write Down These Dimensions. Mine Was 325mm X 510mm
Step 63: Time to Make the Inner Fabric Backing. It'll Be Similar to Making the Outer Fabric Backing Earlier.
Place the 2 WHITE foam sheets side by side, connecting them on the longest sides.
Step 64: I Recommend Taping Them Adding a Few Strips of Tape to Secure Them.
Step 65: Trim the Foam to Your Inner Dimensions. Then Flip the Foam Over So It's Tape-side Down
Step 66: Orient the Trimmed Foam to the Facedown Inner Fabric. Place a Weight on It and Draw a 1 Inch Border Around It
Step 67: Cut the Corners Similar to When You Made the Outer Fabric Foam, But Without the Tabs This Time.
the cuts do not need to be perfect. Then protect your
work area and spray the foam ONLY, and combine. Use the bone folder again to ease out the wrinkles as you lay out the foam across the fabric. Don't forget to remove the pieces of tape if you used them!
When done, place weights on top and let it dry
Step 68: OPTIONAL: If You're Including a Pen/stylus Holder.
Place and align the inner fabric foam on top the book
surface. Take note of the where spine creases are. Center the pen in the middle of the spine. Lay out the elastic straps on top of where you want to secure the pen.
Step 69: Using the Utility Knife, Make Slits Wide Enough to Stick the Elastic Straps Through.
Step 70: Stick in and Glue the Straps
Turn over the fabric, pull the strap ends slightly taut
and trim so they do not extend into spine creases. Then glue the strap ends to the foam. Put weights on them and allow them dry.
Step 71: Spray the Foam and All Fabric Sides, and Fold Over the Fabric Flaps to the Foam.
Step 72: While Still Tacky...
Spray adhesive again to the entire foam and fabric surfaces to place on top of the inner surface of the case.
Step 73: Line Up With One Side of the Inner Book Outline You Made Earlier. Use the Bone Folder to Spread the Inner Fabric Along the Case.
Step 74: When Reaching the Spine, Use the Bone Folder to Press in the Fabric Into the Gaps and to Establish Creases.
Step 75: Place Weights on Top
Step 76: Good Job!
Step 77: OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Choose a Fabric Protector
Polyurethane: Gives the fabric more solid feel, but more
rougher, plasticky feel. It offers the better protection though. The colors will darken and it will slightly blur the images but the gloss gives the images pop.
Scotchguard: Maintains the fabric softness and original colors. Protection doesn't last as PU.
I chose scotchguard for now and I can still apply PU down the road if I wanted to.
Spray/paint the multiple coats on the outside and inner fabrics of the case, according to can's directions.
Step 78: Laptop Placement:
Place your laptop (and pen if you have one) inside the case. Square it up as best as you can
Step 79: Butt Up the Laptop to the Pen But Leave a Slight Gap.
Step 80: Trace the Along the Back Side of Your Laptop on the Case.
Step 81: Velcro Placement
Clean the laptop surfaces with 91% alcohol. Apply at
least 1/2 inch velcro (hook) squares to the underside corners of your laptop. Make sure they are on completely flat areas.
Step 82: OPTIONAL: Applies to 2-in-1 Laptops Only.
Prep the topside corners of the laptop with 91% alcohol and Let dry.
Then cut out and apply the 1/2 inch Velcro (hook) pieces to these corners . Use clear or matching color velcro so it blends in with the color of your laptop. Rounded corners are nice.
Step 83: Velcro Placement.
Mark on the case the edges of the top (if 2-in-1) and bottom velcro pieces
Step 84: Trace Out the Areas of the Top and Bottom Velcro Pieces of the Case.
Step 85: If Your Laptop Has a Fan and Vents on the Bottom, You Will Need to the Elevate the Laptop for Airflow.
Cut out some firm rubber that will prop the laptop up
for ventilation. I used an old mouse pad. Cut it to the larger area in the previous step.
Step 86: Apply E6000 Glue to the Firm Rubber Pieces
Step 87: Apply the Firm Rubber Pieces to the Laptop Case and Apply Weights for a Sufficient Amount of Time
Step 88: Measure Out How Much You Loop-side of Velcro You Need for the Front of the Laptop
Step 89: Apply Glue and the Velcro Piece. Place Weights on Top and Allow to Time to Hold
Step 90: On the Firm Rubber Pads, Apply Glue and Loop-side Velcro on Top of the Pad. Apply the Weights One More Time.
Step 91: This Is How the Case Should Look When Completed.
Step 92: Since the Case Will Want to Naturally Pop Open, Close the Case Together and Apply Firm Pressure to the Spine Folds.
Step 93: Line Up Your Laptop Along the Backside Line You Made and It Will Secure Itself to the Velcro.
Step 94: You're Done!
Our dog Millie also approves!
Step 95: BONUS PIC: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Versions of the Case With Different Pattern Orientation
I ran out of extra brown inner fabric for the 3rd one.
The 2nd one was intended to secure the laptop with elastic straps instead of velcro. It was too frustrating to get it to hold so I decided to go full velcro.