Instructables

DIY Wood-Grain Laptop Wrap

Featured
Picture of DIY Wood-Grain Laptop Wrap
fin1.png
A simple tutorial for turning your scratched and dented laptop into a fun and unique statement!

Supplies: Wood-Grain Contact paper (found at most dollar stores), x-acto knife, scissors, tracing paper.

So, to start, go ahead and power off your laptop and take out the battery so you're free to work on it without any worries. If you have all sorts of junk on yours, like I had on mine, you can scrape it off and use a little adhesive remover to get it nice and clean again.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1:

Picture of
Now, unroll your contact paper, and lay your computer on top with the grain going whichever way you want, then cut around it, leaving a large border on all sides (you'll trim it down later).

Now, you can decide what you'd like to do about the logo on your cover. I decided I wanted mine to outline it, so I used a piece of tracing paper to trace the outline, then laid it over the contact paper in the middle, and cut out using a x-acto knife (I used a little piece of tape to keep it in place while I cut it out). You could also just cut a large round window for it and use a bottle cap or anything that's nice and round.

Step 2:

Picture of
layon.png
trim sides.png
After you cafefully remove the backing, lay it gently on top of your laptop, careful to line-up where your logo cut-out is, and smooth the contact paper out. Then, flip over so the top of your laptop is now on the floor, and begin trimming the edges. I used my straight-edge ruler and "eyed" it the best I could, re-trimming it if I needed to. Then you just fold up around the edges of your laptop.

If you don't have a round edge laptop, or just don't want your cover to "bleed over" you can also just take the measurements of the area that you want to cover and cut it out before you apply it. And if you'd like your corners rounded a scrapbooking photo-round cutter would work perfect!
susanrm2 years ago
When I had a wrap on mine, my laptop went through several hard drives... I think the aluminum case is used as part of the cooling system, and during the summer, the wrap put it over the top. Just a word to the wise.
You are absolutely right about that. Half of the reason they switched to the aluminum unibody enclosure was to improve heat dissipation. The entire computer body is now a giant heat sink. If you recall, the earlier, polycarbonate shell Macbooks (I still have mine) had overheating issues because polymer based compounds are generally very insulative...

I have never used that type of contact paper, but without knowing what it is made from I can pretty much guarantee that the "paper" itself, as well as the adhesive, are going to have poor thermal conductivity and will therefore lead to your computer running hotter than it did before. As nice as the idea is (I like the wood grain look) it is not going to be very good for your computer's health:

Decreased heat dissipation ==> Increased operating temperature ==> increased electrical resistivity ==> slower operating speeds, even higher operating temps, and increased risk of component damage.
From what I can tell, this "paper" is a very thin plastic sticker. But the good thing about it is that it only goes on the top (behind the screen) and by the keyboard and trackpad if you so wish. The parts of the computer that get hot don't have to be covered.
Yes, I had my mom get rid of her pretty new plastic Macbook Pro shell for the same reason. She was sad, but it was a good move.

On the other hand, if you have a black or white plastic-shell laptop with a beat-up exterior, this is a good idea to make it look nicer.
Could you warm the plastic with a heat gun to make it conform to the shape? I would imagine they do it when vinyl graphics are installed on a car...
t3rn3r1 year ago
Are there any temperature issues with this ?
ASUS done the same thing with their laptops.

http://usa.asus.com/Notebooks/Special_Edition/U2E_Bamboo/#overview


Bamboo laptops.. pretty epic
jasonrng2 years ago
For that paper, do they make any other colors or just wood grain?
Spydamonky2 years ago
I am an avid dis-liker of Mac's but damn, if they looked like that, I would be the first to buy one!
MartinMakes2 years ago
Good idea Looks good.
marksstudio2 years ago
Nice job. Great way to rejuvenate the MacBook Pro. It's served me well, and just won't die, but it could benefit from a makeover. So thank you.
poo1gb2 years ago
Ugly
osh114 poo1gb2 years ago
True that!
autocthon2 years ago
Just remember that todays contact paper is a shelf liner and as such doesn't stick like it used to. If you want something of decent material use automotive type vinyl. MUCH more durable and many more grain options.
I don't know; could it be there's contact paper, and there is contact paper? I know there is thee drawer/shelf paper you mentioned that has a light cling characteristic, and on can still buy the self adhesive vinyl with that backing you peal away. The house stuff is probably pretty strong for most uses. Many options available online, some other than wood grain that some women might prefer. Metallic choices some may like better than wood grain, Che kicker is the cost :(
I used to make vinyl signs... Super durable stuff! and now it's easy to buy vinyl already cut from a print shop like fed ex. Is that the same as automotive vinyl? Anyone want to make some template patterns?
Not being a duty expert on vinyl I can't say for sure. I "think" that the automotive vinyl is more uv resistant, more stretchable and thicker. I've done cars with it, both inside and outside surfaces, and I do know it's much superior to contact paper except in removing it.
Gachelet2 years ago
This is so so beautiful. I can just imagine how it feels also, to hold it. I really love wood, and equally I love computers (in a different way - but a lot). You've managed to combine the two. Gorgeous and flawless work.
-Cougar12 years ago
I did this to my laptop over a year ago and it's fine. Doesn't affect it in any way and makes it look really good.
brunoip2 years ago
what about the heat of the computer? Doesnt it remove the glue of the contact paper?
Apple underclock their computers so they don't get too hot. If you plan to due any intense task on the computer, maybe try some Gorilla Glue on the seams to prevent it fromcoming off.
JosieFeather (author)  brunoip2 years ago
Even my super old computer never gets hot enough to effect that!
Your laptop should never get that hot. If it does, you have more serious problems at hand.
arachnian2 years ago
Ooh, I did this a while ago--the only problem is it keeps peeling off when you put your laptop in a case or bag.
mckemike2 years ago
how did you handle wrapping around the curved edge of the cover so the contact paper wouldn't bunch up?
mojo132 years ago
Looks awesome! Is it possible to remove it without damaging the computer? I want to do this to my macbook pro but I don't want permanent damage.
JosieFeather (author)  mojo132 years ago
The great thing about contact paper is that is clings really well, but also comes off really easy - it doesn't seem to get that nasty type of sticky that a lot of decals and such get - if for some odd reason it did leave a reside, you can just use a little adhesive remover (found at most hardware and auto stores) on a rag and wipe it down and it should come off no problem!
Awesome! Thank you!
michaelzab2 years ago
Wow that looks great! Time to do it to all of my laptops.
kwhitacre2 years ago
I've wanted to cover mine for years. Mostly to improve gripping it. I have arthritis in my hands and picking it up is a pain in the &^%#$%*&! ... hands. I was thinking of a suede. I love how yours came out and how you eased the corners. I wish I could see the corners better. Good job, well done.
aaahotdog2 years ago
How do you smooth out corners? That's where I always have trouble with contact film.
JosieFeather (author)  aaahotdog2 years ago
I use my bone-folder - it's a funky little tool that's actually used for bookmaking/printmaking. you can find it at most craft stores in the scrapbook section!
batman962 years ago
OH yea, I want to do this to my cheap android tablet, the back scratches like crazy!
This stuff should be scratch resistant right?
JosieFeather (author)  batman962 years ago
I can't say it's definitively scrap-resistant, but since it would be covering it then it should help keep it from getting scratched!
Tkdwn2 years ago
Looks grate :)
facklere2 years ago
Looks completely amazing!
I absolutely love this! I am tempted to do it to mine. It's gorgeous.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!