Introduction: DIY Cheap Laptop Skins

Picture of DIY Cheap Laptop Skins

I made this after making lots of random stickers where I work. These have a nice coating of laminate over the top so they won't scratch the design and protect the laptop case. If you are worried about removal of the skin you can buy waterproof labels to reduce the mess left by them. However you need to use a laser printer for that. You can make these at home if you have a laminator. Otherwise you can easily go into a copy shop and get it laminated for around 1$.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

for this you are going to need the following: Avery or comparable labels (any size will work for best results use full page uncut), Hot laminating sheets 3 or 5 mil (I used 5), a good quality printer, a hot seal laminator, cutting utensils, a ruler and a graphic for your skin.

I changed mine last night because of the spelling error to the last one. I have a high resolution on Here that anyone can use if you do not have one or you just like resident evil like I do.

Step 2: Measuring

Picture of Measuring

Measure your laptop area you would like to put the skin on.

Step 3: Printing

Picture of Printing

I used a laser printer for mine but you would be fine using any printer. I set up in photoshop so the label would center on an 8.5 x 11 sheet.

Step 4: Laminate

Picture of Laminate

Now for laminating. If you don't have access its super easy to have it done at OfficeMax or Staples for very cheap. Make sure you are using a heat laminate because a cold seal just won't look as good.

Step 5: Trim to Size

Picture of Trim to Size

Cut your skin down to the pre-measured size. After you are done lay it on top of the laptop to make sure it will fit properly. Make sure if you have any contours you need to trim out you do so now or you'll have the skin peeling up some. You can do this after you affix it if you don't care much about scratching the laptop. By cutting the label to size you've made it so you can peel off the labels from the backing and now its one big sticker with a laminated front.

Step 6: Affix the Skin

Picture of Affix the Skin

Make sure you've cleaned the surface well before you apply the skin. After you've applied the skin put a little bit of windex on paper towel and wipe down your skin firmly. This will clean and help get a good seal on the laptop.

Step 7: Finished

Picture of Finished

The final product! If you were to rely fully on a copy shop this is about a 5$ job tops for a personal durable skin for your laptop.


shad0w88 (author)2009-11-05

afaik lamination is done on both sides.. so the backing will get covered up too, then how r we supposed to stick it??.. 

jeoncs (author)shad0w882009-11-05

follow the steps and it will all make sense. It is on both sides but once you cut it down its not sealed on the edges then the back will peel off leaving the front with a coating of laminate

sonyato (author)2009-11-04

cool, but it seems like such a hassle especially when you can get a custom laptop skin for $10 from here:

jeoncs (author)sonyato2009-11-04

It still ends up cheaper and main reason (and pretty much the reason for the whole site) is for a fun project to mess around with.

Aichanrulez (author)2009-08-03

O3O SWEEEETTTT!!!! I love The Umbrella Corporation so this would complete my obsesion!! lol

xenongamer (author)2009-07-15

what adhesive should be used?

jeoncs (author)xenongamer2009-07-15

The labels are the adhesive when you cut it the backing peels off and the laminate stays on the outside

isign4u (author)2009-06-05

OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I totally understand how to do this now. I printed a skin for my laptop and just put double sided tape on it. No laminating b/c i didn't really want the skin THICK. but with labels.. OMG I can do this. I have a laminator and labels. Thank You so MUCH. Gale

jeoncs (author)isign4u2009-06-05

hey post some pics when you get it done!

bytehead (author)2009-05-21

I never though about laminating it. I'm about to do this myself, but laminating sounds good. Thanks for the tip!

jeoncs (author)bytehead2009-05-21

I started working at a Staples and we carry in my store at least a sticky back laminate that might be worth checking out its only a few bucks

bytehead (author)jeoncs2009-05-21

I've already got some laminate from another project. Which I probably did buy from Staples. :)

njdjs (author)2009-05-21

WOW neat idea now ya got me thinking, get some of the clear sticky plastic that you use for coating shelves, its got a sticky back. I could rearrange family pictures on the laptop and then put a coating of the sticky plastic. When I get bored with those pictures I take the whole thing off and put a new one on. Does that sound like it will work? I don't have printers to do it. So was thinking just get the photos.

Juklop (author)2009-05-19

Holy crap, I have that same laptop. Doesn't have a battery though :( Awesome.

slimguy379 (author)2008-10-30

do you or anybody have or know of a site or place to find cool laptop designs such as yours? much appreciated

slimguy379 (author)slimguy3792008-10-30

took me 5 mins to make...thanks great idea

nice acer! :P

Tobita (author)slimguy3792009-02-09

GI Joe AAAAND transformers? my my, you are on a ROLL! all you need are the silverhawks, thundercats, conan, and the mysterious golden cities:P

slimguy379 (author)Tobita2009-02-10

thundercats, lol, check my other instructables

Tobita (author)slimguy3792009-02-11

I'm fourteen, and the only way i know those shows is because some of the tv in saudi sooooooooooooo late, i was watchin 80's and 90's tv shows from 1998-2003 :) but the channel went down :(

slimguy379 (author)Tobita2009-02-11

lucky, i cant find thundercats on anymore you have to buy the dvds

Tobita (author)slimguy3792009-02-12

I got all of season 1 of the thundercats last christmas :D!

slimguy379 (author)Tobita2009-02-12

i found the 1st few episodes on youtube , i downloaded them and burned them but AOL.comhas all the episode, but yet,.. no way to download them. again, your "lucky"

Tobita (author)slimguy3792009-02-12

You betchya! AOL won't work for me, they have my FAVORITE 80's cartoons and i can't watch it -_-' o well, and using flashgot, you can choose to download media, good luck with aol!

oblacone (author)slimguy3792008-12-22 has great laptop skins but they can be a bit over done...

jeoncs (author)oblacone2008-12-22

also costing 19.99$ which is why I made this instructable so you can get a personal one for about half that or less

oblacone (author)jeoncs2008-12-22

Yep its a great instructable but just that decalgirl has a few good designs

jeoncs (author)oblacone2008-12-22


oblacone (author)jeoncs2008-12-23

BUt BUT BUT!!!!! Decalgirl has wrist things too :P for macbooks

slimguy379 (author)oblacone2008-12-23

as shown below, i had all my materials on hand so this project for me was free. again thanks and since my post, the sticker has stayed on there pretty damn well

Marble of Doom (author)2009-05-18

Wooh, Compaq!!!

marialoon (author)2008-11-02

Can these be removed and reapplied later on?

jeoncs (author)marialoon2008-11-02

nah single use just any normal sticker

jeoncs (author)2008-10-30

I bet if you searched for whatever you wanted as a high resolution desktop background it wouldn't work out bad. That said I make my own lol so I'm not sure of a site.

jeoncs (author)2008-10-27

Changing mine to this today:
New Skin

I was worrying more about the instructable than the picture lol so good thing these are cheap. Any resident evil fans feel free to use that one as well there is a HI res on that link with all sizes button.

mycroftxxx (author)2008-10-27

Do you print the decal onto the label-paper or onto normal paper? How does a laminated label stick to the surface of the laptop? You have a potentially great instructible here if you can clarify these steps a little.

jeoncs (author)mycroftxxx2008-10-27

I fixed it in the cutting step a lil better. When you cut this to size you are making it so you can peel the backing off the label sheet making the front one nice big laminated sticker.

gschoppe (author)2008-10-27

once you've trimmed the laminate, its no longer sealed at the edges, so you can then remove the backing... the only issue is you lose waterproofing at the edges, so it could run... capillary action would make it run pretty seriously if it got wet... If you don't mind an absolutely godawful mess when you remove it, staples can laminate onto a one-side adhesive laminate... its the same as the heat seal, but has a backing, so after laminating you can stick it to things... it works well, and you keep waterproofed.

jeoncs (author)gschoppe2008-10-27

Avery makes a weatherproof label that works for this as well.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a photographer and a father. I've been married almost 10 years and have a 8 year old son and a 6 year ... More »
More by jeoncs:Xiaomi Yi Lens CapInsect Cooperation AssistantSLR Video Rig
Add instructable to: