This idea was born when I got my new Acer aspire one and wanted functional case that I could just toss in any bag and not worry about it getting an owie. It should theoretically work for other laptops as well as long as they come in similar packaging.
Step 1: Gather Materials
The packaging that your new toy or workstation came in was designed to protect it during shipping across the ocean. Wouldn't it then be suitable for trips to the park or coffee shop? You will need some tape, but the other things you will need for this instructable come free with your acer aspire one (or other laptop):
1. The box that the laptop came in or scrap cardboard like I used
2. The cavity that the laptop (will be abbreviated LC from this point because I fear the dentist) was in inside the box
3. Some good tape
4. A bad bicycle tube (mine had a hole near the stem that I couldn't patch)
Step 2: Modify LC (laptop Cavity)
If you have a 3-cell acer aspire one (or laptop with a non protruding battery) then you will probably be able to skip this step. For me I had to create some more space for the 6-cell battery that protrudes from the back of the machine. To do this I unfolded one side of the LC and re-folded so that it was now on the outside of the main walls and taped it in place.. This creates a little more space for my larger battery.
Step 3: Measure and Cut Top Flap
Measuring the LC it was just a hair narrower than the some cardboard I had lying around waiting to go to recycling. I decided to use my scrap cardboard and keep the shiny box that the laptop came in for storing widgets and doodads that seem to find their way into my possession. Make sure the piece of scrap cardboard is long enough to wrap around the LC.
Step 4: Make Top Flap and Top Flap Holder Downer
I wanted the lid of my superbad laptop case to stay closed so I came up with a no cost solution. I had a bike tube that I was unable to repair and I decided to use its elastic properties to my advantage. I cut a narrow piece and stretched it around one of the corners of the LC opposite the side that had the folding done to it earlier. Then I taped it really well and placed my piece of scrap cardboard lined up with the edge and taped it in place.
Step 5: Wrap Flap
Next I wrapped the cardboard around the LC and taped it in a such a way that left a nice little area for stashing pens or USB sticks or whatever. It helps to pre-crease along the back edge where it needs bend to open. The large battery makes mine stick up a little, so I think I will add another layer of cardboard later.
Step 6: Get Outside and Write This Instructable?
Yeah I know its winter now, but at least you can now go mobile. When I did this it was still warm enough to go to the park and sit outside. I had planned to make this instructable while sitting in the park but didn't get to it until today. Did you buy a laptop so you could stay at home all the time? I recommend an apple and some hard cheese for maximum enjoyment.