DIY Macbook Air Padded Vinyl Envelope Sleeve for Less Than $10.00




Posted in TechnologyApple

Introduction: DIY Macbook Air Padded Vinyl Envelope Sleeve for Less Than $10.00

While you may have dropped anywhere from $1800 to $3200 for a MacBook Air, you may still balk at a $30-$100 sleeve for it. I decided to take a literal approach and try to use a regular retail envelope to house my MacBook Air in safety whilst still maintaing the imagery of the Jobs keynote presentation.
The main reaction I have received from this sleeve is 'Huh? what's so special about a plain manilla envelope.... oh wow COOL!'...
If you pick just the right color of vinyl for the sleeve, then you will have a sleeve that is visually basically indistinguishable from a plain, manilla shipping envelope while offering your MBA a good measure of protection from drops and bumps and a good measure of safety by obscurity.

Step 1: Materials List

1 Scotch # 7974 Bubble Mailer Size 4 (9.5in x 13.5in)
I bought a 6 pack at Target for around $5.00.
Spray Adhesive (Krylon 7010 was used by me but others may work)
Elmer's Contact Cement
4 Sqft of automotive/uphostery vinyl in a color matching the envelope (@ 10.00/yd enough for 4-5 envelopes)
Cutting Knife (better a upholstery knife/carton knife than a Xacto)
Heavy books (enough to cover full surface area of envelope with considerable overlap
2 Red buttons
1 ft Red waxed cotton cord ( purchased 12 ft at michaels for .99)
Thread (the heavier the better)
1 Heavy gauge needle (thick enough to punch through but thin enough to fit through the holes in the buttons with 4-5 threads inside)

Step 2: Cutting

Cut two 14 x 10 pieces from the vinyl. Cut one 10x3 in. strip from the vinyl. no need to be too precise as you will be trimming down all the pieces.

Step 3: Longer Side

Spray adhesive on longer side (the side with the flap) of the envelope.
Align and place vinyl on flap side of envelope
Press firmly on full surface area with hands, making sure there are no bubbles/wrinkles etc.... Take special care of edges as these are recessed from the surface of the envelope
Place books on top of paper side of envelope whilst envelope rests on a solid smooth surface
Wait 10 minutes

Step 4: Short Side of Envelope

Spray adhesive on short (Back) side of envelope
Align vinyl to the top of THIS side (you will be folding the bottom over so leave about 1' at the bottom for this
Press firmly on full surface area with hands, making sure there are no bubbles/wrinkles etc.... Take special care of edges as these are recessed from the surface of the envelope
Place books on top of the side that already has vinyl on it and rest on a solid smooth surface
Wait 10 minutes

Step 5: Bottom Flap

Make sure bottom flap (the vinyl that hangs from the bottom of the short end of the envelope that you placed in step 2) is cut straight and perpendicular to the bottom of the envelope.
Spread rubber cement liberally on the inner part of the flap
Fold flap over and clean up any smudges of the rubber cement before it sets
Place book on top of bottom flap, wait recommended amount for it to set.

Step 6: Top Flap

Remove waxed paper strip that says "TO REMOVE ADHESIVE REMOVE LINER" on the inside of the flap lid
Put the contact cement on the paper flap, take care not to get any on the bubble wrap
Place vinyl flap on the paper flap
Place book on top of flap, wait recommended amount for it to set

Step 7: Triming

Trim all edges as close to the original paper envelope as possible

Step 8: Sewing

Sew the buttons at the appropriate places
Wrap waxed cord around top button and leave enough (about 6in.) so you can wrap around lower button

Step 9: Music!

Download New Soul by Yael Naïm from iTunes:
Play on loop while you slide you MBA in and out of your new case!



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    Awesome Instructable.
    I have always loved this and the commercials, even the parody's are hilarious (obviously).
    Nice job.
    +1 rating.

    3 replies

    haha, nice parodie... "thin as hell" ;p -gamer

    FWIW Left the MBA in my car in this envelope, someone broke into it today, and took the GPS, my cell charger, spare chage but left the MBA!

    Yeah Ive seen the product but
    1) it's 29.99+S+H
    2) It's only padded in felt (mine is padded with the bubble wrap, I think it offers more protection and
    3) This goes much more with the maker ethos of DIY... but they do have a fun product...

    Anyone got a good geeky idea for housing the power supply, ethernet adapter and superdrive? I have thought of compartmentalizing an envelope to house all of this, thus having two envelopes for my MBA but there is something missing.... any good ideas?

    3 replies

    You Could use an ATX Power supply housing , it's neat and it has nice ventilation , though , you'll need an usb hub and a couple of zipties

    but luggin that thing around kinda makes the whole air premise mute!

    You're right . :)

    Am thinking of making another one of these (remember I bought a 6 pack still have 2 left plust a LOT of vinyl). I am considering rare earth magnet clasps in between the seams on the edges and in the middle, I don't really like how the top flap is so loose... I know I could reinforce it (Wire, cardboard, carbon fiber etc) but that just does not sit well...

    2 replies

    I wouldn't use magnets...not to good for you expensive mac book. Nice instructable but how much can the mac book air do? Game wise? Is it fast?

    I don't play games so don't know about that, it certainly is fast enough for regular apps. I would not do video editing on it... And a lot of cases use magnets, even the MBA has a magnetic closure and the wickedly strong rare earth magnets of the power conector.

    White? Black? Pro? Air?

    The basic ($999 after $100 student discount) white one.

    Yeah but it does not match the commercial.. ;)

    YES it doed :)