Introduction: Neoprene Laptop Bag.

Picture of Neoprene Laptop Bag.

Have no use for your old wetsuits? Try this, make safe secure, soft and waterproof bags out of old

Anyway the result is lush soft and bouncy, waterproof, and orange. All things I like, plus it will
stretch to fit two notebooks and a burrito. I got overzealous and even built a matching ipod case
that has seen dozens of falls cradling my music machine.
While I don?t think it is enough to start an O?Neill wetsuits type business, it is a fun bag, gets very
noticed (by hipsters not thieves) and makes me feel like I foiled the landfill again. All that and it
only took about 4 hours.

Step 1: This Is What You Are Aiming At.

Picture of This Is What You Are Aiming At.

a snug fitting, squishy bag for your precious electronics.

Step 2: Plans / Pattern

Picture of Plans / Pattern

Determine the size of your computer. Cut your neoprene front and rear covers a little oversized.

Step 3: Choose Your Neoprene.

Picture of Choose Your Neoprene.

Neoprene is a closed-cell foam. Closed cell foams are basically thousands of tiny bubbles surrounded by rubber where none of the bubbles join any others. This confers their water-proofness. Open cell foams are those where all the bubbles intersect and overlap. These become waterlogged and don?t trap air which is a better insulator than any plastic or rubber by itself.

Step 4: Stitching

Picture of Stitching

Neoprene can be hand stitched, and this also gives a wonderful Frankenstein aesthetic, but it?s a lot faster to use a sewing machine, and you?ll be able to make more mistakes without feeling guilty about starting over. Most strong home sewing machines will do the trick, just make sure you use a large denim needle and thick polyester thread. I have sail maker?s Dacron thread which is perfect, but not necessary. If your machine is weak you may need to manually help the poor little motor by winding with the machine and the down-stroke and letting it find it?s own way home coming back up. Slow- but better than hand stitching. If it?s really thick better results can be had by lifting the foot completely to accommodate your wad of material. I put my seams on the outside. I?d like to say that was to make it look cool, which I think it does, but it was really because that was easier after I forgot to turn it all inside out.

Step 5: Seams on Outside.

Picture of Seams on Outside.

Step 6: Pockets.

Picture of Pockets.

When I finished sewing the thing I realized the bag needed pockets for batteries, power packs, passports and a toothbrush, and so I placed a couple of squares of neoprene on the inside. Because it is stretchy its pretty tolerant to low accuracy.

Step 7: Shoulder Strap

Picture of Shoulder Strap

I reinforced the sides with old polyester hiking boot laces which tied in a loop fastened perfectly to the shoulder strap I found on old airport luggage offered to the gods by the side of the road.

Step 8: Closing Straps and Fasteners

Picture of Closing Straps and Fasteners

To clip it all together a couple of abandoned shopping carts donated their child restraint belts, appropriately in not-matching colors. Apparently its illegal to use parts from abandoned shopping carts.

Step 9: Bonus Leftover Ipod Case..

Picture of Bonus Leftover Ipod Case..

OK, so i got carried away here --- the pattern should be obvious from the photos.


BlightOwl (author)2017-03-12

I'm not sure what I love the most about this tutorial - your spirit of reusing old stuff, your mistake-turned-feature honesty, your daring gumption to stand up to shopping cart authority, or your charming diction. I've been looking for a neoprene sleeve for my Wacom tablet, without much luck within budget, and I thought I may as well see if it was possible to just make one. Well, here we are! I look forward to digging through Mom's closet for old wetsuits now :) Cheers, man, thanks for your awesome guide! I'll be sure to post photos if I yield any sleevy results.

hailtothkngbby (author)2007-12-04

Amazing! I love this one. Yes it is illegal to scavenge anything from shopping carts, and authorities can impose severe fines on a person caught doing so, but c'mon, once they see how cool your laptop bag is, they'll probably bring you shopping cart straps to make them one. My only regret is not having any wetsuits to destroy, hmmm, freecycle, anyone?Ha!

RLRRLRLL (author)hailtothkngbby2011-08-20 Dude, really. This place has it. Neoprene, heat seal-able fabrics, nylon webbing, buckles. Plus, nobody's baby has to fall out of a shopping cart!

BeanGolem (author)hailtothkngbby2009-02-04

I recently acquired one from a little beach-side surf/bike/skate rental tent for 10 bucks. The suit itself is pretty beat up, but the neoprene is almost all intact. Scavenging from shopping carts may be illegal, but if they don't catch you in the act, there's no way to prove that you didn't just find the individual parts by themselves.

RynTheTyn (author)2009-09-07

If you don't have any abandoned shopping cart belts, you can get straps and closures at any fabric store. I made a neoprene case a few years back from stuff I got at the fabric store, it's been pretty funny how many people have asked me where I got what seems to me to be an obviously homemade case (same goes for my homemade neoprene ipod case, and homemade neoprene camera case).

RLRRLRLL (author)RynTheTyn2011-08-20

Here in Seattle, we have a place called Seattle Fabrics. It's a place where you can get hard-core adventure fabrics, high dernier, ballistic-type stuff. Cordura, Gortex, etc.. they have webbing, outdoor threads, needles, connectors and fasteners. If you need to build a sail for your boat, or seat covers for the deck, yadda, yadda, yadda., they've gotcha covered. Perhaps there is something similar near where you are? I've gone to regular fabric stores, and the sweet lady behind the counter is always so sorry that she can't help me. They just don't have the beefy stuff. Check out Be careful, it's easy to get distracted by all the cool stuff!!! Oh, they have some great heat-sealable fabrics that you can do with an ordinary household iron, plus guides on how-to, for free with purchase. That's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, anyday!

verne (author)2009-04-02

Waterproof? My wetsuit isn't...

dfurtman (author)verne2009-04-27

Agreed.. wetsuits are not waterproof... I dare you to hold your laptop under running water with this case.. I'm just gunna stand over here and laugh as you nuke your laptop... -Damien

devywhop (author)dfurtman2009-05-10

Yeah maybe if you had an old dry suit laying around but if you have one I guarantee you're using it.

cubixy2k (author)devywhop2009-05-21

The material itself is waterproof. Getting flushing in an out it due to the openings for your hands/feet/neck/zipper

verne (author)cubixy2k2009-05-24

Well, I do think that in the end, the neoprene will soak up some water, it feels pretty heavy when I take it off after surfing. @devywhop I also thought of that, too bad that the people I know that own one, have no intent of sharing it with me ;) I also think that nowadays there are nicer waterproof zippers then the ones used on dry suits. Maybe a true waterproof laptop bag is a nice subject for a contest or something...

jonnybeats (author)verne2009-08-08

Yeah, nice instructable but the sad point is that wetsuits are designed to let water in but not out, the water let in is to warm up from your body heat. The material is there to keep you warm and not dry! Sorry but nice try anyway. If only there was a different material.....

pmowers (author)jonnybeats2010-10-23

I think that it depends on the thickness of the neoprene to some extent. I can spend 6 hrs up to my waist in ice cold water (trout) wearing my 5 mm neoprene waders and stay dry, other than perspiration.

Actually, if you do not have a wetsuit but know a fisherman, you might be able to get a pair of chest waders. They usually develop a rather irritating leak in the crotch seam or get a hole in one of the knees. I took a piece from one of mine and glued a velcro closure on to make a "cozy" to keep the coffee in my french press warm. :)

blah12344321 (author)devywhop2009-05-24

cubixy is right. thats why they make white water dry skirts from neoprene

jcomtw (author)2010-08-02

yeah.. I am sure it is waterproof and stretchable property for your laptop computer. Choose the material of bag is a important thing and it can avoid damaging and protect from dust, scratches and fingerprins for your laptop computer. Reference at this: or

kukopia (author)2010-04-25

It'd be more waterproof and a LOT easier to make if you use one (big) piece big enough for the front, back and flap.

galenorama (author)2009-06-27

Looks great! I will definitely keep you in mind when I need a new bag. Thanks

hailtothkngbby (author)2009-06-23

Okay, someone needs to remove keeplong's spam. Solong keeplong!

hailtothkngbby (author)2009-06-23


galenorama (author)2009-04-16

Fabulous! Too bad I absolutely can not sew! You should have seen my last project (ahem, disaster)!

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-03-15

how durable is it?

redsox31977 (author)2009-01-30

What a great idea too bad I will never even attempt to build it myself.

bicostp (author)2007-03-03

Nice! I think I'll do something like this to make a rain cover for my existing laptop bag. (Moving a ton of stuff between bags all the time gets annoying.)

Meragness (author)2007-02-23

You're right, my sewing machine was pissing me off because it wouldnt do it right. i'll have to hand sew it. :(

instructables4ever (author)2006-08-29

Wicked idea and nice waterproofing!

RAWK227 (author)2006-04-25

Great Idea, but wouldnt also hold in moisture and heat?

wolfenstein (author)2005-10-14

What a smart ideia! A second life for my old wetsuits and a protective wetproof computer case for my laptop

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