Picture of Schwag Laptop Keypad Cover
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Protect your laptop screen with this easy-to-make cover. This is a really great use for all those company t-shirts that don't really fit.

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You will need:

- schwag t-shirt
- backing fabric, could be a patterned fabric or another schwag t-shirt
- iron-on fabric adhesive
- thread
- scissors
- fray-check, anti-fray liquid, or clear nailpolish
- sewing machine (could also be hand-sewn or have no sewing)
- pattern or paper for making the pattern

if you want to include the fabric leash you will need:

- ribbon
- alligator clips

Step 2: Iron Out Shapes

Picture of Iron Out Shapes
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Wash the t-shirt and the backing fabric to prevent bleeding and other issues. Iron both the t-shirt and the backing fabric flat.

Cut out around the printed company logo leaving plenty of extra space. Also cut a large piece of the backing fabric and the fabric adhesive. Following the directions on the fabric adhesive, adhere the backing piece to the t-shirt logo.

Step 3: Cut and Sew

Picture of Cut and Sew
Create a pattern to fit over the keypad on your laptop. I used the foam padding that came with my laptop for measurement. Pin the pattern on your fabric, centering the company logo. Then cut around the pattern.

Using a fun stitch, sew a pattern border around the edge. This will help keep the fabric pieces together and be a bit more decorative. You can sew a border by hand, or skip the sewing altogether.

Trim the edges of the fabric so they look nice and straight. Then apply a bit of fray-check around the edges on both sides to keep the fabric from fraying.

The cover is now complete. The following step is for adding a leash.
Gage9876 years ago
i would think that people would make inst. tees with iron ons and do that
Nice job!! I would most rather keep the Instructables shirt, but I will see if I can print the Instructables image and robot and stuff onto a cloth, then I'll use that for my keyboard. Nice job!
nagutron7 years ago
Just did a whole Instructable of my own before realizing that Leah had already done one. Extra points to her for reusing a shirt in a novel way. Mine, on the other hands, aims for slickness points, what with my use of our fancy laser etcher/cutter:
dfc8497 years ago
one came with my HP DV6400 Customized
oh my god, it's "THE MACBOOK!!!!" could you help me do the same thing you did?
Thanks for these instructions. This is an awesome idea. I didn't know that my keyboard was causing all the screen issues. Cool. I have just added this to the spreadshirt blog -
luisrobles8 years ago
Excellent work pal, keep the good work!!
Leon Close8 years ago
Nice sewing machine.
radiorental8 years ago
I used a sheet of latex to cover my laptop in the workshop. I can see the keys, use the keyboard but keep dust out the crude off my keyboard. Then with a wipe its clean and protects when the lid is down. Leah, I would suggest two bands of elasticated ribbon for the leash. I would be afraid of accidentally closing the lid on one of those croc clips and killing the screen.
leahculver (author)  radiorental8 years ago
Very true - the alligator clips made a pretty poor leash. I ended up not even using the leash at all. Certainly elastic ribbon would make a really nice leash.
mrmath8 years ago
Nice instructable. Clear pictures. Nice Step by step. Well done. But what does it do?
Fishd mrmath8 years ago
My old Dell D600 had this trouble as well. I spend hours typing away... and all the oils from my skin (along with random food items, gross I know) would be tranferred to the keyboard. Once I closed the lid all that crud would be transferred to my screen. Not good! Now, after a brief trip in for repair Dell fitted longer 'stand-offs' to the screen to prevent it from coming into contact with the keyboard... but it was already marked. This cover prevents that nicely. If one side was a nice fine microfibre it could even be used as a screen wipe.
ewilhelm mrmath8 years ago
Some of the larger laptops, particularly MacBook Pros, tend to rub their keys against their screens when shoved in a bag. On my laptop, I have a series of very fine scratches right where the space bar touches the screen. This fabric help protect the screen.
orthopak8 years ago
trebuchet038 years ago
What other laptops -- other than Macs - does this happen to? I used to work IT at a high school -- we got about 60 iBooks and within a few months, at least half had the keyboard etching. I originally thought it was due to heat because the imprint only showed up on machines that the teacher would close (rather than leaving it open on the desk). But I guess that makes sense if it's scratching :P