Make a stencil, and custom spray paint your laptop.

Step 1: Design the Template

Bold designs work best. Try to keep all features larger than 0.150 inches.

This one is designed such that you can cut it from one piece of material and then snap in the interior pieces to do different layers. Since you never have to remove the first layer, the subsequent layers are already aligned.

If you are going to laser cut the template, make sure your design is in a vector format. Programs such as Adobe Streamline can turn bitmaps into vectors.
I have a pretty awesome looking skull stencil that has seen some serious use, though because my laptop was a gift, I had to resort to getting a vinyl decal made
the ibook is still sexier ;)
IBM way sexier!
i second that
isnt this still stolen anways like 1-2 years ago i saw this ut i forgot were like tim hortons or mr sub
Which one is that ThinkPad?Mine is a R31 made before the IBM/Lenovo thing.
Also,I plan to come about 5-6 years later.Prepare yourselves.
OMG! I have the same laptop!
Which model?
nice my friend has one that looks like a watermelon
For the artistically impaired (like myself) you can open an image in photoshop and mess with threshold to get some great stencils.
that's a great idea. got to try it next time.
Inkscape (www.inkscape.org) is also an excellent vector graphics alternative for the financially impaired :D
eric the instructable guy hits gold again! awesome intructabe dude...i'll look forward 2 spray painting my own... thanks hannahelastic, great tip for those who cant draw, like me:P
Yay! eric uses a PC :D haha, nice 'ible, if i ever get a lappy i look forward to pimpin it out :P
You cant repaint it with another design.
looks sticky
Im thinking of turning my Toshiba Sattelite into a red and black monstrosity. Will rustoleum work?
Instead of permanantly damaging my notebook I would go to <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.skinit.com">http://www.skinit.com</a> and get a skin made with my custom image. But still cool because you personalized your notebook.<br/>
besides paint is cheaper (and you get more pride out of it) "yeah I'm a modder/hacker, I put an online order in for a sticker and then applied it to my computer"
Damaged? Or improved?
who cares? its theirs and if they like it cool, at the end of the day its theirs to do what they want with, try bieng a little more possative
hi its that guy {stew] i agree for once
Ah MR Meatstew my nemesis we meet again, glad you agree =oD<br/>
That right theres is whats a calls an ad.
Great instructable Eric.
I was looking at somehow modding my ibook g4, I wanted to have a clear case, but that was pre-g4, they decided to use opaque plastics in the g4 ibooks and above sadly. Any ideas?
You could do one of two things: First, you could take the case off, sand the entire thing with fine grit sandpaper, spray paint it, and put a protective clear coat over it. Or you could take the case, leave it un-sanded, boil some fabric dye in a shallow pan, and boil the case and have it absorb the color like <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.macmod.com/content/view/778/192/">this guy</a>.<br/>
Yea I've seen that done before, but I kinda just wanted a clear case, but actually a red ibook g4 would look rather snazzy, I might have to give that a try, thanks. -Punk
Does the spray painted part "stick out"? Like if you run your hands over the image, will you feel a "bump"?
A little bit.
Go to Any good art store, on or offline and get yourself some frisket paper. Its a thin vinyl film with an adhesive backing. the back of the frisket is a thin paper that makes it easy to trim and put through a inkjet printer. I personally put the frisket on the surface and then draw with a fine point sharpie. then trim with an exacto, be careful the film is very thin .02 mm but leaves a very sharp line.
Those lead weights are huge! How much do they weigh?
15 - 20 lbs I imagine.
If you really wanted it to stick for good, you could have used some spraypaint that specifically sticks to plastic (like Krylon Fusion).
Also another option for color is vinyl dye. sprays and acts like a spraypaint (slightly more 'runny') but it actully dyes the plastics as well; essentully it will not chip, rub or fade off. Also no real priming/sanding needed.<br/><br/>the only drawback is the limited color gamut as it is mainly used to refinish car interior pieces (carpet, door panels, dash parts)<br/><br/>used some on my i9300 dell and unlike the dell paint; in 1 year of use, the dye hasnt faded.<br/><br/>(I hate plugging websites on comment boards; but this seems to be the only place on the internet w/ it. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://store.summitracing.com/egnsearch.asp?N=700+115+301990&amp;D=301990">http://store.summitracing.com/egnsearch.asp?N=700+115+301990&amp;D=301990</a> Also some auto parts stores may have a limited (gray black) selection)<br/>
OK, How is that damaging it?
What kind of paint are you using, and how does it hold up to the abrasion normally experienced by a laptop?
If you have a very good inkjet printer, you can build some panels similar to that found in electronics equipment, oscilloscopes etc. Similar way you can make the design above much easily. First link in <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.electronicsinfoline.com/CircuitBook/Useful_Resources/Electronics_Basics_and_Resources/more2.html">http://www.electronicsinfoline.com/CircuitBook/Useful_Resources/Electronics_Basics_and_Resources/more2.html</a> describes such a project.<br/>
thanks, this is cool. if you don't have access to a laser cutter, you can buy a cheap electric stencil cutter at craft stores and cut thru acetate or transparancies. it kinda looks like a soldering iron and cuts with heat - slightly easier than xacto for me at least.
A great way to avoid underspray is to spray the other side of the stencil with spray mount and stick it to the applied surface. That makes any medium adhesive.<br/><br/>If you want a reusable stencil, try creating a blank laminate for laser cutting or laminate a sheet of paper with the design on it for hand cutting.<br/><br/>One of these days I'll try out making a laser cut stencil. For now, I still love the work of cutting with an Xacto. To see some insane hand-cut pieces, check out <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.workhorsevisuals.com/">http://www.workhorsevisuals.com/</a><br/>

About This Instructable




Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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