Instructables
Design Challenge:
Make Something Useful out of Whatever You Find.
We decided to create a laptop case that is functional and fun to carry. What we like most about this case is that it is not obvious to others that you are carrying a laptop.

We are using readily available materials from the recycling bin and the junk bins here at the ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) shop.

For materials we used a cardboard box, a fedEx envelope as a lining, packing bubbles for padding, and wire as fastiners. Some discarded nails, a pair of scissors, an exacto knife and a pen are the tools we used.

Update 11/12/06 : We got pretty worried about the Tyvec and static, so we decided we could do better and put our minds at rest. Luckily we're in no short supplies of anti-static bags here so ...
voila -- lining 2.0! check out the follow up steps at the end for the new lining.


 
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Step 1: Cutting the Box

Take the cardboard box and break it down to a flat surface using the blade of the scissors or exacto knife.

Step 2: Measuring for Fit

Place your laptop on the carboard surface, paying attention to where you will be making folds and cuts. If you are lucky, as we were, your box porportions will be well matched to your laptop. Here we used a medium sized shipping box (roughly 17 inches tall assembled), and a 15 inch Mac ibook.

Step 3: Trim to Fit

You'll want to trim the excess cardboard, so that your laptop fits just snug when the case is folded up. Leave a little room, but not too much so that the laptop will not bump against the walls when you are carrying it. Draw guide lines so that your cuts are straight. Cut off any extra panels on the top flap. Measure the bubble sheet and the trim excess to fit the cardboard.

Step 4: Make the Edge Padding

To ensure the safety of the laptop, we created extra padding at the edges of the case.
The edge padding was made out of rolled up Bubble Tape.
Dom Toretto6 months ago
You could also use a pizza box and pad it to fit after wiping it down
sherritp7 years ago
No one will think that it is a laptop bag, but then again, some tidy soul may just throw your treasure away!
that is why i label my stuff
i'd probably label it IMPORTANT BOOKS!
SheShe6 years ago
Excellent! Kudos!!!
sysadmn6 years ago
Clever Idea! Heck, as long as it looks like a package, you might as well address it to yourself :-) Perhaps if you leave it behind, some kind soul will drop it in the mail.
JoeyJaroz6 years ago
Just slide it in a FedEx Bag And... BAM just a package and you can smuggle your laptop into school
bluerebel937 years ago
Wish i could think of this stuff! Great Work!
Great Project, I liked it so much that I made one for my macbook. For padding, I used the foam from a yoga mat and for the lining I took the padded bag that protects the macbook in the retail box and turned it inside out. It's slick and has no static.
ITP_Sustainability (author) 7 years ago
Hi all, Thanks for the feedback. Yes, we realized afterward that the Tyvec would cause some worries. Thanks westfw -- your comment prompted a search on Google and I found some pretty worrisome stats on Tyvec and static. Everything has been working fine, but since a laptop is quite an expensive thing to fry, even a small chance of it gave us a really uneasy feeling. We spent some time today looking for a new lining and we just posted a redesign with a new lining made from anti-static bags. We'll continue to test drive things and report back if any issues arise.
westfw7 years ago
I would be "slightly" worried about the lack of anti-static materials in your lining. (a laptop SHOULD be able to withstand a fair amount of static from outside.) But isn't it amazing the useful stuff that gets thrown out in high-tech society?
ITP_Sustainability (author)  westfw7 years ago
Hi westfw, We were worried about the static issue as well, which is why we added the paper lining to keep the plastic from rubbing against the computer too much. We’ve been test running it for a few weeks and so far things seem OK. Perhaps some tin foil could take care of that? Yes, there is a lot of stuff in the trash!
But FedX envelopes are usually Tyvec, a spun polyethylene "fabric" that is essentially made of plastic (the same plastic, more or less, as the bubblewrap.)
erfonz westfw7 years ago
but he/she said they used a PAPER lining
You need to read past the introduction ;)

From step 7:
The FedEx envelope had a nice smooth texture that we thought would make a great lining.

I can build up a charge using a FedEx bag on my arm (hehe - I just tried :P). You'll probably be fine - it's just for that 1 in 1000 scenario that may cause problems. Something that could have been avoided with better materials selection :P
ITP_Sustainability (author)  trebuchet037 years ago
Hi, Thanks for the response and the tips. After some reading on the web, we got super worried about the Tyvec ... so yep we thought a redesign was in order. We found some anti-static bags and have added the updates. cheers!
Fake_Name7 years ago
I've never seen an anti-static laptop bag... I [b]really[/b] doubt it's an issue.
I doubt it's an issue either. I believe that laptop bags pay SOME attention to anti-static issues, though I don't know how much. My concern was that non-anti-static bubble wrap and tyvek envelopes might be particularly prone to static buildup. It's a good instructable. Next step: add all those little extra compartments that tend to be useful in laptop bags. I haven't gotten a new laptop bag in quite a while, but I don't think I've seen one with compartments sized for USB drives or other flash media...
If you've never seen it - that means that it's doing its job well ;) I'd think the purpose is not so much to prevent outside static - but instead to prevent build up while sliding in/out and slight motion while in transit.