For Christmas I decided to make my sister a cover for her iPad. Ever since she got her iPad she’s fallen in love with it, so I knew that a custom case would be just the perfect present! I made a pattern for myself based off of a business-style envelope, with the double-button, twisted string closure (that’s the technical name for it, I’m sure.) The lining is a padded, quilted fabric and I’ve sewn a stiff board into the back panel for the screen to lie against so it doesn’t crack.
Ironically enough I don’t have an iPad, so I had to make myself a cardboard version in the exact same dimensions to make sure it fit perfectly! I’d say it all worked out in the end, and she was thrilled with it.
I'm here to teach you how to make your very own protective and stylish case for yourself or an fellow iPad lover!
Step 1: Materials
To make your own custom upholstered iPad case, here are the materials you will need:
-iPad (either real or fake. I made a cardboard iPad since I don't own one myself! You can find all of those dimensions here
if you want to make your own. Heck, maybe you can even make it play Angry Birds if you made a dry-erase version!)
-iPad-sized square of heavy-duty cardboard
-½ yard of fabric for outer shell
-½ yard of padded fabric for lining
-one package of piping (2.5 yards)
-one foot of cord/ribbon/rope
-two shanked buttons
Step 2: Print Out the Pattern and Assemble
Begin by printing out both pieces of the pattern, found as a .pdf for you to download. Print them out on 11x17" (tabloid) sized paper and make sure you DO NOT SCALE TO FIT PAGE. This will reduce the size of the pattern and it will not fit.
After you've printed out the pieces, assemble them into one pattern piece. Fold under the blank edge of one of the pattern pieces, matching up the plus signs that have been printed on both halves of the pattern. Once lined up, tape the pattern together.
After the pattern is assembled, cut out the pattern and let's begin!
Step 3: Cutting Out Fabric Pieces
Fold your outer shell fabric in half down the middle, pin the pattern on the fold. Cut out outer shell fabric.
Repeat process with lining fabric.
Step 4: Adding Piping
Pin your piping around the outside perimeter of the outer shell fabric. The actual cording should face towards the center of the cover, while the excess fabric should line up with the outer edge of the outer shell fabric.
Sew piping in place 1/2" from edge of fabric.
Step 5: Sewing Lining to Outer Fabric
Pin the outer edge fabric to the lining fabric, RIGHT SIDES FACING INWARDS. Sew from notch to notch, leaving the bottom flap open. This is just like sewing together a pillowcase and leaving an opening to flip the fabric right side out!
Step 6: Clipping Corners
Take a second to clip all of your corners, which will release tension in the fabric and make all of your edges look perfect. Make sure you cut almost to the stitch line, but never cut through it!
Step 7: Flip Cover Right-Side Out
Reach inside of your cover and pull the whole thing right-side out. Once it's facing the correct direction, iron it out flat!
(Just make sure your fabrics can stand iron heat, I actually burned a hole through the first lining I made because I stupidly didn't test the iron's heat on the fabric. OOPS!)
Step 8: Sewing Pocket for Screen Protector
Lay your case down flat on the table, and place your iPad-sized piece of heavy-duty cardboard on top of it. Make sure it is completely centered in the middle of the case and lightly trace the border with a pencil (dotted line on the pattern).
Stitch along this line through both layers of fabric, once again leaving the bottom flap open. This opening will be where you insert the cardboard for your screen protector.
Step 9: Sew Center Flap Closed
Place your iPad (real or fake) in the center of the case. Fold the center flaps snugly across the iPad and pin into place. Remove iPad and sew along the center flap line, in between the fabric and the piping. When we do this it's called "stitch in the ditch" and it leaves an invisible sewing line that looks nice and clean.
Flip the case inside out and hand sew the other half of the center flap down to remove extra bulk.
Step 10: Finishing Bottom Flap
Insert your heavy-duty cardboard into the pocket that we stitched in Step 8. Pin shut and sew along the pencil line, sealing the screen protector inside the case.
Turn under edge of lining and pin to outer fabric. Hand sew in place using an invisible lock or running stitch.
Step 11: Closing Bottom Flap
Place iPad inside of case, and fold up bottom flap to perfect location. Pin into place and hand sew shut using an invisible lock or running stitch.
Step 12: Adding Button Closure
Sew foot-long cording into place on the tip of the bottom flap (marked with an X on pattern). Hand sew button on top of cording end.
Sew other button onto the tip of the top flap (marked with an X on pattern).
Wind the cording in a figure-eight pattern around the two buttons to close the case, just like a legal envelope.
Step 13: Completed Case!
And volia! You have a beautiful, hand-crafted case that protects your iPad and shows off your crafty skills. Use different fabrics, like vintage and upholstery, and combine them to create an even more innovative design.