Instructables

Make an iPad or Kindle case from an old book and sugru

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Mattia from Italy first made this project and sent us the images below for the sugru gallery. We thought it was amazing. So what's the best thing to do with amazing projects? Make a step by step instructable to help everyone make their own of course!

Oh, and we thought it would be cool to make one for an iPad too, so we did. Yay :)

 
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Step 1: What you need - an old book, and sugru

The nicest iPad or Kindle case can be made from an old leather bound book, the challenge is to find the right size, we found ours in a second hand book shop.

To get the best fit, we brought our Kindle and iPad with us, this way we just held each tablet up to the book to find the best fit, simple.

Car boot sales, charity shops oh, and your attic are also great places to look.

Once we found the best fitting books, we were ready to get cracking :)

You can get sugru from sugru.com or from the instructables store.


TOP TIP: As well as getting the right size it is important to get the right thickness so that the book will close.

The hooks add around 2cm to the thickness of the tablet so your book needs to be thick enough to contain both.

We made this mistake with our ipad book and unfortunately it wouldn't shut properly :(

Oh well, we live and we learn. Best to be too thick than too thin in this instance.

Step 3: Colour match

To tidy and enforce the spine it is best to cover where the cuts were made.

But before this can happen you will need to match the colour of the cover if you want a really clean finish and seamless appearance.

Step 6 in your '7 steps' booklet that came with your sugru, provides you with a colour mixing guide. Use this to find the colour mix that best matches your needs.

Mix the appropriate percentages of sugru in your fingertips until the colour is constant throughout.

Check the colour against the book. It may be necessary to add some black or white to adjust the shade. Add black or white in small, gradual amounts. It is far easier to add more than to take away.

Colour mixing can get messy but don't fear, dry tissue paper is the best way to remove any excess sugru from your fingers.

Step 4: Protect the spine

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After cutting out the pages, the spine is left rather damaged and messy so we tried using sugru to reinforce it.

After some experimenting we decided that the best way to do this was create two sugru strips that would cover the points where the pages had joined the covers. This gave enough protection and tidied the spine without using too much sugru and did not effect the opening and closing of the book.

Use two pieces of paper to mask off a strip over the join. To ensure that it doesn't move we used white tac to stick the book to the table and then masking tape to attach the positioned paper to the table as well. We didn't want to put any tape on the book as this would damage the paper.

Once the stencil is in place, start spreading small amounts of sugru into the gap. The layer need only be thin.

Once completely covered and smoothed remove the paper sheets, peeling away from the sugru.

Once the sheets are removed, flatten the edges of the sugru by very gently running your finger along the strip a couple of times.
 
Leave to cure for a few hours before repeating on the other side.

Leave to cure overnight.

Alternatively you could just use a strip of duct tape. It may not look as tidy but it is quicker.

As the duct tape is probably likely to be larger than the spine, ensure that it is placed offset so when the tablet is in place it is not lying over some tape.

If you were to sugru over the tape there is a chance that the tape could begin to come off and remove the sugru. NOOO!

Step 6: Create the rubber grips - PART 1 sugru dots

Left or right handed - which side of the book do you want to mount your tablet?

To create the hooks it is best to do it in two parts. First create a sugru base at the points where you want your hooks to sit. Then create the hooks in this position. Sugru bonds really well to sugru so by building the hooks this way you can concentrate more on the build and design of the hooks and less on the bond.

You will need around 2 mini packs in total - roughly half for each corner

Make a small mark on each corner of the book where you want your tablet to be located.

Press small sausages of sugru onto the points that you have marked. Ensure that there is a strong bond.

Step 7: Create the rubber grips - PART 2 creating the hooks

Picture of Create the rubber grips - PART 2 creating the hooks
To make the hooks make 4 even sausages of sugru from the remaining sugru.

For each corner, press the bottom of each sausage into the dot that you have already made in the corners of the cover.

Bend the top of the sausage out from the book in each corner.

Once each sausage is in place, position your tablet inside the book.

Bend the sausage over to form the hook.

Ensure that the hook lies straight and thin. You do not want to create an edge which could begin to rip.

With the iPad I probably made my hooks too long so I removed a bit from the end and then smoothed with my fingers.

Leave to cure for 24 hours to ensure that it is good and strong.

The hooks I made for the kindle were far more appropriate size.

Step 8: Pop in your iPad / Kindle and enjoy

After 24 hours, simply lift up the tops and remove your tablet.

The sugru should quite easily come free from the clingfilm, a few pieces may remain but these can be removed easily enough.

Remove the clingfilm from the tablet and replace under the hooks.

Again to remove the tablet, simply lift up the ends of the hook and remove the corner of the tablet.

Now not only do you have an awesome cover for your tablet, you can also keep it safe and hidden in your bookshelf. Woop. Sneaky sneaky! :)
katie21408 months ago
This is an awesome idea! I have been looking for something like this everywhere, but the thing is I have an ipad 4, so I can't find anything big enough :(
projectsugru (author)  katie21408 months ago
Charity shops are a great place to start...
grainnemhaol10 months ago
I am trying this but have not so far been able to get the sugru to stick to the fabric I have glued inside my book cover. Tips?
matthewu1 year ago
The way the sugru is formed you twist it to get the kindle in or out
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matthewu1 year ago
Great project, made one with a $2.00 book. Still better than other cases, in my opinion.
projectsugru (author)  matthewu1 year ago
awesome, please share a picture :)
This is seriously such a creative idea! I love it! I am looking to get a new iPad case, and I heard of a new company called Domeo Products that just launched. I checked out their website at www.domeoproducts.com and it looks like they have some awesome cases. I was wondering if you have heard of them and what you thought of them?
projectsugru (author)  lblachaniec1 year ago
thanks :) I would prefer to make a case myself...
jgeekw2 years ago
Sugru-less model (iBook Safe): Find a book as before, but this time make sure it's thicker (atleast double to a third) as your device. Lay device screen down inside the book on the first page, trace around and cut out enough pages so your device is flush with the top page. See Image: http://cultofmac.cultofmaccom.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Picture-62-e1303484035319.png
Tinworm jgeekw1 year ago
nice alternative.

I like yours and projectsugru's....but is sugru strong and durable enough? I don't know the stuff. Is it available in the UK?
projectsugru (author)  Tinworm1 year ago
yes, it is durable enough :)
sugru is available in the UK, there are a list of retailers on our buy page (towards the bottom) you can also buy it direct from us, it is manufactured in London and delivery is 3-5 days in the UK.
thanks. I have seen it mentioned a lot on this site but have never seen it in real life.

Presumably it can be bent repeatedly after it has cured? How long until the bending fatigues and it fails?
kubulai2 years ago
I have a nook color for which I am thinking about building a case from my old DayTimer Desktop leather binder. I'd like to try it, but $23 per 12oz package ($18 + $5p&h) is a bit steep when two packages are needed ($46). It is readily available though through all the normal channels. I would like to try it but I am not so sure how well it will stick without some experimentation.
The actual cost for the Sugru used in this instructible would actually be less than $6.00, not $46.00.

When they suggest using two packs in this instructible they mean the *mini* packs that come inside the main pack. When you buy a package it contains 8 x 5g mini packs (mine had 2 red, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 white, 1 black). So when you pay $23.00 you get 40 grams of Sugru. This instructible used two mini packs (10g), only a quarter of the total pack.

I agree 46.00 would be far to expensive to make something like this! :)

...I *LOVE LOVE LOVE* Sugru! I bought my first pack a couple weeks ago and I've been telling *everyone* about it. Gave a few mini packs to some of my friends and hopefully they'll spread the good word to even more people...
barriboy2 years ago
Not sure yet if I will ever get a tablet, but I thought this was a great idea, so I am reading your 'ible. Good job!

Just curious, what difference does it make if the tape is not offset and is then under the tablet? Do you do this purely for aesthetics?

Also, having never worked with Sugru myself, if you are constantly bending the hooks to place/remove the tablet, about how long to you expect them to last before wearing out?
LuxCrawford2 years ago
I plan on doing the "lazy" version of this. I already have a case with a bluetooth keyboard built in that I want to keep using BUT I still want it to look like an old book. Plus I like that the book would help deter a potential thief. I’m going to find an old book that can accommodate the size (should be easy) and either glue or Velcro my existing case inside. This way I can keep the ipad safe in its soft suede-like case AND keep the keyboard PLUS have it look nice in a cool book and keep it discreet! Now to find the right book.... Thanks for the inspiration btw!
projectsugru (author)  LuxCrawford2 years ago
Sounds great, do post an image here when you make this.
kbales2 years ago
If the sugru is more flexable in thinner sheets could you make a laminate of several thin sheets?
Maybe even with layers of something (cellophane?) in between.

I plan one of these but will use thin sheet metal (soda can) dipped in plasti-dip for the corners.
creaky2 years ago
I did the same thing with my Kindle Touch, but I did as suggested in another comment where I used velcro on the back to connect to the book. I also had some very nice cloth and covered the book in the cloth and I think i looks very nice.
Clever, I like it. :D
projectsugru (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks!
foobear2 years ago
I'd like to know how it holds up under daily use. I haven't had a lot of luck with sugru so far.
projectsugru (author)  foobear2 years ago
Hi RaisedByRobots,

Firstly apologies that you haven't had much luck with sugru yet. Maybe you could let us know what problems you are having and we could give you some tips.

In regards to the tablet case, ours hasn't failed yet but then we haven't been using it everyday. My advice would be to make sure that the clips are perfect. That is the weakest part of this hack, the fact that they could tear when lifting up and down. As long as you ensure that the clips lie very straight over the corners of the iPad and do not wrap around the corners then you should be fine. If the sugru clip wraps around the corner while lying over it there is a good chance that it could rip. If you keep it very straight then you reduce that risk.

I hope that helps and if there is any more sugru advice we can give you then please let us know. We love talking about all things sugru!
farna2 years ago
Is the sugru that flexible after curing? I've not used it, but I thought it would cure too hard to flex like that. There's no real reason to remove the kindle or I-pad though, is there? Nothing on the back that needs to be accessed on a regular basis. Just use a small amount of cling wrap or wax paper on the corners and go! That or use stick-on Velcro to hold it in place.
projectsugru (author)  farna2 years ago
Hi farna,

sugru's flexibility just depends on how thick you make it. A lump of it will be quite hard but in thinner pieces it can be very flexible. With this hack as long as you keep the clips as thin as possible you will have enough flex to remove the iPad.
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