Instructables

IPad Notebook Safe

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Here's a clever way to hang on to your shiny new iPad: a carrying case that converts into an easel stand and disguises itself as a common notebook.  It protects, displays, and hides your iPad, all in one convenient package!

This project came about quite organically.  I started on a completely different path before I ended up with this one.  The idea was to make something like a book safe, that looked just like a notebook from the outside, but secretly held your precious cargo on the inside.  Additionally, when opened, the notebook could act as an easel, and provide you with an easy way to display your iPad on a tabletop for watching videos or giving presentations.
 
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Step 1: Materials

This project used:
  • One hard cover spiral bound notebook with the pages cut out.  (You know they'll be turned into something awesome in their own time!)
  • Two layers of foam core - I used one white and one black, but you could just use black (it makes for a nicer frame for the eyes)
  • One or two sheets of black paper or thin fabric to cover the insides of the notebook
  • A few pieces of adhesive velcro
  • Grosgrain or other ribbon, length = long enough to wrap around the iPad and hold it securely inside + 5" to adhere to inside cover
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Ruler
  • Hobby Knife
  • Epilog Laser Cutter, if you happen to have one laying around, which I did (not necessary though!)
I've added a diagram that I hope explains the assembly process, 
Check it out before you move forward with the project.  
Great idea its really smart but if i found the right size of notebook then do you think i could make one for a kindle fire?
Sounds like a good idea but as an electronics technician who has repaired faulty electronics, I can see one possible flaw.

Did you take care of the ventilation on the bottom? This case may insulate the bottom of the iPad if the ventilation holes are blocked?

Electronics does not like about overheating. Electrolytic capacitors are the first ones to fail.
So keeping the ventilation holes open on the bottom by having enough clearance and allowing the hot air to escape is important. I have not seen iPad so I do not know where are the ventilation holes or if it has a fan so I can not tell how it should be done?

I see lot of people having their laptops in their laps or using them in a couch with ventilation holes blocked, not good in the long run.
I am typing this in my couch but I have a plastic grille, for drying dishes in kitchen, under my laptop to keep the ventilation working.
I'm a little late to the game but, yeah, those are definitely speaker vents, not ventilation vents. :)

Great instructable, smoocharoo! My current case is beginning to dismantle itself. This is a great idea for a replacement.
The iPad doesn't have ventilation holes, it's pretty much a sealed unit. The only real openings it has is a speaker grill, headphone jack, and ( for lack of a better phrase ) iPod connector. There is no airflow through the device. The case itself radiates any heat away, and I've never noticed any heat problems. Most cases totally wrap the iDevices anyway except for the connector and button cut-outs.

The only problems you might have with it is playing video while it's all closed up. But then there's not much point in that in the first place.
Ipads generally run pretty cool actually. they don't have quite the same innards as something like a lappy, andno, no fan.
Lindie3 years ago
Great idea!
ronnybonny3 years ago
I need ff plugin "I would not buy iPad"
JoeAconite4 years ago
Now we add a "Don't Panic" to the cover and create a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
It really needs to be done. Just thought I'd mention to fellow hitchhiker's fans: I actually found a case with "don't panic" printed in large, friendly letters on the cover. Bout time someone did this. Check it out: http://www.mycaseconcepts.com
lockpick4 years ago
This really nice. By far the best I pad case yet. One thing I don't get is why is it called a safe?
scoochmaroo (author)  lockpick4 years ago
Safe because when it's closed, it looks like a normal notebook, and no one would suspect there's an iPad in it. Like a book safe that you hide stuff in.
Now I get it. Anyway to add a physical lock?
I thought about that too, at first. But the fact is, once someone has it in their possession, a lock would do you little good. They could just as easily clip the wire bindings and open it that way. If it's more of a "keep honest people honest" type of thing, you could probably pretty easily create a small wire loop on one end of the "book cover" and have it go through a hole on the other side of the "book cover" then slip a padlock through the loop.
good point
mrfixitrick4 years ago
Cool Instructable!

I'd suggest a polycarbonate (Lexan) shell instead of acrylic...a little more expensive, but it will be far stronger, and in fact basically bulletproof.

Acrylic can shatter, poly won't...See this movie...
http://www.break.com/usercontent/2009/12/polycarbonate-vs-acrylic-plastic-1579905
scoochmaroo (author)  mrfixitrick4 years ago
Polycarb doesn't do well on our laser cutter, sadly. I could always check other shops. I've also considered using wood!
For cutting polycarbonate, you can use a regular carbide-tipped skil-saw blade, or hire out a water-jet cutter. Door-skin plywood or marine plywood would also work...but it won't be bulletproof ! ;)
You could use a regular xacto knife and cut a groove in the polycarbonate, then hold the groove on an edge and "break" the polycarbonate on the edge. It should give a nice, clean edge. This only works on polycarbonate sheets though.
Omnutia4 years ago
The problem with this is that, while it protects you from the opportunist iPad thief, you may end up: 1) With you or a friend throwing it out with other books. 2) Getting it filed among a bookshelf of other books (Best make the spine subtly distinctive.). 3) Someone throwing it at someone, thinking it is a book. Just a heads-up.
superhornt4 years ago
i will make a smaller one for my itouch
I thought about doing that as well, since the iPad case my dad and I made turned out so well.
Data6434 years ago
Taking the term "notebook computer" to a whole new level. When my dad and I made this we added a smaller square frame at the bottom because the iPad was curved. This allowed the iPad to sit securely in the case. We also added indents for the power button and the audio jack so you could listen to a movie while the iPad was still in it's case. We also made the foam core four layers thick so that it would sit better in the case. I'm writing this comment from our iPad in it's new stylish DIY case!
Lindylu2u4 years ago
I just love this site. I never know what I'm going to see on here, and today your idea was really great. I don't even have one of those Ipad things but darn, if I did, I'd surely want one of these. You should patent this idea of yours. I bet you could get super rich off of your idea. Think of all the possibilities for different covers you could use. Younger customers might like their favorite sport team or school. Cool colors whatever floats one's boat, so to speak. I'm telling you, someone out there is gonna steal all your hard work and make a forture off of your idea. You should strike while the iron is hot. GOOD LUCK.
Mudbud4 years ago
This is awesome! wish I had an ipad... :/ Kind like....... http://www.instructables.com/id/Hardback-Nook-Case/
spcon4 years ago
Pretty cool. I think I want to scale this down for my iTouch now! :D
This is a great idea, Scooch. I do not personally own an iPad, but this looks awesome!
DJIO4 years ago
SUPER!!! I don't feel comfortable enough using the velcro tip from the inside while in easel position. Maybe some experiments with the velcro can make it grip on the outside. Congrats for the awesome idea and thanks sharing it. =)
pocketspy4 years ago
Wicked smart design. You could actually sell these to iPad customers.
jamwaffles4 years ago
I hate the iPad itself, but this is awesome! maybe when the WePAD comes out someone will make something like this, with Tux on the front to reflect the WePAD's openness :P
zascecs4 years ago
It seems as if you always come up with the best things...
scoochmaroo (author)  zascecs4 years ago
Aww, thanks!
How do you come up with all this stuff...?
kenbob4 years ago
I love this.
nickodemus4 years ago
Sleek, stylish, and removable! :D

Nice work!
You could use a large MoleSkin, I don't think they have spirals...
drdray4 years ago
Is there some part of the iPad packing material you could use instead of the foam core?
If you master the acrylic shell, I'd be willing to pay for a shell & shipping to make my own... no access to a laser cutter.
Really nice... I've yet to find anything on the store shelves that impresses me, but I do like your design... may try it this weekend... will let you know if my results are both successful and acceptable (to me). Great work...
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