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Picture of netbookbook
Make an original laptop covering using a discarded hardcover book and a long zipper found at any Dollar Store, you might even have all the materials at home already! I created a book-styled cover for my small netbook and turned my boring computer into a netbookbook!

After seeing ChrysN's Wood Kindle Case I wondered if I could make a fun cover for my small netbook. I've already made a laptop tripod which allows me to use my computer when I'm moving around in one area, but I wanted something to cover my netbook when I'm not in the Lab or when I'm out having a coffee. I found this vintage hardcover book with a bear attacking frontiersman, perfect for my netbookbook. This tidy cover can cleverly conceal your netbook to look like any other book in your library, here's a short video showing the cover in action:
I know you want a sweet vintage cover just like this one, follow along and make your own!

Enough talk, let's make something!

 
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Step 1: Tools + materials

Picture of tools + materials
tools: materials:
  • hobby knife
  • epoxy
  • straight edge
  • pencil
  • needle + thread
  • hard cover book
  • long zipper (like from an old jacket or zip-up file folder)
  • netbook (obviously)


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Step 2: Find appropriate book

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Find an old hardcover book that will not be missed. You can usually find old books that are being discarded at your local library or school. I found this old hardcover book at a thrift store for about $2.00.

Make sure the book you chose is slightly larger than your netbook in all dimensions (width, depth and height). My netbook measures 260mm(w)x184mm(d)x30mm(h) [10.25"x7.25"x1.25"], the pictures show how much room I had left around the netbook when comparing it to the hardcover book. You want a snug fit, so try and find a book that closely matches your netbook.

Step 3: Salvage zipper

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I found a zip-up file folder which was much larger than my netbook and hardcover book at the Dollar Store. If you can't find a medium length zipper like this you can always use the zipper from an old jacket.

Rip seams and remove zipper from the donor item.
Your zipper chain may have an unobstructed end once it's removed from whatever it was in. It's important to terminate the exposed zipper ends before doing any more work otherwise the slider may zip off the exposed end, once it slides off the chain it's almost impossible to get it back on again.

To terminate your zipper ends simple fold the end 25mm [1"] of the zipper edges (called the zipper tape) back onto itself and sew a few stitches to hold it in place, repeat on other side of tape so both sides have been terminated (see picture #2 in this step).

Step 4: Plan openings

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Most laptops have feet on the bottom to raise the underside from whatever surface it will be resting on, this gap allows for increaded air circulation around vent openings and helps keep your laptop from overheating while in use. In addition to this gap for air circulation my laptop model also has the battery compartment protruding out along the entire lower back edge.

To accommodate for the vent openings and protruding battery compartment I cut through the backside of the book is select areas. This allows the book to be tightly shut, without buckling around any protrusions and allows the laptop to stay cool even though it's almost completely covered.

Place your laptop on the book (minding the orientation), mark the openings with a pencil and then cut out with a sharp hobby knife.

Step 5: Glue

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Glue zipper
After all the openings have been made it's time to install the zipper. The easiest way I found was to glue down each edge and leaving the corners until last.

Glue one side at a time and allow the glue to cure between sides.
With the zipper closed, start by gluing down one end of the zipper to the inside edge of the book spine. The, progressively work around each side of the book and terminate the extra zipper length at the end inside the book spine. The extra length can be trimmed later.
Allow the glue to cure.
Unzip the zipper and repeat the gluing process for the other side of the book. Let epoxy glue cure overnight.

Once the epoxy has set it's time to deal with the inside corners. Create a pleat on each corner and apply epoxy, you may need to rest a weight on the corners to ensure they cure lying flat. I used a plastic grocery bag as a barrier between the wet epoxy and the weight I used, removing the plastic after about an hour allowing the glue to set without bonding to the plastic barrier.
Repeat for all corners on both sides.

Glue screen lifter
Scraps of fabric from the zip-up binder were used to create screen lifters inside the book. These lifters will allow the laptop screen to be opened when the book is opened, allowing ease of accessibility in one motion instead of two.

Scraps were dry fitted around top edge of laptop screen and checked to ensure operation both when the screen was open and closed. Epoxy glue was applied to straps and all glue was allowed to cure overnight.

Trim excess zipper if required.

Step 6:

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Your netbookbook should now be ready to bring out to the coffee shop, or hide in your bookcase somewhere (if you're so inclined). My book has a battle scene between a fearsome bear and a brave frontiersman, I'm sure this shows everyone at the coffee shop that I've obviously tangled with bears before and am not someone to be messed with.

Have you made your own netbookbook? Post a picture in the comments below of your version of this project and receive a digital patch and a 3-month Pro Membership to Instructables.com!

Have fun!
mukena4 months ago

Cool cover for netbook <3

clever idea

tornagen3 years ago
Awesome project. Good luck!

good luck

Hippykidz2 years ago
Excellent ible!!!! Thanks, I am all over this one. My bibliophile wife is going to cringe when I cut up a book though. B>)
Very cool! I like crafty people and ideas, which is what attracted me to this site. I work with Scouts, and use dozens of you blokes' ideas with the boys. What I used until I couldafford to get a good case was an old zip-up 3-ring binder from high school. I cut the rivets off the paper rings and added some foam padding (and a couple sheets of fabic softner to eliminate static). Pretty much what you made here.
I also re-riveted the rings to a piece of Masonite board and made me a hangine notepad/ plans holder for the shop. Recycle, recycle...!
Very cool. it would also serve as a way to hide your netbook. :D Now I need to find an old book...
galadriei3 years ago
I love this for several reasons: books are on their way out, but here is a way to reuse them and even showcase them, and it's freaking cool looking at the same time!!
deni2me3 years ago
This project is way impressive! I love it, and you did a fantastic job of explaining/showing what you did. Thanks for sharing this!
jhampa3 years ago
I'm going to do this with my Kindle. Makes it a great cover for traveling. Thanks for this
Very nice project now i want a netbook now lol
depotdevoid3 years ago
Very nice! I had considered something like this, before my laptop started to die . . .
ChrysN3 years ago
Great looking case! I like your choice of hardcover book, I think we had that one when I was a kid.
wilgubeast3 years ago
Clever name. Clever project.

Love the cover, too. That's how I imagine you spend your days since leaving HQ: fighting off bears in between trips to the dollar store.
That's awesome. Makes me want to make my own - we get in that set of Wild West books all the time where I work. Probably the best use for them, honestly. :D
onrust3 years ago
Very clean.