Antique Book Tablet Case




Introduction: Antique Book Tablet Case

Ok, I saw a cell phone case that looked like an old book last week and thought it was a pretty cool thing. After I looked around the internet I realized that what I found for sale did not have the protection I wanted for my tablet. The result was something that worked better than I expected.

Step 1: Getting Everything Together

The tools and items needed for this instructable are as follows:

1 - Your tablet (I mean you need it handy, not that you need one... :-P )

2 - A suitable book. (see note below)

3 - Utility knife with a sharp blade

4 - Ruler

5 - Pencil

6 - Silicone caulking (I used very little of a 162ml tube of DAP Alex Plus)

7 - Clamps

8 - Three small nails (for the up/down volume and on buttons)

9 - Clamps (the more the merrier)

10 - A piece of ribbon (+- 12")

11 - One hole paper punch (maybe you will need this, maybe not. Depends where the earphone jack is)

12 - Drill with an assortment of bits.

Just a quick note on the book. It may take a little looking to find the right book depending on what you want. My criteria were: Hardcover; old looking; pages slightly larger than the tablet; and that it was not tooo much thicker than my tablet. Since this instructable covers what I made you might want to take your tablet with you when you go shopping. Check out used book stores, garage sales, etc. I felt VERY bad when I told the woman at the used book store what I was going to do with my purchase and she agreed it was a pity... but she still helped me look for one.

Step 2: Mark Out the Size of Your Tablet

Keep the first few pages of your book whole. I turned one page past the dedication (the page right past the dedication was sacrificed later). On this page I centered my tablet and traced around it with a pencil.

Step 3: Cut Out a Bunch of Pages

Before you do this please stop a moment to realize you are irrevocably changing someone's creation. Somebody spent many days researching the book in front of you, someone else edited their work and then a team published it. Understand that you are giving it new life but know that there are people who would be sad about what you are about to do to their work.

Now 'carefully' cut the outline of your tablet. Only do a couple dozen pages at a time and go slowly around the corners. Whatever you do you will probably regret not taking more time here.

Whenever I took some pages out I stacked them beside my tablet so that I could gauge how close I was getting to the proper depth. Compress the loose pages as you check this to get a more accurate measurement.

Once you are satisfied with the depth run a bead of caulking around the inside of the cut pages. This will hold those pages together as they are really flimsy now and will tear easily. Use a damp finger to smooth out the caulking and to clean up any globs that form. It will not take much caulking. Once you are satisfied close the book and fasten all of your clamps to keep it closed. If you do not have clamps simply pile more books on top.

Leave the book overnight so that the caulking dries. When you open the book you will find that one page is stuck to the cavity?!?!? This is the sacrificial page I mentioned earlier, simply take your knife and cut it open. If the caulking is not totally dry.... well, wait another day.

Step 4: Make Buttons for Power and Volume

Set your tablet in the cavity and make some marks where your buttons are. I needed to wake my tablet with the 'on' button and I wanted to be able to quickly raise or lower the volume. If your tablet is different you may not need to fashion buttons at all.

You need to notice where your buttons are on your tablet. On mine they were angled 45 degrees down from the horizon so the holes I drilled were at that angle. It worked nicely as they came out right at the edge of the book. that being said, it would have been better if they came out the pages as my buttons now snag on loose things.

Drill your hole at the proper angle (see above) and using a drill bit that is the same size as the nails you are using.

Put your nails in the hole (mine have a nice flat head for transferring my pressure) and mark where they come out. Use some side cutters to take off any excess length.

Step 5: Add a Bookmark

This may seem like I did it just for show but it actually has another use...

Find an old ribbon that will go with the book and use the silicone to glue it to the inside page. do NOT glue it all the way to the top! only spread the silicone on the bottom 2/3 of the ribbon. Again don't use too much caulking as it will bleed out the side and stick to the clamps. It you make a mess or if your ribbon has holes then you can place a layer of kitchen plastic wrap down. That should release from the caulking when it is dry, protecting your clamp.

Clamp the ribbon to the book and allow it to dry overnight. (I used some scrap wood to spread out the pressure of the clamp).

If the top third of the ribbon is free you can use it to 'lift' out the corner of your tablet. This really helps if your tablet is tight in the cavity you made. (see, I told you it had another use!)

Step 6: Any Extras

I didn't care about charging it while it is in the book but I did want to be able to use headphones so I drilled a hole in the proper spot using the right size drill bit. I then had to use my one hold paper punch to make a hole in my ribbon as it was in the way.

You might want to add a clasp to the outside of your case or even drill another hole for the camera lens.. If you come up with something cool please post a message below with some pictures.

Step 7: The Finished Product

I was lucky enough to find a book that talked about the history of where my wife is from so I am pretty happy with it.

The nice thing about using a book as a case is that the pages of the book provide quite a bit of padding. The hardcover also protect very very well. This is by far the most protected tablet I have owned.


Hiding Places Contest

Participated in the
Hiding Places Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Electronics Contest

      Electronics Contest
    • Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge

      Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge
    • Go Big Challenge

      Go Big Challenge



    7 years ago on Introduction

    i dont understand where or how you drilled your holes, did your caulking make the pages hard enough where you could drill into them, im blonde, therefore it takes me a second lol jk but i love this idea so much i really want to try to do this!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    For the buttons I drilled from the inside of the book after making marks where they needed to be. I should have made a simple jig to make sure I was keeping the correct angle but I didn't. I just went slowly and free handed the angle. You may have noticed that they are not all coming out in a line which is due to this impatience. For the headphone jack I drilled from the outside in after carefully marking where it needed to be. It is much easier to drill through the pages if you have a new (or sharpened) bit and if you compress the pages first (!!) with a clamp. (in step six you can see the clamp I used when drilling for the headphones.) Go slowly and you will not have a problem. you may also want to have someone else keep the book still when you are doing this. If you go too fast, if your bit is dull or if you don't compress the pages you will tear them and make a mess.

    The caulking is quite soft, even when dry ( it is like rubber). I used it rather than a glue that hardens because the soft silicone around the pages helps hold my tablet in place. It doesn't help with the drilling much but it stops my tablet from rattling around and from falling out when I open the book. The tight fit is what caused me to add a ribbon to help remove the tablet when I wanted to charge it. I would not suggest using glue as the hole would have to be EXACTLY the size of the tablet and since dry glue would not 'grasp' the tablet - it would fall out when you opened the book.

    This will not be difficult for you to do and I would be happy to help along the way if you have questions. The main thing is that you find the right book (be picky) and are patient when cutting and drilling. After you have finished yours please post a picture... I would love to see how it turns out!

    dquong sing
    dquong sing

    7 years ago

    I like this very much.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I am glad you like this dquong sing. post some pictures if you make one yourself, I would like to see what you can do.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very nicely done!

    I like the clever way you did the button extensions with nails. So smart!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you seamster, when you keep looking it is amazing what you can find to come up with!