Introduction: Bubble Mailer Tablet Sleeve
Recycling is an important step in our daily lives. One item that often gets overlooked are bubble mailers. It's difficult to know which ones can and cannot go into your normal recycle bin at home. For instance those with paper on the outside have to be separated and even then the bubble wrap couldn't go into your bin.
For some more in depth information this article at Recycle Bank has an excellent rundown of your options: Recycle Bank - Is Bubble Wrap Recyclable?
How can we reuse bubble mailers?
- Shipping - They are a good option when you need to ship your own items through the mail reusing it highly encouraged..
- Packing material - They are also great when moving and needing to wrap fragile items.
- Storage - Storing your fragile treasures inside is a great way to not lose track of your favorite things.
- Art supplies - Bubble mailers are a great place to store your more fragile paint brushes or art supplies that need to be organized without touching each other.
- Print making - Painting with bubble wrap is a fun easy way to get texture and design. It's a great project for little ones when they are finger painting. Use a roller to put paint on the bubble wrap bubbles then turn it over onto paper to see your design.
- Bubble Mailer or bubble wrap - Using an older bubble mailer without the paper outside is suggested but any can work. Even old bubble wrap could be used, but it won't be as rigid as a mailer.
- Vinyl wrap - A roll is best, but 12x12 sheets can be overlapped to get full coverage. Any brand of vinyl will work as well, cheap ones work just as well as expensive kinds for this project.
- Ruler - Measuring your bubble mailer and vinyl to size.
- Scissors - Cutting down your items to size.
- Pen or Pencil - Marking your measurements.
- Velcro - Velcro comes in many forms. If it's a long roll simply cut off a piece about and inch in size. Others might have squares pre-cut on sheets. Just make sure you have a hook side and a loop side (the soft fuzzy side.)
- Tablet or phone - If you are making your case to size you will need yours on hand. This project can be used for any brand tablet or phone. This case is also good for a small purse if you have no electronics to store inside.
Step 1: Prepare & Measuring the Bubble Mailer
Bubble mailers come sealed on the sides and are often far too large for most hand held electronics. This step has many small things follow and tips to make your workflow easier.
- Using scissors cut along the edges so that it opens up and is now a flat sheet of bubble wrap.
You might see that it's not perfectly straight but don't worry you will need to cut it down to size anyways.
Cutting Tip: If you are having difficulty getting a straight line when you cut try to line your scissors up with a specific line of bubbles. When you follow that row a long, you should end up with a straight line so your sides line up.
- Measure how long your electronics device is.
- With your long straight sheet lay your tablet or phone on top and measure how wide you want it to be. It's good to leave close to 1/4th - 1/2 an inch on either side of your item so that it will not fit too tightly.
Placement Tip: Using the bend in the bubble mailer as the bottom of your case works great for cradle your device.
- Cut down your sheet as you've measured for its length.
Now to cut the front and then flap that goes over to close your case.
- Wrap your item to know how much of an overlap you have. For the flap on top of the device measure down approx an 1 inch from the top of your device and cut a straight line.
- With the black flap that is behind your device pull it over and measure approx 2-3 inches from the top of your device. This is the flap you will lift open when taking our your device. A longer flap is great too, just make sure you do not cut it too short. It needs enough length so that you can place velcro down on the underside of that flap and it will hit the flap that is covering the front of your device. Be sure to check all of the photos if you are getting lost.
Step 2: Covering the Bubble Wrap Sheet
As mentioned a roll of vinyl works best, but at home you might only have pre-cut sheets of 12x12 vinyl. This can work find but you will want to make sure to overlap them to make one large sheet that will cover the full length of your bubble wrap. For the rest of this instructable we'll showing a roll of vinyl.
- Lay your opened bubble mailer over the vinyl making sure you haven't removed it's backing yet.
- Measure and cut a piece that has approx 1/2 inch overlap on all sides. These overlaps will be folded around all of the edges.
- Carefully remove the backing of your vinyl, for our example it had a clear back. Lay it flat on your table with the sticky side point up towards you.
- Holding your bubble wrap up on a slight curve lay it down on one side on leaving that 1/2 inch edge on all sides. Slowly lower it down from one side to the other pressing down on the bubble wrap so it is making a nice flat connection with no air pockets.
- Cut small squares on each corner of the vinyl. It should go from the corner of the bubble wrap straight out. This will make folding over the vinyl sides much easier. The photos can help you with this step.
Alternatives to vinyl rolls or sheets - Duct tape can be a great alternative so you don't need to go to the store. It's strong and can be layered on top of each other to make a long flat sheet as well.
Step 3: Closing the Sides
You will now have a flat sheet of covered bubble wrap, but the sides are not connected. In this step you will be completing the sides.
- Place your device back into your bubble wrap and bring the front flap up as shown.
- Measure how far up it is from the bottom to the top of that front flap.
- Cut two strips approx 2 inches wide and whatever height you measured. As everyone's will be different exact sizes all depend on what kind of device you are trying to make a cover for.
- Remove the backing from one strip and lay it on one side of your flap, you can do this on the front or back whichever is easier for you. Fold over the rest of the strip so that you are closing that open flap. The photos will come in handy for this step.
- Repeat what you just did again on the other side.
Tips: If you cut anything to short on this step don't worry. Cut off another piece that is the size you need to close up both edges on each side. It will be more difficult to remove a piece you've already placed than to just add another small section.
If you don't have enough of one single color mixing it up is a great too. Look for nice complementing colors if you have a choice.
Step 4: Add Velcro
Velcro is quite powerful! For this step you only need a small section.
- If you only have it in a roll of the top and bottom cut off a section approx an inch square. Other ways you might have some would be sheets one sheet is the hook and the other is the loop.
- With your hook and look connected place it in the center of your top flap opened like in our 2nd image on this step.
- Press is down so that the other side of your Velcro will stick to the front that is covering your device as shown in the third image. The other photos side views of it closed and the last one is it then opened. By doing it this way the hook and loop will always match up when you close your case.
Step 5: Adding Flair
For those who are wanting to add a little more to their case vinyl sheets can make great stickers even if you don't have a vinyl cutter!
Punches make for a great option as well as simply cutting them out yourself with scissors.
- Punch or cut out several shapes and lay them out on your case finding a pattern you like. Remove their backing sheet and then lay them down exactly like stickers.
Tips: Don't forget you can always put stickers on the inside too. Reinforcing the corners can be a great option too to make sure your case will last a long time.
Now that you have yours done think of making one for anyone else in your household. These are great ways for you to know who's tablet or phone is who's.
I don't have an electronic device like a tablet or phone
This design is great for almost any type of pouch. Some other options could be coin purses, camera pouch, or a catch all pouch that you can keep in your backpack or purse.
Can I clean these?
Yes, because it is made of a waterproof vinyl and plastic a simple wipe down with a cleaning wipe or rag and it's ready to go.
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2 years ago
I love it. No store bought sleeve looks this fun.