Introduction: DIY Book-like IPad Case (Dodo / Moleskin Style)

About: I rather like "to make" than "to consume". I've been programming for iOs for a while just to see if I can. I love making cases and pouches for my gadgets, but currently it seems I'm running out of projects. Bu…

I stumbled over the following instructable for a moleskin iPad case (credits here for the maker of the case which inspired me to make my own case):

Also, I found the Dodo-case for iPad on the internet and thought, I could combine both in a DIY book style iPad case for the iPad I purchased 2 weeks ago.

I have used the iPad for 2 weeks and the DIY case for 1 week now, and both just works perfect.

If you like this instructable, leave me a note. I would love to get some feedback.

Like always, this instructable requires to work with tools, so don't hurt yourself.
If you get hurt during the process of making a DIY case according to my instructable, I'm not liable for any damage to yourself or your device for which you create the case.

Take care and have fun "making".

Thanks for the comments and warm words so far. 

I had another idea which would be easy to add here. I bought a silicon case last weekend just for at home because I like the slim design of the iPad. But I thought it would be awesome if the iPad could go into the case including the silicon case. This way, you could use it without the "book" at home and just insert it into the "book" for on the go :-)

Step 1: Supplies

Supplies in the picture shown are (left to right, top to bottom):
- photo magnets (I didn't use those, see additional notes at the end)
- L-shaped wooden profiles (for the frame for the iPad)
- foam tape (for supporting the iPad in the frame)
- red fake suede self-adhesive foil / film
- black fake crocodile leather foil / film
- card board (this was some kind of a corrugated card board box of a shirt I bought)

- files
- saw
- miter saw
- sandpaper
- scissors
- knife (scalpel, cutter)
- steel ruler or any other ruler with a steel edge for cutting
- clamps (binder clips in my case)
- wood glue
- strong all purpose glue (pattex in my case)

Step 2: Build the IPad Frame

Take the iPads dimensions. Exact dimensions according to the internet are 242.8 mm (9.56 in) (height), 189.7 mm (7.47 in) (width), 13.4 mm (0.53 in) (depth). For the width I rounded to 243 mm and for the height to 190 mm. The profile height of about 15 mm was just about right.

Go from here and add 2 times the thickness of the foam tape for the width and heigt. Consider how much you want the foam to squeeze your iPad. In my case, the foam was 3.2 mm thick. I wanted the foam to press 0.2 mm on each side, so this left 2x3mm to be added in width and height.

1. Cut the L-shaped profile according to your "foam-calculation" on the miter saw (I just used a cheap miter with a little handsaw for about $5). Make sure that you measure the width (top and bottom part of the frame) and the height (left and right part of the frame) inside the L-shape where your iPad will be placed later in the frame. The outside dimensions of the ipad + 2 times the foam thickness will be your inside dimensions of the frame.

2. Glue the frame parts together with wood glue. I used some of the L-shaped profile and a rubber band to support the frame while the glue was drying (see the additional images). Wait until the glue has tried and the frame is stable enough for further processing. I waited for approximately 1 hr before continuing. The glue doesn't reach its final strength at that time, but it was enough to make the cut-outs.

3. Use the hand saw, files and sandpaper to make the cut outs for iPad-operation. As you can see, I didn't add cutouts for the headphone and microphone (I just don't use those).

To get the dimensions for the cut-outs:
- place your iPad within the frame.
- Stick some of the foam-tape (without sticking it to the frame, so leave on the protective foil of the tape) between your iPad and the frame on all sides of the frame.
- Stick it in places where you don't need to mark the cut-outs.
- Eyeball the cut-outs and mark them with a pencil.
- Start working out the cut-outs. Once in a while, place the iPad inside the frame to ensure your cut-outs are in the correct position and have the correct dimension.  

Create some kind of an extraction port where you can stick your fingers in to extract the iPad from the frame (see comment in the picture on the left side of the frame). If you have a tight fit of your iPad within the frame, you'll have problems getting it out of the case later.

4. Round of the right top and bottom edge (skip this if you don't like the look, but I liked the rounded edge a lot).

5. Tape the bottom side of the frame to prevent any varnish to get there. The bottom side will be glued into the "book"-cover, so it has to be clean. I used natural oil based varnish, so this would have caused problems for glueing. If you use something like car paint, it may be ok to also paint the bottom of the frame.

Step 3: Cut the Book Cover Parts

For the book cover parts, you'll need a cutting mat, a cutter, a steel ruler (or any other ruler having a steel edge), a pencil and of course the corrugated card board.

1. Place the finished iPad frame as a template on your card board and trace the outline of the frame to the cardboard (see additional images also for some more hints).

To get to the final dimensions of your front and back side of the book cover, add whatever dimension you like around the outline of the frame. In my case, I used about 1-2cm (so the covers will be a around 1-2cm wider and higher than the frame).
Don't forget, the spine of the "book" will be flat to the frame. So don't add the 1-2cm here.

2. Once you have cut out the front and back, place the frame between them to measure how high the spine must be (see 4th additional image) and mark the height with the pencil.

3. Cut out the spine and place all parts with a little spacing between front-spine-back on the table. Now you can use some clear tape to fix the parts together. You can add the frame within your cover to give it a test run and see whether or not the parts will work together like a real book.

Step 4: Wrap the Book Cover With Lining

I used self adhesive lining. It's unfortunately not as sticky as I thought, so right at the spine I have some "bubbleing" when I open the "book" and fold back the front cover. So you may consider using additional glue to prevent this.

1. Use the book cover parts as a template for the outer lining.

2. Add approximately 2cm for folding the lining over the rim of the cover parts. This will give sufficient gluing surface so that the lining stays in place.

3. Cut the corners of the lining according to the additional images (also see the comments there).

4. Take off the protective film of the lining and carefully place the cover parts on the adhesive side of the lining.
To make sure to not have bubbles in the lining, turn over  the cover and use a "soft" edge ruler or your hand to smooth out all bubbles.
Be careful not to get any debris on the outsides of the lining. Otherwise it probably won't stick as good later.

5. Stretch the excess lining over the book cover edges gluing them to the inside of the book cover. For more information, check the detail images.

Step 5: Add Foam Padding to the Frame

To give the iPad a good fit within the frame, glue some foam padding inside the frame. This will protect and hold your iPad in place.

1. Cut the height of the foam tape to match the frame height. If you have to do this step, face the cutting edge down inside the frame, so you'll have a nice edge at the top.

2. Tape the foam tape to the frame. Check your iPad's fit.

Step 6: Attaching the Book-strap

You can skip this step if you feel you don't need an extra strap to keep your iPad-book closed. I initially planned to use some magnet and a little back to front strap to do this, but it was Sunday, the stores were closed and the magnets I had were to weak to get through the lining. So I decided to go with the mole skin rubberband.

1. Depending on where your frame is placed inside the book, mark where you want to put the holes for the rubberband. Pictured below you can see that I placed the holes for the rubberband 4cm from each side of the corner. You'll have to do this on the top and bottom of the backside of the "book".

2. Mark the width of the rubberband (in this case approximately 1cm).

3. Use a screwdriver and hammer to get a nice slot through the case (from the outside, putting some scap wood under the case to make sure to get a nice slot without damaging the cardboard too much).

4. Put some rubberband through the holes.

5. Add the frame inside the cover and adjust the length of the rubberband accordingly. You don't need the rubberband to provide too much tension, but you want your book to stay closed.

6. Check again where the rubberband has to be glued inside the cover and ensure this doesn't interfere with the frame.

7. Glue the rubberband into place. I used some "real" and heavy books to apply enough pressure to get a strong bond of the rubberband to the cover.

Step 7: Putting All Parts Together

1. Cut the inside liner so that you'll see about 2-5mm of the outside liner once it is glued into place (the visible outside liner on the inside must be according to the excess outside liner taped to the inside of the cardboard). The dimension depends only on your liking. You can use the cover as template again, this time subtracting the desired dimension (compared to the outside linging).

2. Attach the inside liner to the cover. This step must really be carried out carefully. Any misplacement of the inner liner will instantly be visible (because you have parallel lines from the inner liner to the outside edges of the case). Again, like with the outside lining, ensure to remove all bubbles. This time being extra careful because of the suede surface.

3. Place the frame top down on the left side of the inside of the cover. Make sure the backside of the frame lines up with the spine.
BE CAREFUL: All steps following take this first image as base. If you glue the frame to the wrong side of the cover, the strap will be upside down giving an awkward look.

4. Add some glue to the frame (picture 4). I checked how my glue bonds to the cardboard and to the inner liner first to make sure I'll get a strong enough bond (see the first 2 additional images).

5. Close the back of the cover. Make sure the frame doesn't move, otherwise it will be misplaced (picture 4).

6. Turn over the whole thing leaving the "book" open (picture 5).

7. Put some real heavy books on the frame untill the glue is dry.

Step 8: Finished IPad Book-case

Now your Book-Case for your iPad is finished.

Wait until all solvents (from the glue and the lining) have evaporated to ensure this won't damage your iPad.

Place your iPad in your book and have fun.
It's pretty sturdy and I like toting around my iPad in it.
I'll probably add some fake seams (white permanent marker) around the edges. I did this before with a Zen-mp3 player case. After 3 years of usage, the fake seam is still there.

If you like this instructable, leave me a note. I would love to get some feedback.

Take care and have fun "making".