Introduction: DIY Tablet or E-Book Reader Case/Purse - Minimal Sewing

This instructable will help you create your own purse or case for your tablet or ebook reader.  I actually made mine from a pair of cargo pants that were too small for me and with some decorative fabric from a dress I edited down a bit.  I used fabric glue to put most of it together as I couldn't be bothered to sew, but I did hand sew a few parts I thought would wear out quickly.  The bag converts from a cross-body bag to a shoulder bag as well.  I hope you find the tutorial useful and you can check out my other work at

Here's what you need:

- About a yard or less of some type of durable material (I used a pair of cargo pants that were too small)
- About a 1' x 1' piece of decorative fabric (if you'd like)
- About 12' of rope (mine is about a 1/4" in diameter)
- 2  -  7.5" x 4.75" piece of cardboard (mine is from a cereal box)
- 1  -  7.5" x 4.75" piece of polystyrene or foam product (mine is from a camera bag I took apart for something else)
- 2 buttons
- 2 rubber bands

- Fabric glue (I used Aleene's Fabric Fusion - it makes the material ROCK HARD which is great for this project)
- Needle and thread
- Scissors

*ps: I apologize for the less than stellar photos in this instructable.  My laptop is being serviced so I'm using a spare one that doesn't have Photoshop.  I'm just using my little Olympus point and shoot camera and Microsoft Office Picture Manager to photograph and edit the items and diagrams.

Step 1: Create the Base

First, create a base for the case.  I've created mine using various pockets from the cargo pants.  I glued a zippered pocked to a piece of fabric and glued that to a large cargo pocket.  I wanted a few places to hold a small wallet, headphones, bluetooth earpiece, and any other random bits I need to have on me. 

The diagram looks a little different than the cutout, but I did - it's more of a picture of how I would've liked to have cut the material.

Step 2: Glue the Case Together

First, glue your foam and cardboard together - i just used a tiny bit of the fabric glue on the four corners of the cardboard just in case the glue reacted with the foam.

Then pull the left end of the fabric over the foam (I have the foam facing up so it will be on the inside of the bag and the cushy side will be against the screen) and glue the edges of the fabric down

For my own bag, I had to scrap together a bunch of pieces because I didn't really know what I was doing, hopefully your design will look a lot cleaner than mine...

Step 3: Create the Tablet Holder

-To create a rigid frame for the tablet or e-book reader to rest in, get two pieces of fabric about  9" x 2 3/4" and fold it lengthwise 3 times to make the horizontal borders to hold the tablet.

-Cut out holes for your power button, volume, and microphone (I actually did this after I glued everything down and it was great that the fabric was hard so I could cut through all the layers, but cutting through glued fabric was really tough so the choice is yours!). 

-Apply a thin layer of glue to one side of the fabric and fold it in every 3/4". The fabric glue makes the fabric really rigid so be mindful of how much you use.

-Use the bit of fabric left at the end to anchor the border onto the bag. 

-Now for the vertical border. Fold the top and bottom pieces of fabric remaining on the bag inward every 3/4" and cut out holes for your microphone and charger port

-Tuck the ends of the horizontal border into the vertical border as you ad glue to the fabric and fold the top and bottom pieces on the bag inward every 3/4".

You should now have a place for your tablet or ebook reader to rest.  I have a rubber case on mine so it fits snugly with the dimensions I've used.  You can always make it a bit smaller or add pieces of elastic to each corner to keep the tablet in place.

-Apply glue to one side of the fabric and

Step 4: Add Details

For the finishing touches, I added a few things:

- I glued some fabric on both sides of the purse for a bit of visual interest.  If the fabric looks familiar, it's because it's from anotIher one of my instructables.

- I also added some buttons and a bit of rope to make some closures to keep the case shut.  I used rubber bands to hold the rope together because I'm able to adjust the rope if I need to make the case tighter.

- Lastly, I sewed some loops on either side of the bag and added rope I braided together about 3 foot in length.  I also added a small piece of fabric with a button so I can bring the ends of the rope up and make a shorter strap on the purse.

Well, I hope this tutorial was somewhat clear and useful!  Best of luck!