Introduction: Waxed Canvas Laptop Sleeve

About: I love creating and making things. From leather wallets, wooden rings to DIY projects. I also make videos of everything I make, have a look at my YouTube channel.


In this instructable I show how I made my waxed canvas laptop sleeve. So this is the first time I have ever used a sewing machine. So go gentle on me. I think this is not a bad attempt. I've wanted to work with some waxed canvas for ages and been waiting till I came up with a project that would work! The waxing is totally option but I love the way waxed canvas looks, and it helps that it's water resistant! Makes sure to watch the video above for a video guide on how to make this!

This is big enough for a 13" laptop, so make your sizes bigger if you have a bigger laptop etc.

For this project you will need;

Step 1: Cut Canvas & Hem

I started by cutting the canvas to size. This is for a 13" MacBook so I measured 60cm long by 38cm wide. Obviously this will change depending on what size laptop or tablet you want to make this for. I used a dress makers pencil to mark out and a sharp pair of fabric scissors to cut the material. If you use a knife it can end up fraying the canvas.

I then marked a line across the width at one end, 2cm in. This is going to be for my hem. I tried using pins and didn't get on with them. I've seen a few other people using these clips and found them much quicker to work with. I took it over to the sewing machine and stitched the hem. At the start and end of every line I went 3/4 stitches forward, then backwards and forward again. This makes a secure stitch that won't come undone.

I then turned it inside out and measured 18cm in for the pocket, then sewed this together. And then completed the hem all the way around. If you watch the video hopefully it will all be clear! But at the ned of this step you should have the basic sleeve complete.

Step 2: Cutting Corners

I wanted to add some corners to the case as it was looking a bit boxy. I measured 7cm in for each corner and made a fold. Again I used my clips and sewed it closed, and trimmed off the excess. This again is a totally optional step, and does make life more complicated but it's a nice touch.

Step 3: Cut, Hem, Stitch, Repeat

Fancy some De Ja Vu? So I'm using this nice checkered soft cotton for the lining. I wanted something that looked cool, a bit like barbour jackets to match the waxed canvas. Also something soft that wouldn't scratch the laptop. But basically I just made an exact copy of the sleeve in this cotton.

Step 4: Wax

There's plenty of different recipes out there that people say for waxing your canvas. But I like using simple beeswax. I get all mine from a company in the UK called Livemoor and they are great! Send them some love :) I will have a new video / Instructables in a few weeks experimenting with the different types of waxing canvas.

I took my bees wax and cut it into small pieces. I melt down my wax in a slow cooker / crock pot. You can use a double boiler but I like the slow cooker as there's less to think about. Also as I'm painting the wax onto the canvas, the pot keeps it nice and hot still.

Once the wax has all melted I took a wide paint brush and brushed all the wax straight onto the leather. You might want to use an all natural bristle paint brush, as some of the synthetic ones might melt at higher temperatures. I put a plastic chopping board into the sleep while putting the wax on, this was just to stop the insides sticking together. Once I was done it looked terrible. But that was all according to plan. I let it cool down for about 5mins.

Then I used my wives hair dryer on its hottest setting. I did have a hot air gun that would have worked slightly better. But it was my dads that I was borrowing it. And it caught fire. So, be careful. Anyway a hair dryer would work fine! Keep going until all the wax melts and runs further into the canvas. Then I let this cool down for about half an hour.

Step 5: Leather

I used some 1.2mm thick veg tan leather. I cut it into 2 rectangles of 3cm x 4.2cm. This roughly matches the ratio size of sleeve. Good design often replicates elements throughout so this looks best. I used my leather groover and made grooves around all the edges.
I love this Feibings Waterbased Brown leather dye. I use it on most of my leather projects! I used a wool dauber to put on the dye. Starting with the inside lip I attached the leather to the canvas. By doing it in this order from the inside you won't see this as the lining will cover it up. I used some contact adhesive, put it on both the leather and the canvas. The glue works best when given 5mins to get tacky, then stuck together. Then using my punch I cut the holes for the stitching all around. I used some black .6mm waxed thread to stitch the leather to the canvas.

Step 6: Every Cloud Has a Red Checkered Lining

I spent some time getting the lining fitting nicely. Again I used my clips to hold it all neatly together. I then stitched the two together. When I got to the corners I stopped with the needle in the canvas, lifted the foot. This means I can rotate the sleeve and continue sewing along the line so it is one neat clean line.

Then all there was left to do is add the front fastener on the top so I followed the exact same steps.

Step 7: Final Photos

And that's it. I'm really happy with how this turned out, and think I did quite well for a first ever sewing project. Make sure you remember to vote for me in the sewing contest.

If you liked this don't forget to check my YouTube Channel.

Remember as ever if you make one yourself come back here and share your photos!

Sew Cool Contest

Second Prize in the
Sew Cool Contest