Introduction: IPad Notebook Safe

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Here's a clever way to hang on to your shiny new iPad: a carrying case that converts into an easel stand and disguises itself as a common notebook.  It protects, displays, and hides your iPad, all in one convenient package!

This project came about quite organically.  I started on a completely different path before I ended up with this one.  The idea was to make something like a book safe, that looked just like a notebook from the outside, but secretly held your precious cargo on the inside.  Additionally, when opened, the notebook could act as an easel, and provide you with an easy way to display your iPad on a tabletop for watching videos or giving presentations.

Step 1: Materials

This project used:
  • One hard cover spiral bound notebook with the pages cut out.  (You know they'll be turned into something awesome in their own time!)
  • Two layers of foam core - I used one white and one black, but you could just use black (it makes for a nicer frame for the eyes)
  • One or two sheets of black paper or thin fabric to cover the insides of the notebook
  • A few pieces of adhesive velcro
  • Grosgrain or other ribbon, length = long enough to wrap around the iPad and hold it securely inside + 5" to adhere to inside cover
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Ruler
  • Hobby Knife
  • Epilog Laser Cutter, if you happen to have one laying around, which I did (not necessary though!)
I've added a diagram that I hope explains the assembly process, 
Check it out before you move forward with the project.  

Step 2: Cutting the Frame

The first step, which I neglected to get a picture of, is to glue the two pieces of foam core together, stacked one on top of the other.  Spray adhesive makes this super easy.  Just follow the directions on the can!

Because I was using the Epilog laser cutter, I needed to do a few different tests to find out what setting I'd need to cut through the two layers of foam core at once, without setting anything on fire.

I did my samples and recorded the settings, as you can see below.  I only cut out the inner part of the frame, because the laser melts the foam inside.  Since I wanted the outside edges to look like notebook paper, I used a hobby knife to cut those.

Since I had enough foam core to play with, I cut out two frames (each two thicknesses).  This gave me some wiggle room to screw one up completely if needed.  Which I did.

Hey, here's a handy file for you to download so you can cut your own!

Step 3: Velcro

At the top edge of the frame, I wanted to place some velcro.  This came to me in-process, so it might be a bit tricky at first to understand.  I knew I'd have a strap (the grosgrain ribbon) with velcro on it to span the distance between the covers when it was being used as a stand.  Therefor, I wanted a place to stick the velcro strap to when the notebook was closed.

Wrapping the velcro all the way around the frame before gluing made it the most secure.  But it was also quite lumpy!  So I cut away some of the foam core so that the velcro would lay flush with the face of the frame.   That's what's going on in the pictures below.

Not pictured (refer to the diagram or subsequent pictures for clarification):
Take your length of grosgrain and adhere velcro to one end of it.  Use adhesive or tape to secure the grosgrain to the inside of one of the covers of the notebook.  In the next step, you will cover this with fabric or paper.

Finally, add a square of velro the front cover of the book near the outside edge.  This will hold the grosgrain velcro strap in place while the book is open, and allow it to act as an easel.

Step 4: Assemble

Glue it all together!

Because I did a crummy job of photo-documenting this step, I've included this handy diagram of what went on.  I hope it helps!

One sheet of black paper or fabric goes on the side with the grosgrain velcro strap on it to cover and strengthen that bit.

One sheet of black paper or fabric goes on the inside of the other cover if you've managed to muck it up like I did.  If yours is still pristine, feel free to skip this part.

The frame you've cut gets adhered to the side with the grosgrain velcro strap, on top of the fabric or paper, with the little velcro tab we put on the frame on the side of the notebook with the spiral.

Finally, I decided to glue another strap on to the outside to keep the notebook closed.  This strap gets glued to the back, with another piece of velcro on it that will attach to the piece on the front.   It's only a couple inches long, and its only purpose is to hold the book closed.

Step 5: Finis!

There you have it!  Your iPad is now ready to be safely nestled into its new home, with no passer-bys suspecting a thing!  Open the notebook, flip it around, secure the strap to the cover with the velcro, and you're ready to rock.

  • In my next incarnation of this project, I will use acrylic in place of foam core, as the foam core broke down quickly.
  • I will also add clear elastic along the sides to help secure the iPad inside.
  • Finally, I will try to find a non-spiral notebook to use,  as the spiral tended to snag in a frustrating way.