Covering the keyboard is a MUST for students who are learning how to touch type. For proper muscle memory to build, a keyboard must be covered. This keyboard design is effective AND inexpensive. I have made many of them for students, and have helped many students make one. For this latest build, I decided to document the process so I wouldn't have to keep re-creating the wheel, and also so others might also be able to make their own keyboards that are field tested.
If students build their own, these are the skills they will practice:
Cutting with sharp tool (provide safety glasses)
Step 1: Materials
This is not a sophisticated project. Most of the materials will be readily available in a home or classroom. Here is what you will need:
1) A cardboard piece that is at least 7" X 21",
2) Yardstick or meter stick to measure and for use as a strait edge in cutting
3) Cardboard cutting knife
4) Drawing tool
5) Hot glue gun and sticks
6) Optional: duct tape
Step 2: A Quick Note About Cardboard....
Cardboard is an amazing material. One thing to note about it is the "grain" of the cardboard. Cardboard is made from two layers of paper with a "flute" glued in between. Here is an informative video on the process from, "How It's Made".
The important thing to note is that the direction of the flute lines has a great impact on the strength of the cardboard piece you select. Because we want a keyboard cover that won't sag over the keyboard, one that has the grain running lengthwise is preferred (but not essential) if you have a choice.
Step 3: SCORE!! How to Work With Cardboard
Scoring is a method of bending cardboard that keeps it connected to its source. Essentially, it is cutting through the top half of corrugated cardboard, and leaving the remainder in tact. Here is a very short video demo to show the process.
Step 5: Optional: Reinforce With Duct Tape
The corner can be protected and strengthened with a strip of duct tape over the outside seams.