How to Make a Minimalistic (and Cheap) Laptop Case

I got tired of looking at the scratches and dents my MacBook suffered every time i tried to take it somewhere without throwing it in my rather large backpack. I needed something slim yet good looking. Something rugged yet inexpensive. I turned to my two best friends cardboard and duct tape! In this instructable I'll show you exactly how to make one of your own!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials and Sizing

Materials: cardboard, duct tape and a laptop.

I was lucky enough to find a box that was just the right size for my macBook. You may have to hunt around to find one you like but as long as there are no creases in the middle (eg too small a box) you should be ok with any size.

Your box is perfect if you can just barely stand your computer on end when it's all constructed.

Step 2: Trimming, Part One

Alright, screw your courage to the sticking place and prepare for first blood.

Cut your box open down one of the corners. Then trim it down to two sections and loose two opposing flaps.

There will be two measurements you will have to make now. The first corresponds to the depth or hight of your lappy. The second corresponds to the width. The easiest way to do these is to just roll it. First set it so the bottom lines up with the edge of the two flaps (like it is in the pictures) then set it up on end while keeping one edge on the cardboard like a hinge. If you are careful you will get the exact hight measurement you need. Mark with a pen. This measurement will be a crease. Keep rolling it so its lying upside down. Mark again. This measurement will be a cut.

You can crease however you like but I cut through the first layer down on the inside down a ripple of the corrugated middle layer.

see the photos. I remember something about 1000 words....

Step 3: Trimming, Part Two

Alright. Almost done cutting.

now we need to create the sides of the case. To do this you trim the remaining flaps to the same length as the hight of your computer.

Step 4: Folding and Taping

I left enough material at the top to make a flap. I'm sure you could just as easily leave it open. If you do want a flap it's as easy as two extra creases and maybe a cut to shorten it.

Now fold her up. You can tape to suit you. some like straight lines, others like it all crazy like a square ball of yarn. I decided to do racing stripes.

The only thing that you need to do is get your horizontal strips in first. Everything after that can be purely cosmetic but you need some structure to start off with.

Step 5: Cosmetics

Go wild.

I did red with white vertical racing stripes.

Be the First to Share


    • Instrument Contest

      Instrument Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest

    42 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 5

    I'm considering making something similar to this only out of material, I like the look of this design.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Here is my version of this laptop case - I made a removable accessories tray for the power supply, hard drive, card reader and mouse. Removable as sometimes I need that stuff, and sometimes not (its a lot to carry around I know). Brought to you by the power of velcro, the flap can either fasten to the tray or the bottom of the case when the tray is not in use. Thank you, very useful instructable!

    8 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow thats Flippin awesome Omfg i love it LOl I may make one like urs and Paint it THks for the tray idea


    Great! I think if I did it again I would try making the tray bit even more compact and give the case a handle of some sort.


    9 years ago on Step 5

     nice idea here, keep up the great work


    I made this with an amazon box, no cutting required, it fit my macbook perfectly. I also used wrapping paper and poorly applied sticky-back plastic. I was so easy and cost me nothing.

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I think I might try this with cardboard and oilcloth. I think that will work just as well. :D


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Very neat. Put it into the cardboard and ducktape gallery. I expect this would be a TSA checkpoint friendly laptop case, too. It has no extra pockets and no metal parts to obscure the x-ray view. I think I'll add an extra layer of cardboard around the edges to provide extra padding, especially in the corners.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    it would be cool if you also add a strap

    I tried this and it was a relative success just make sure to cut the pieces a little bit bigger so the laptop in question fits but isn't too snug like mine was.

    1 reply