How to Make a Reversible Laptop Sleeve





Introduction: How to Make a Reversible Laptop Sleeve

When my husband was getting ready to give his old laptop to his mother, I thought "You can't just give it to her naked. It needs some kind of protective sleeve." But I didn't want something boring, or worse - UGLY! I had seen the Monster Laptop Sleeve and thought to myself that it didn't look to me like $65 worth of fabric and sewing.

I'm genetically predisposed to look at things and figure out how to make them myself for less, so of course I looked at this and said "I can do this!" Except that the more I looked at it, the more I realized that I didn't just want something fun, I wanted it to be reversible. Twice the fun!

I'm not good at sewing, and I'm terrible at visualizing things in three dimensions, so making it reversible took a lot of trial and error to get that part right. I did two - one for me and one for my mother-in-law. The one for me was my beta, and I ended up re-doing it at least twice. I took pictures of my mother-in-law's, once I was sure I'd gotten the kinks out of my process.

Step 1: Materials

You'll need:

Appx. 1/2 yard each of 2 different kinds of fabric
Embellishments (I used felt for the eyes, but you can use anything)

The fabric can be anything. If you'd like a little more protection you might use neoprene, and a great source of neoprene is old mouse pads. Sew a few together and use them as one of your pieces of fabric.

It's best to use fabric that you can use sideways. Bolts of cloth come in two widths - 45" and 60"., so you can make your long cut along the width of the fabric. If your fabric is stretchy, you won't be able to use it sideways and you'll need closer to a yard.

Let the fabric suggest the decorations! Fabric paint, buttons, feathers, bits of leather, other pieces of fabric - anything you can sew, snap or glue to a piece of fabric will probably work.

Step 2: Cutting Your Fabric

Measure your laptop.

The short side of your fabric should be the width of your laptop, plus one to two inches, depending on the thickness of your laptop. Macs are thin, so an inch is good. Older laptops are fatter and need a little more room. The long side of your fabric will be the height of your laptop (the measurement from the front to the back, not the measurement from bottom to top) times two plus eight inches. In my case, my fabric was going to be 15 inches by 30 inches.

Lay your two pieces of fabric with their right sides together and measure, marking the measurements on your fabric with pins or small dots from a felt-tipped pen. I used cans to hold my fabric in place while I cut - more experienced seamsters might use fabric weights.

Cut according to your measurements.

Step 3: Add Embellishments

If you're sewing on your decorations, now is the time to add them. Fold the fabric to resemble your finished product to determine placement of your decorations.

Pin them in place, then sew on.

Step 4: Sew the Layers Together

With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, sew the short ends together.

Step 5: Fold and Sew Pocket of Sleeve

With your fabric laid out on the work surface, fold the short end toward the center. Fold back until you've made a pocket deep enough for your laptop. Pin the fabric in place.

Sew one side all the way - you'll be sewing through four layers of fabric for most of it, so go slowly. On the other side, start at the opening of the pocket and sew. Leave a 3" gap in the seam at the top to pull the piece right side in.

Step 6: Pull the Piece Right Side Out

Pull the fabric right side out through your gap in the seam. You will have to do a little pulling and tugging to make sure you get the corners of the seams fully turned out.

Once you've pulled it fully right side out, you can sew up the last three inches by hand.

Step 7: You're Done!

Put your laptop into your finished laptop sleeve. Take it to your local coffee shop or library and bask in the jealous glances you'll get from those around you. And if anyone around you is snickering at the thought that you paid sixty-five bucks for your laptop sleeve, YOU get the last laugh!



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    9 Discussions

    I wasn't sure about doing this, until I saw the reversed sides red monster. I love him! I want to take him home and feed him cookies! Great job. Too bad I let my dad borrow my old labtop, this would have been perfect for me.

    Btw Chicken Buddha I've emailed you. Have you received it? My notebook arrives tmr and I'm going to make another this weekend so for those who intend to try this out, do feel free to ask me to take more specific pictures if needed. (:

    Your additional picture and information does make quite a difference. Thanks so much. I've tried it using tissue by stapling them together. I'll definitely be doing it and taking pictures of how I did it once I find the furry materials. I hope it'll be soon because I can't seem to find that furry cloth in Spotlight. The great thing about reversibles is that the thread are all hidden (especially the hand stitches when doing handphone pouches where they're way too small for sewing machine use).

    Hello, first of all, thanks for posting this up! This is the exact laptop sleeve my friend's been looking for, in fact she ordered it through a spree but they refunded her money ( I suppose due to low orders).

    I'm very confused how you go from step 5 to 6. And, does step 4 mean sewing the 3 sides from the "flap" together or only 1side?

    I've made reversible handphone/cell pouches and got so addicted doing it so I guess I'm a fan of reversibles. =D

    1 reply

    I added another picture because I had such a horribly hard time describing this part of the process. In step 4 you're going to have two long rectangles of fabric, and you're just supposed to sew them together at the short edges with the right sides facing. You'll now have 1 long rectangle made of 2 layers of fabric. In step 5, I folded the 2 layers of fabric in toward the center (imagine making a puppet mouth). Then sewed the open sides together (with the exception of the hole I left to pull it right side out). Let me know if this still isn't clear. I went ahead and made you a collaborator so that as you make your project, if you come up with a genius way of describing this, you can just edit it. Thanks for your comments!

    How's the laptop's operating temperature, while swaddled in a layer of thermal insulation? I was under the impression that most modern laptops ran on the edge of overheating anyway.

    1 reply

    The laptop sleeve's really only good for use when the laptop is off (not asleep). Any laptop in a sleeve will eventually overheat.

    It looks great except that green fabric looks like the kind used for toilet seat covers...