Make Your Own Notebook/laptop Skin




A completely individualised and unique laptop skin with limitless possibilities.

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 List and Pre-project Timesaver

Sheet of adhesive laminate or vinyl cling (represented by plastic baggie, not replaced by bag)
Small Paintbrush (like in a watercolor kit)
1" foam brush
Magazines and mail order catalogs
Permanent marker
Masking tape (not pictured but necessary!)

Nice but not necessary- Rotary cutter and mat.

Before you start the project it's a timesaver to have the images you want already clipped. A good, mindless project for in front of the tv. This part doesn't have to be neat and tidy, you can do any trimming when you start gluing later on.

Step 2: Measure and Cut First Layer

Measure the top of your notebook/laptop lid allowing 1/4" border all the way around (ie: remove 1/2" from total measurement)

I used a rotary cutter to cut the laminate. This is not necessary, but it was handy. If you don't have a rotary cutter, mark the lines with permanent marker on sheet and cut carefully with scissors.

Set on top to double check that you have approx 1/4" space to edge.

This layer will allow you to take off your design at a later time- therefore it is intended to be non permanent. I do not know what will happen if modpodge is applied directly to a laptop, nor did I want to find out. I bear no responsibility to any damage incurred to your machine should you choose to go this route.

Step 3: Secure Cling Vinyl or Laminate to Notebook/laptop

If you are using adhesive laminate, separate at a corner and carefully set where you want it. Then slowly press it down squeezing out any airbubbles. Working carefully is a good idea here. Keep pressing down until you've completely removed the backing.

If you are using vinyl cling do the same thing, omitting the separating the non-adhesive layer off.

When the clear layer is on put masking tape along the edges of the exposed cover.

Step 4: Pick Out Your Background Images and Start Securing

Choose full page images with interesting colors and textures. Solids do not create as nice a background in my experience. I found a couple of covers from the New Yorker and cut them to fit inside the masking tape. Then I cut them in strips and alternated them so it didn't look cut in half. This was a last-minute decision and I'm really glad I did it.

Once I had the strips cut I put a thin coating of mod-podge with the foam brush on and put the images down, again pressing gently but firmly to squeeze out airbubbles.

Step 5: Place Larger Images First!

Pick larger images to put down over the background covering it in a way pleasing to you. Coat back of image with mod-podge and place where you want, squeezing out airbubbles. I find this part is best done with larger squares, rectangles and circles rather than random shapes. You can do that part next.

Step 6: Glue on Smaller, Oddly Shaped Images

Smaller images that you can use to soften the edges of the last step or to fill in some of the background space. I've found that pictures from mail order catalogs work great for this step.

Step 7: Seal Your Creation

With the foam brush and mod-podge, paint on even, thin layers on the collage. It will have a haze to it until dry. Do several layers this way. IME, if you put it on too thick and goopy it takes forever to dry and gets wrinkled. Be patient.

Step 8: Remove Masking Tape and Show Off Your Creation to the World

Don't make the same mistake I did and remove the masking tape too soon after you put your final layer of mod-podge on. I really should have given it a couple of days to cure more, but didn't and some of the sealer peeled up. I was able to re-seal those areas, so all was not lost, but really wish I was more patient.

When you take the tape off work slowly, holding down the edge of the sealed collage.

I do wish I had used the vinyl cling rather than the laminate adhesive. If I do this project again, I will go that route.

2 People Made This Project!


  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest
  • Multi-Discipline Contest

    Multi-Discipline Contest
  • Robotics Contest

    Robotics Contest

26 Discussions

I cannot vouch for effectiveness, but if you can't find the laminate or vinyl cling, perhaps contact paper would be an easy to find material.

I never peeled the cover off- the laptop died last year & cover still looks great!


8 years ago on Introduction

what is more in my country podge? we dont have it here,the only american glue i know is elmers.What is mod podge anyway,sybsitutes i mean?

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I just did a google search and it looks like it's basically equal parts water and glue, and Elmer's was the main one used. And if you like it thicker, because that's runny, use more glue. Basically they just took a bottle of glue and squirted it into an old jar with a lid so they could save the rest for later if needed. Then to ensure they used the same amount of water, they just filled the bottle with water and squeezed that in. That way might work good to rinse out the bottle so you get all the extra glue.

Anyway, here's another site that tells you a way that's a bit more work but more from scratch than buying the Elmer's:

Good luck and have fun!


9 years ago on Introduction

Here is a pic of the front of my laptop!


9 years ago on Introduction

I was looking at the pic. before I look at the steps  and the pic with the mod poge  on the laptop and I guess  its mod poge and I was right  nice!!! I will give it 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!


10 years ago on Introduction

Can someone tell me where I can find this cling Vinyl stuff? I checked out Michaels (from where I got mod-podge), WAL-MART etc. I got a transparent book cover material at Office Depot. It kinda works for a while but it doesn't stick very well and comes off after an hour or so. So does anyone know a store where I can get the vinyl cling stuff?


10 years ago on Introduction

Looks extremely cool!! One question - is it necessary to use exactly mod spodge? Or is it possible to use smth else?


10 years ago on Introduction

How easy does adhesive laminate peel off and does it leave glue marks?


11 years ago on Introduction

Thank you for instructions. At first I used cling vinyl and it did not work out so good. Then I used a heavy adhesive laminate. Right now, I am letting the project dry for a few days and then I will be able to show it off. As for the images, I love my color printer it gave me the best images. As a finishing touch I was think about getting a clear adhesive vinyl to cover over the project. That way I hope it will give me a slick look that will not receive that much wear and tear taking the notebook in and out of my bag.


11 years ago on Introduction

Great instructable. I will try to get vinyl tomorrow so I can start as fast as possible. Maybe images could be applied in first step so this would create custom stickers for other areas.


11 years ago on Introduction

Nice idea and very transferrable to other things! I think once I show my daughter this technique, we're going to have skins on everything! Good thing it will be removable.


11 years ago on Introduction

this is great! i'm definitely going to try this. i was wondering if you ever got to remove the skin from your laptop. did it leave any marks? a definite perk would be if the materials didn't do any harm so that i could make a new skin every few months.