This is a minimalist Kindle cover made with the box that the Kindle comes in and a few other supplies. I was looking to buy a cover/case, but found that most of them were just too bulky and I really only wanted something to protect the screen. It will work for any of the Kindle's with a 6" e-ink display, and may work with other brands of ebook readers too.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Cutting board (or some kind of cutting surface)
- Xacto knife (or some kind of sharp cutting tool)
- Metal straight edge (for cutting)
- Kindle box
- Cloth about 5.5 in by 7.5 in (will be on inside surface of cover against the Kindle screen)
- (2) elastic hair ties (you could probably improvise with something similar if these are not available)
- Gaffers tape (or cloth tape, duct tape, electricians tape)
- Double-stick tape
About 1 hour, maybe 1.5 hours if you are extra careful and take your time.
Step 2: Cut the First Layer Out of the Kindle Box
Unfold the Kindle box and remove the slot that is glued to the inside of the cover. You want to be a bit careful not to rip too much of the cardboard off with the glue, but it doesn't matter too much since it will be covered in the end. Then, cut out a rectangle 4.5 in wide by 6.5 in tall.
Step 3: Cut Notches in Corners for Straps
Make pencil marks near two opposite corners to indicate where notches will be cut to hook the hair ties in (which will act as straps). I sort of eyeballed it to make it 45 degrees, but you at least want the space between the pencil marks (where you will cut the notches) to be 2.1875 in (2 3/16") apart.
(I decided to put only two straps on instead of four. I always try to reduce to the bare minimum required, especially when I'm creating something that is supposed to be minimal. Four seemed redundant, but you can easily modify this step to add four straps if you like. However, after completing it, I'm guessing that four straps may make it a bit cumbersome to put the cover on and off.)
Step 4: Add Inside Material
Turn the cover over so that the surface that will be the inside (and against the Kindle) is facing you. Remove the hair ties. Place double-stick tape along the perimeter, and add a few pieces to the inside. Place the cloth over, and then trim as needed to allow at least 0.5 in overlap on all sides. It doesn't have to be perfect, as it will be covered up by another layer of cardboard.
Now, turn the cover over. Place double-stick tape along the perimeter and wrap the overlap from the cloth around to the back, covering the edge of the cardboard. You will have to re-cut the cloth near the notches for the hair ties. Be sure to fold the corners in the best you can. Place the hair ties back on the cover.
(One change I would make for version 2.0 is to use black cloth instead of white. This just happened to be an old t-shirt I had on hand and I didn't think about the color until I was done. Or, you could get more creative and use a pattern print of some kind.)
Step 5: Cut Second Layer for Outside of Cover
Cut another piece 4.5 in wide by 6.5 in high out of the box. Since this piece will cover the outside and face out, I decided to cut out a section such that the varnished "Amazon" logo was centered in the area. You obviously don't have to do this, but can be a nice touch.
Step 6: Fasten Second Outer Layer to Cover
Add more double-stick tape to perimeter, and place a few additional pieces on the inside. Line up outside cover and press it into place. You may want to put it on a flat surface and compress it – I placed it on a concrete floor and put a few large books on it and put my weight on it. Also go along the edges and make sure the double-stick tape is adhering.
Step 7: Wrap Outside Edges
The last step is to wrap the outside edges to clean things up. I used gaffers tape, as it sticks well and is cloth. You could also use duct tape or even electrical tape. You want to make sure that the tape only extends in about 0.375 in (3/8") on the inside so that when it's against the Kindle it doesn't extend past the bezel. (In other words, when the cover is in place you only want cloth potentially touching the screen.) This may require carefully cutting the tape lengthwise so that too much doesn't cover the front. I then cut the tape just enough near the notches on the inside of the cover to let the straps (hair ties) sit free.
Step 8: Finished!
Here are some photos of the finished cover. I would estimate that it adds about another 60% to the thickness of the Kindle but nothing to the width and height. When I'm using the Kindle, I re-attach the case to the back and the straps should be right above the corners of the screen.