When Nancy wrote about 5 Awesome & Easy “Pimp My Laptop” Ideas, one of the ideas that got tossed around was about laptop sleeves. Matt recently informed us about 5 Ways To Utterly Destroy Your Laptop, Slowly But Surely and the word “tossing” was definitely on the strict no-no list. So, just let’s just stick to tossing ideas about how to keep our laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks, and even the ubiquitous iPads protected with some DIY (do-it-yourself) sleeves.
The question that will pop-up in your mind is that why should I make a laptop sleeve when I have the one that came with the device? Well, so do the thousands who bought the same device. But then you can very well go out and buy designed sleeves that are way cooler than the mass produced ones.
I can’t argue for this one, except say that a DIY approach would give you the stamp of exclusivity, save you money, and allow you to free your creativity around your laptop or similar device. And designing your personal sleeve isn’t difficult when you have some great tutorials on the web.
I had talked about Tipnut and its assortment of household tips and life hacks when we looked at 10 Websites For Daily Tips & Time Saving Nuggets Of Information. Designing a laptop sleeve isn’t a time-saving exercise by any stretch of the imagination, but it is certainly one that will get the DIY-ers among us enthused. Especially, when you consider that this page of sleeve design ideas doesn’t have one or two, but 25 (and more) tutorials on laptop sleeves and cases. The author herself has collected it from different sources around the web.
The Gilded Hare [No Longer Available]
This DIY blog has quite a few well-illustrated laptop sleeve making tutorials and ideas, and you can pick any like the one I found above at the link. The step-by-step tutorial shows how you can craft a really nice MacBook sleeve with fabric and some sewing skills. You can enlarge the snapshots for a better look. When the tutorial ends, check out the other links mentioned below, for e.g. the one on the sleeve for an eReader.
I liked this tutorial because it is probably one of the simplest and cheapest one that doesn’t lose too much of the cool quotient. The tutorial as you might have guessed is not with a laptop, but it is for an iPad. Close enough. What’s interesting is that it uses a simple 10.5in. x 11in bubble mailer and repurposes it with some fabric to make a quick but non-dirty iPad case. You can easily get the right sized mailer for your laptop, or notebook too and make yourself a custom sleeve. The best thing – you can make a bunch of them and show them each day of the week!
Instructables has probably the widest range when it comes to sleeves of all kinds. Why not, as the site is a DIY-ers Mecca. You have the dead simple I-could-have-thought-that-up tutorial which uses Scotch tape and foam; a recycled IKEA bag for an ASUS eee PC; the usual ones made from throwaway denims; a hoodie into a laptop case; and possibly my favorite – a laptop sleeve made out of some used military fabrics. I got a dozen pages of results with my search, so there’s some hunting involved. But on Instructables, you are never going to run out of ideas.
Make Magazine [No Longer Available]
Make is another big name on the DIY scene and if you do a search on the site, you will come across a variety of sleeve tutorials. From turning an old sweater to a laptop sleeve to using a retro towel. Perhaps, one of the more ‘professional’ looking ones is the one made out of décor-weighted fabric. But my favorite offbeat one has to be the self-cleaning iPad sleeve which seems to be very useful as well as simple to make.
Hit YouTube in your search for DIY instructions on how to craft your own laptop sleeves. A search with just “sleeves” won’t be spot on as it will get you videos which show how to roll up your shirt sleeves; so you have to be more specific. A search with “laptop sleeves” hits the home run with 600+ results, though a lot of them are also reviews of commercial sleeves.
There are a dime-a-dozen ideas all around us that can inspire us to make our own laptop sleeves. The easiest thing about them is that you can recycle stuff around the house and turn them into sleeves for your portable devices. Glue on some ingenuity and you could really be seen around town carrying your own cool designs.
If you are running short of inspiration, just do a search on a site like Etsy for some design cues and other laptop DIY instructions. Even a simple Google Image Search nets you a few to start with. Are you friendly with scissors and a needle? Have you designed your own laptop sleeve or tote bag? Give a vote for the green movement if you like to recycle stuff and turn them into useful laptop or iPad sleeves.