You’ll find some really neat ideas in this collection of free tutorials showing how to make laptop cases (and covers for kindles, tablets, iphones, etc.), many are super easy too! The designs will work for all kinds of brands and devices.
To keep things tidy, I’ve organized the collection into separate groups for easier browsing:
- Tablets (such as ipads, kindles, e-readers)
- Smartphones (ie. iphone, Samsung)
- Bonus Creative Ideas (tweaks & customization hacks for purchased items)
Each section will include tutorials that use assorted materials plus patterns for knitting, crochet and sewing.
New Collection Update: June, 2022
Because the shape of the assorted gear is essentially the same (rectangular), you could easily customize a pattern for a laptop cover to a kindle case (for example). So if you don’t see something in the particular group you are looking for, make sure to check out the other galleries.
What Are The Best Fabrics To Use?
There’s some debate about the safety of fleece lining a case for electronics. Could it generate static electricity, enough to damage ports or fry components? The same could be said for flannel which is another soft fabric that’s ideal for protecting surfaces. Or synthetic yarns. Or wool felt. The list goes on.
The outer fabric isn’t the issue, it’s the lining. Sliding a gadget in and out, coming into direct contact with the fibers, rubbing and friction. Will this normal usage activity cause a static discharge that damages the device? Or does a gadget have enough protection built in that this wouldn’t be an issue?
So this possibility may cause some to pause. Our electronics are not only expensive, they hold data that’s important to us and we don’t want to risk losing it all. If this does alarm you, try sticking with lining materials such as Neoprene. I want to recommend microfiber, denim and quilting cotton fabrics as being safe enough, but who can say 100%.
I don’t have a firm answer, nor have I found any reports online that this has indeed happened to someone. Theories and convos, yes, but complaints or warnings of actual incidents occurring? Haven’t seen them–this doesn’t mean there aren’t any–but I haven’t seen them.
I took a quick look on Apple’s website and saw materials such as faux fur, microfiber and nylon used. It’s hard to know definitively what’s a problem or if this is even a legitimate concern. If this is your area of expertise, please share some thoughts in the comments area below.
Notes on Sizing
Also note the model number of the gadget used in the tutorial you decide to work with, yours may be a slightly different size if it’s newer or older than the one used. This isn’t a problem! All that will be needed is a slight tweaking of measurements before cutting materials and then carry on as instructed.
It’s important to know the precise measurements of the gear you are making a cover for. Either measure the one you have (length, width & depth) or if you’re making a gift for someone and don’t have the device at hand, you can find the measurements listed on the manufacturer’s website.
If you can’t find the specifications you are looking for (say it’s an older model and no longer available on the manufacturer’s website), look at online stores and see what you can find. They often have old product listings even if the item is no longer available for purchase.
Now on to the goodies! As always here on Tipnut, each of the projects are available at no cost–100% free with full instructions in written format (either pdf or web page). Some may also offer video tutorials in addition to written instructions to help you along if needed. These are instant access with no email submissions or memberships required. If that has changed since being added to this page, please let me know in the comments area below so I can remove it.
Directions: Click on images to view project page, a new browser tab will open so your spot here is saved
How To Make A Laptop Case
You might be surprised at how easy it is to create a handmade case for your laptop…and one that looks expensive and stylish too! The materials and techniques below vary, but some projects might look the same at first glance. Look a little closer and you’ll notice that one may have a strap or an extra pocket or a snap closure instead of a button and loop. If I missed a duplicate, my apologies :).
Felt & Fleece Sleeve
This was made to fit a 13″ Macbook Air but as you can see, super easy to customize size. Open the top flap & there is a large pocket to hold the Macbook then two smaller pockets to tuck in cords & accessories.
Fabric with Tab Side Closure
This is lined with Neoprene padding to give it some weight, laptop slides in & out from the side. Tab closure with a strip of velcro to hold securely in place.
Supplies: printed upholstery fabric, nylon/water resistant material, quilt batting, medium weight interfacing, bias tape, thread & a snap kit are all that’s needed for this lovely project.
A strip of vinyl (leather look is nice), a hole punch, fabric glue. Soft suede ribbon is woven through the holes along each side to bind folded vinyl together. Make a winter version with a piece of faux fur glued over top flap. Magnetic snap closure.
Quilted With Button
A simple quilted case that uses a 1/2 yard cotton fabric for the the laptop exterior & lining. Freehand quilted with a large scrap of fusible fiber batting. Closes with strips of velcro.
Zipped Leather Sleeve
Has a nice big outer pocket to hold a pad of paper or moleskine. Supplies required are quite minimal: 36″ metal zipper, pleather/leather, fabric for lining & pocket, double sided fusible foam interfacing. Nice!
Basic sewing supplies required. Padded with fusible fleece & lined with cotton, tutorial provided free via pdf download. Velcro tab closure.
Repurposed Jeans Bag
I like the fact that this bag takes an old pair of jeans & transforms them into something really useful. Line with pretty fabric sourced from vintage linens & this is a low to no cost option. Sturdy too! Two layers of quilt batting provide extra protection.
Pretty Crochet Case
Using a pretty lotus stitch in a worsted weight cotton yarn (a series of chains, single crochets & puff stitches), this promises to work up quickly in a one row repeat. Beginner friendly. Includes a free video tutorial to help you along.
Apples: Knit & Felted
A fun design knit on circulars in two colors. Zips closed with a 36″ heavy duty metal zipper. Line with fabric (optional). Free pattern is available to download via pdf.
Canvas is sewn to a piece of quilted lining (suggests a waterproof finish). Top stitched around the opening. Prime canvas first if you plan on decorating it.
Padded laptop covers (3) that put colorful, rectangular placemats to good use. Features a nice sized pocket to hold cords & gadgets.
Tablet Covers & Sleeves (iPads, Kindles, Samsung, etc.)
This was probably my favorite section to organize as I found the ideas a little more creative. If there’s an element in one design that you like, there’s a good chance it can be implemented on the project you wind up going with (sorta custom mix ‘n match).
Bubble Mailer Case
Another creative idea for repurposing materials, this covers a used bubble mailer inside & out with fabric (either with a glue gun or small staples), ties closed with string-and-button.
Charm Pack Kindle Cover
Piece together the squares in desired arrangement then layer with batting & quilt to fabric. Plastic canvas pieces can be slipped inside the cover pockets to make it sturdy (optional).
e-Reader / Nook Cover
This design is great since it will hold a small notebook (always nice to have close on hand when reading). Does not need to be removed from the cover when charging. Vinyl (outside), fabric lined and padded with fleece.
Knitting Pattern For A Kindle Case
Envelope-style in a herringbone stitch. This can easily be adjusted for whatever size of device you want to make this for (she outlines how to measure for a perfect, custom fit).
Two Ways To Knit A Kindle Cozy
A simple knit pattern that can be finished two ways, nice & basic designs that are essentially stretchy socks for your tech. Worked on DPNs (US 8 – 5.0 mm)
Soft, flannel lined pocket clutch with an optional strip of velcro to keep closed. This is very easy to make, suitable for beginner sewers. No problem to customize size.
This is pretty creative, fabric is laminated with iron-on vinyl to make the case wipeable. Padded with fusible fleece & keeps closed with ribbon ties.
A lovely way to work through your fabric stash, 2 1/2″ squares are stitched together for the front cover then inside is padded with fusible fleece. Tab closure with velcro.
I really like this project because it’s a great excuse to whip out the oilcloth (which is stain resistant & wipeable). There are pockets to hold a notepad, business cards & a loop for the pen. Easy to make, loop & button closure.
This pattern is for an iPad but she has another one for the Kindle here. Includes notes at the bottom for how to block (the flap looks better if this is done).
Quick & Easy – Foam Padded
Fabric pieces are serged together then a sheet of foam is inserted before serging closed. Made to fit snugly so the device won’t slide out on its own.
Smartphone Cozies (iPhones, Samsung, etc.)
There are hundreds of patterns online for making smartphone covers but I found it a little trickier to put this gallery together. Either most were replications of other patterns and not very unique, or they just didn’t tick all the boxes (totally free, somewhat unique, full instructions, etc.). These here are what I consider to be the best of the bunch (so far). Stay tuned, I’ll surely be adding more as I come across them.
Crochet Smartphone Case
A simple pattern that can be made for any size device, you make enough chains for the width of the phone plus one extra, then each row is worked in sc until you have enough to cover the base of the phone. The sides are sc worked in back loops.
This can be customized to fit both phones & tablets (this particular example is for the iPhone 4s). Good details provided for cutting & sizing. Fabrics, cardboard & sew-on-snaps are all that’s needed to make this.
Cell Phone Cozy
An easy knitting pattern suitable for beginners, this does implement the intarsia technique (video tutorial here: Knitting Help – Intarsia – YouTube).
A couple pieces of leather, some pretty crocheted lace, a magnetic button & some white cotton yarn are the materials used in this project. Tools: Scissors, cropodile (eyelet/hole punch) & fabric glue.
Now this is unique, it’s a crocheted pouch with a metal purse frame attached (it snaps closed). You can find frames on Amazon & Etsy or even repurpose one from an old purse…the tricky part will be finding one in just the right size (this one used 18.5cm X 10.5cm). Recommended sources were provided but links no longer work so you may have to look around a bit.
Supplies needed: A swatch of pretty fabric, craft felt square & some thread. This couldn’t be simpler to make, suitable for beginner sewers.
So simple! Body is all puff stitch then the top border is a couple rounds of sc. Button & loop closure. This was made with a 3.5mm hook & cotton yarn.
It’s a little hard to tell from this photo, but a spring fastener is sewn in at the top to pop the case open. It’s a very simple, easy project to make but does its job beautifully.
iPod Nano Cozy
I know this isn’t a smartphone & it’s too small as-is to fit one, but I love this design. It’s basic enough to knit a larger size no problem. Pattern available via free pdf download.
Bonus Creative Ideas
These offer some creative tweaks to customize basic items purchased for your gear.
- Custom Gold Foil Embellishments: A store bought neoprene case is transformed with DIY custom gold foil embellishments (made with Deco Foil and a wax paper stencil).
- DIY Patches: Fun iron-on patches are permanently glued in place with E6000, transforming a plain zipped case.
- Dollar Store Upgrade: Here’s how to make a cheap $1 iPad case from the Dollar Store look a little prettier. The technique: print a design of choice, such as a vintage rose, onto decal paper, apply then spray a coat of clear paint over top. Here’s a more in-depth tutorial for a Dollar Store phone case from creativelyhomespun.com and here’s one that used fabric and Mod Podge from modpodgerocksblog.com.
- DIY Writing Tablet: Here’s how to Macgyver a purchased Apple iPad case into a writing tablet combo.
- Custom Instagram Cover: This is neat, especially if you have a lot of photos that have meaning to you.
- Custom Tablet Cover: I love this idea too…uses Liquitex Fluid Medium and a vintage notebook design (or whatever you like).
- Gear for your Gear: How To Sew A Tablet Holder and here’s a Crochet Stand Pattern.
- Embroidered iPhone Case: oooh I like this! You need to find a plain dotted case to make this work (she found one at the local craft store).
- Design Tweak with marble adhesive paper on a padfolio in which a Kindle perfectly fits (looks great).