Making a case for making your own laptop case
September 5, 2012 8:08 PM   Subscribe

If you’re looking for a way to carry your laptop about, want to protect it from scratches, or just hope to make the fact that you’re carrying a brand-new laptop slightly less obvious to shifty-eyed individuals who seem to be overtaking you on a deserted, dark street, and you have been disheartened by the cost and ugliness of the laptop cases and sleeves on the market, take heart. You can make a laptop case or sleeve that will not only protect your computer but will proclaim your individuality and style. Like yoga? Make a case out of your yoga mat. Love to travel? Use a vintage suitcase. If you’re a Jim Henson fan, make a Furry Monster case (but just don’t keep your computer under your bed at night because your aging parents are already terribly tired of running down to your basement lair every time you have a nightmare).

Are you a computer geek? Make one out of floppy disks. Like to scuba dive? Make one out of your wetsuit (just be warned that while the resulting case might be rainproof, your computer still can’t go diving with you). If you love to knit, or crochet, or to felt, or sew, you can use any of these ideas. If you quilt, you can go traditional piecing or get artistic. If you want a fabric laptop case but don’t sew, you can make a no-sew case out of felt or a fabric-covered bubble mailer. If you’re handy with a rivet gun, use some aluminum sheeting. Are you a dedicated recycler? Make the case out of cardboard, cardboard and duct tape, or fused plastic bags. If you’ve got some old placemats, an extra t-shirt or hoodie, or an old leather jacket you never wear anymore lying around, you can put them to good use. If all the ideas above are too frou-frou for you, you can just sew a simple black case. And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a seventies-era thrift shop brown leather jacket on hand that's telling me it always secretly felt like a computer case inside.
posted by orange swan (17 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
At one point in time there was also Hello Rewind, but they seem to be on indefinite hiatus.
posted by Runes at 8:19 PM on September 5, 2012

I took sewing classes with Mrs. Creature when she got her fancy Bernina specifically because I wanted to make my own laptop case. I've been buying materials for two years now but have been unable to commit to a design (currently I'm thinking a lot about houndstooth).
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:28 PM on September 5, 2012

About a month ago I decided to make a rag rug from some scrap sheets. Never having done this before I started scouring the internet for instructions. At some point I thought "Wait a second, isn't there a Mefite who writes amazing crafty posts on the blue? I bet orange swan has something to share about rag rugs." And then I got lost for several hours, buried in old posts from 2009. That is all to say: YAY! More awesome crafts! Thanks, orange swan!
posted by arcticwoman at 8:39 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Too bad there aren't any patterns that use towels. The closest I could find was a pool bag, but that's just a bag with handles. I was hoping to make a laptop bag to match my Coca Cola Polar Bear Towel Jacket.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:51 PM on September 5, 2012

You could probably just use the instructions for making a case out of fabric, filthy light thief. The towel will be a little thicker than most fabrics but that shouldn't make any real difference to the process.
posted by orange swan at 9:01 PM on September 5, 2012

I want to buy a new laptop just so I can make that Furry Monster case for it. Adorable!!
posted by gemmy at 9:02 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

My Chrome hates that 'vintage suitcase' link, but IE is fine. Is that just me?

With derail apologies. Love the post!
posted by pompomtom at 9:25 PM on September 5, 2012

These are awesome. And for extra awesome, you can also get the book switchraft and learn how to sew in electro-stuff so your laptop case has a wifi sensor and will tell you which seat in the cafe has the best signal.

Imagine... furry monster's eyes could glow!
posted by chapps at 10:46 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

These are all so much fun! Thanks!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:13 PM on September 5, 2012

Yay! Another crafty post by orange swan!
posted by mightshould at 3:03 AM on September 6, 2012

Go, go, MetaFilter synchronicity!

I am browsing right now with tabs open for laptop sleeves and another tab on my favorite fabric site as I've given up finding anything small enough for my "new" secondhand eeePC 701 (don't need a bag, just want a close-fitting sleeve) and am excitedly realizing I can sew one myself and it will be that much more awesome.

filthy light thief you could indeed just sew one using a fabric pattern, maybe add 1/8" to seam allowances for the towel's extra bit of thickness if you use a pattern that fits your laptop closely. The seams will be bulkier in any case, but it would work nicely as extra bump protection.

Buttoned flaps and buttoned straps, I had not thought of that! Thanks so much for this post, it's perfect!
posted by fraula at 3:04 AM on September 6, 2012

Two years ago the wife said to me, as I was opening an envelope, "can I have that envelope?". It was a bubble padded large flat envelope, exactly the size of her Macbook Air. She slide that sucker in and has been using it for two years. When school started back up last week she looked at the tattered thing and said "do you have any duct tape?". Looks like it's good for another couple of years.
posted by HuronBob at 3:41 AM on September 6, 2012

A used yoga mat? Splendid! I've always wanted my laptop to smell like feet.
posted by delfin at 5:51 AM on September 6, 2012

I made a slip case like this for mine and my wife's laptops with my grandmother out of upholstery fabric samples. Basically the Furry Monster case without the Monster aspect.

While I can't speak as to the fashion or the je na sais quoi that the cover has or, more likely, doesn't have, it was really great to work with granny on something as simple as that on her sewing machine.

So yea, thanks for the aggregation of cool cases that also made me think of some good times.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:37 AM on September 6, 2012

It was a bubble padded large flat envelope, exactly the size of her Macbook Air.

A few weeks ago I spent about a half-hour in Staples agonizing over a bunch of really ugly-looking sleeves and cases for my new iPad, none of which were less than $30. I walked out with a padded envelope for under $2.
posted by gauche at 7:02 AM on September 6, 2012

Feeling spendy and frou-frou? Try this Leopard Mohair & Leather model.

Don't worry, you won't be endangering any Mo's.
posted by Twang at 12:26 PM on September 6, 2012

Very Thoughtful! Thanks OS
posted by joelf at 1:15 PM on September 6, 2012

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