Day006: Laptop Cover (& Tutorial)

Nearly everyone I work with has Apple computers. One day I walked by our tech table and saw all our laptops side-by-side and decided that I finally had to make that cover for mine which I had been thinking about for so long. That was a few weeks ago and I received many great comments about it. Yesterday I got a new MacBook Pro and I proceeded to make a new cover for it – of course. This time, though, I took photos throughout so I could make a tutorial at the same time. It is really easy to do, particularly because I let pros do the hard part – creating the actual shell. I just do a little reverse giftwrapping to make it pretty.

Materials:

  • Clear case (Speck makes nice ones for Mac. Sorry I don’t know who makes them for all the various Windows machines out there).
  • Paper

Equipment:

  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife

About the paper:
You want the paper to be really thin, because the cases are fitted so tightly. Construction paper would almost be too thick. I have a fondness for handmade paper and got a couple of different kinds. I found that the thinnest washi paper is almost too thick. My original ideas of doing layers of papers were tossed out quickly. Since you’re not gluing anything, though, you can make a few different inserts for your covers to match your moods, or one with all kinds of cool stickers on it that you can then replace or just remove when you have to act a little more “professional.”

mbpcover-1.jpg

About the X-acto knives:
Here are close-ups of the two shapes that I used for this project. I am fond of these knives (as I’m sure you guessed by seeing the collection of blades up above) and have found that it’s worth it to experiment a little to find which blade works best for you.

mbpcover-2.jpg

Step 1:
I spread out my paper and put the plastic shell pieces on top of it. I then cut loosely around the shell, leaving a large margin.

mbpcover-3.jpg

Step 2:
I pressed the paper into the shell. On the curved corners, I cut a vertical slice, overlapping the pieces so I could press into the corners and then cut away all the overlap so that the resulting insert was only one layer thick. (It helps here if you’ve done paper craft or gift wrapping.)

mbpcover-4.jpg

Step 3:
I pressed my laptop into the paper & shell. You can see the extra paper extends all around.

mbpcover-5.jpg

Step 4:
I used scissors and the X-acto knives to carefully cut away all the excess. I followed the outlines of the hard shell to guide my cuts. I didn’t press very hard in order to avoid scoring my computer. Note: Your blades have to be really sharp for this; if they’re not, it’ll take forever.

mbpcover-6.jpg

Step 5:
I popped my laptop out of the finished half and repeated the process for the second piece of the shell.

Note: You can kind of see here that the cuts are a little messy. This was partly due to my working with handmade paper with multi-directional fibers. I had to go back in with an even sharper & finer blade to clean it up. Even then, some of the edges are not nearly as crisp as they would have been with milled paper.

mbpcover-7.jpg

And here they are! The original laptop with paper that has some geometric forms and the new one with a more organic feel.
I’ll probably make new ones at some point because why not? It’s easy!

mbpcover-8.jpg

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6 responses to “Day006: Laptop Cover (& Tutorial)

  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. That’s cool!! Seen at dudecraft!

  3. when i buy a new one, i know what i will be doing. also, happy belated b-day, and did audrey tell you we met in la — i bought a book and a photograph.

  4. I saw this at dudecraft and love it! Great tutorial.

  5. Thank you all! I’m glad you liked this.

    And Heather – Let me know if you find cheap resources for the shell.

    JP – I’m so happy that you met Audrey & like her stuff! She’s so great. Miss you here in NYC, tho…

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