Sewing for iPad: a DIY hard case

A while back a good friend bought my iPad, and in turn I used the money to buy a better iPad. (Oh, those cruel masters at Apple…) I sent my beloved, discontinued iPad case off with my friend, because iPads just shouldn’t be naked.

Here’s the thing, though: when I want to buy a new case for my phone, or my iPad, or pretty much any accessory, I obsess over it. I spend hours on Google and Amazon and lots of other stores. It’s really sad. This time, I couldn’t find anything in my price range that I liked. However, the generic knockoff case I’d loved so much still existed, in a very pretty color.


iPad case

Robin’s egg blue! Very trendy.

This case, while not about to win any awards for attention to detail or premium materials, served me really well in its previous incarnation. And it was less than $10! (It’s available here on Amazon.) The only problem was the very blank, very snoozeworthy front. I decided that for $8 I could afford to go all Frankenstein on the thing.

After it finished off-gassing (and boy, did it stink) I went to town with a couple fat quarters. First, some hand-stitched applique:

Applique bird

I’m not going to win any awards for attention to detail, either.

Then, some measuring, re-measuring, sewing, re-sewing, et cetera.

iPad cover in progress

mmmm, flowery.

Then: glue! I used spray adhesive, which was apparently the wrong sort. While the fabric stayed in place okay, the edges could peel right off.  Clearly I needed some overkill in the form of Aleene’s Super Fabric Adhesive. This holds like a rock but is not ideal – I’ll get into that later!

Here’s the finished product:

iPad cover: front

Yes, I put a bird on it.

iPad cover: back

I love the two-color look I got!

The biggest side benefit to this cover: People are much less likely to steal it because at first glance it looks like a notebook!

A few weeks later, my husband hopped on the iPad bandwagon as well. His iPad has been going around naked, which just drove me nuts. Fortunately, this case comes in a ton of colors. Time to stitch again!

Monogrammed iPad cover

This time with MONOGRAM!

For this case I used a warm tan linen and embroidered a monogram. I am not entirely satisfied with said monogram, but that’s okay.

This is where I had problems with the Super Fabric Adhesive. I outlined the case with glue and used a brayer to stick the fabric down, but since the linen is a looser weave, the glue seeped through in some places. Fortunately it’s not too visible now that it’s dry, but if you look under the “L” in the monogram you can see a dirty-looking spot where it happened. Booo!!

The other problem I had with this second case was that it was a slightly different design than the first case – the cover is more substantial on the back. It looks fine, but I discovered the way it hinges is different than my first case, and so the fabric isn’t stuck all the way down! D: It is only noticeable when you put the case up like a stand (as seen on the left in the image at the top of this post). Fortunately it doesn’t seem to make a difference to my husband, especially because he doesn’t usually use the case as a stand.

So, dear readers: are you ready to DIY the crap out of your various cases? Because I’m about to COVER EVERYTHING. Each of these projects cost less than $20 and I get a TON of compliments. Go forth and glue!

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