After spending an arm and a leg on my new laptop, I knew I still needed a case. I wanted something really cool to go with my new baby, but naturally didn’t want to spend much more… so I made this DIY laptop sleeve exactly how I wanted it to look… Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Obviously, this DIY laptop sleeve is not meant to be a life-proof protective case. It’s just a splash/scratch protector, that allows me to toss it in the diaper bag or leave it on the kitchen counter, without it catching all of life’s happenings on it. If I drop it in this case it will most likely break.
That’s also why I didn’t add a strap to it – I don’t want to be tempted to travel with it as-is. I anyway don’t like having a separate bag for my laptop – I like to toss it into whichever larger bag I’m bringing along (be it a large tote or hand-luggage) , and it’s perfect for that.
I recently invested in this tablet/laptop hybrid that I am in LOVE with. It allows me to hand-draw my coloring pages digitally (if that makes sense).
Meaning, I can still give it that hand-drawn look – no computer-rendered shapes – but since it’s drawn right in it saves me time from digitizing it later.
I also wanted to get more done on the go, and this laptop is super portable and lightweight for the screen size.
Anyway, as I mentioned, I’d rather invest in some craft supplies that can take me far (plus, I can have exactly the case I want…) I also happened to have had some fabric left over from projects that I knew would be fantastic combined in a DIY laptop sleeve.
For the lining, I used some white fleece – it’s thick and soft, so it’s perfect for this purpose. Plus, it’s cheap, and since you only need a little, the leftovers are very versatile.
The main body, I made using this fabric. Fabric.com sent it to me a while ago to make some window treatments that I was hoping to share with you, but the project failed. So I used it for this DIY laptop sleeve.
The trim was also sent to me by Fabric.com for the windows.
And finally, the beautiful brown leatherette that you see, with the patchwork texture was first used in this project, but I had about a foot left over.
I did NOT create a pattern for this DIY laptop sleeve because it’s too simple a shape to really need that, and every laptop has different dimensions and thicknesses. Like this, you can use my tutorial to make a sleeve for any device – including tablets and phones.
Also, I have no clue how to make a proper pattern…
What you need to make a DIY laptop sleeve:
Remnants or half a yard of the following fabrics – you’ll have plenty left over for more projects:
- A main fabric – I used a linen blend
- An accent fabric, I used this leatherette
- Trim – I used a stunning cotton lace
Supplies and equipment:
- Sewing machine – if you don’t own one yet, I wrote a post on what is the best sewing machine for beginner sewers
- I used fabric glue for some parts
- Fabric shears and detail scissors
- Iron on hemming tape and an iron (optional)
- A ruler and something to mark on dark fabric with.
- A set of Velcro squares
How to make a DIY Laptop Sleeve:
1. Fold your fleece around your device to measure the size you need.
2. Cut it to size, leaving plenty of seam allowance (I think I left about an inch on each side). Err on the side of caution with cutting – when you pin it you’ll resize.
3. Measure your fleece against your main fabric, leaving about a cm on the two sides that correspond to the long side of your laptop (this will be your open side.)
4. Fold over the main fabric on one side, pin and then sew it in place. I made sure to use a dark thread here so that you can see my stitches (even though it shows on my final project…)
5. On the second side, just sew the fleece to the main fabric without folding it over. You want the linen to overhang a little so that you can attach your cover flap. Fold the two pieces of fabric in half.
6. Now is when you will size the width of your case. Slip your laptop in, pin the two sides in place, and sew them down.
7. Well, apparently I wasn’t spot-on with my measurements, and I ended up with a diagonal base. Even if you weren’t clumsy like me, you may need to resize it if you were generous with your sizing to begin with. Place your laptop on top of your case-in-progress, and pin or mark where you really want that seam to be.
Sew it and trim. I trimmed all my seams, since I left a generous allowance.
8. Flip your DIY laptop sleeve inside out. Your laptop should go in easily without too much wiggle room (but just enough to stash the charger if you need it…)
9. Time to prep your cover flap! Cut a piece of leatherette vinyl large enough to overlap about a centimeter on the front, and hang about 2.5 inches on the back of your DIY laptop sleeve.
10. Measure about an inch down on the sides, and measure the center point on the bottom. Connect the two side points with the center/bottom point to form the pentagon below.
11. And then cut it out…
12. Trim the overlapping linen fabric that you have ready for the flap to about 1 cm overlap, with triangular corners to fit under your leatherette flap. Apply a generous amount of fabric glue.
13. Glue your flap in place.
14. Measure the placement of your Velcro and glue it on (don’t rely on the adhesive that it comes with.)
15. I decided to add a pocket afterward. If you know the exact placement of it, you can sew it on before you connected any pieces, but since it’s hard to tell without an actual pattern, I just glued mine on afterward. I cut out a pocket shape from another scrap of leatherette and glued it around the edges, leaving the top open.
It’s not REALLY meant to be a functional pocket – it’s more decorative – but I do sometimes clip my Surface pen or slip a USB cable inside.
16. Trim your trim to size (see what I did there?) Cut two strips of hemming tape and sandwich it in between your trim and the bottom of your case. Pin it in place so that it mostly lies on the back, but overlaps a teensy bit on the other side (or however you like it…)
Iron it in place.
I’ll be honest with you, my hemming tape is over 3 years old and didn’t work 100%. I’m not enough of a pro to know if’s because it’s old, or just because the materials weren’t compatible. I supplemented it with bits of fabric glue.
You might want to use fabric glue to begin with, but it can get a bit messy with the open lace.
Once all the glue is 100% dry, your DIY laptop sleeve is ready to use with pride!
Have you ever made a DIY laptop sleeve? Will you be making this one? I’d love to hear your tweaks and design ideas below!