You already have a laptop but you don't have enough money to buy it a sleeve. Maybe the case you already have is frayed, has coffee stains, or just doesn't fit the size of your new computer. It's your lucky day: you can make a makeshift cover without spending a lot of money. You only need a cardboard box and some duct tape.
Step 1. Get enough cardboard
The boxes that the reams of paper come in are the ideal size to make a computer sleeve.
Step 2. Take the box apart so that you can flatten it and rest it on your work surface
Method 1 of 3: Make the inner layer
Step 1. Identify the line in the middle of the lid
You can fold the cap in half by joining the shorter sides together or measuring with a ruler.
- Mark the middle line.
Step 2. Mark two points on the sides of the center line
One should be 1 cm (½”) from the middle line, and the other should be 2.5 cm (1”).
Using these points as a reference, draw lines parallel to the one in the middle
Step 3. With the blunt side of a ruler or similar object, mark all the lines
Once you mark the lines, you should be able to fold the cardboard along them easily.
Step 4. Fold the cardboard following the marked lines
Step 5. Lay your computer on the cardboard so that the fold of the cardboard covers one long side of the computer
Step 6. Mark the edges of the computer on the cardboard and remove the computer
Step 7. Mark lines 0.5 cm (¼”) out from the edge of the computer and repeat this step on all sides
Step 8. Cut the excess cardboard 6 cm (2”) from the marked edges so that a wide flap forms around the entire shape of the computer
Mark all those lines
Step 9. Make small cuts at different points to make it easier to fold the cardboard
Step 10. Using masking tape, tape the tabs to the inside of the cardboard
Step 11. Fold the cardboard like a dowel
Step 12. Carefully fold the flaps from the top down
Step 13. Glue the flaps together
Step 14. Set this inner layer aside and start working on the outer layer
Step 15. This is what the inner layer should look like
Method 2 of 3: Make the outer layer
Step 1. Disassemble the base of the box
Step 2. Identify the line in the middle of the box
You can do this by folding the box in half or using a ruler.
Step 3. Draw and mark the middle line and make two lines on each side of the middle one
There should be a gap of approximately 1 cm (½”) between each line. You will have five lines in total: the two on each side and the middle line.
Step 4. Align the inner layer with the outer layer
The "straight marks" on the cardboard of the base box should be perpendicular to those on the cardboard of the lid (this will reinforce the sleeve) and the bottom of the inner layer should coincide with the lines on the "outside".
Step 5. Mark the edges of the inner layer on the cardboard at the bottom of the box
Step 6. Make lines 1 cm (½”) from the inner layer shape and do the same around the entire shape
Step 7. Add a 6 cm (3”) flap on each side of the shape
Step 8. Cut the cardboard along the outside lines
Step 9. Mark the fold lines and make small cuts at the edges of the flaps
Step 10. Glue the excess flaps to the inside of the cardboard
Step 11. Fold the outer layer cardboard like a dowel and glue the short sides leaving the long sides free
Step 12. Place the inner layer inside the outer layer
Step 13. Glue the inner layer to the outer layer on the inside
Step 14. Put your computer in the sleeve
Now you can make the handles.
Method 3 of 3: Ideas for making the handles
Step 1. Make the handle with a braided rope
Make a loop with 2 meters (2 yards) of string. Pass the ends of the string through holes you make in the lapels. Tie the ends of the rope and use the loop as a handle.
Step 2. Make the handle with a knotted bow
Cut a string that is about 1 foot (30 cm) long. Pass the ends of the rope through holes you make in the lapels and tie a knot.
Step 3. Make the handle with a single large loop
Make a loop that is a little bit larger than the cover. Pass the ends of the rope through holes as shown in the image. Spread the rope to open the case and reroll the rope to use as a handle.
Alternative view (the handles are made by passing the rope through holes in the flap):
Step 4. Make the handle using a T-shirt
Sew the hem of a large shirt to close the shirt. Place the sleeve inside the shirt across the neck and use the sleeves as handles.
Step 5. Make the handle using rolled cardboard
Make large flaps on the side that is left open. Roll the flaps to form rolls that you will use as handles. Stick them well.
- Make the outer layer a little larger than the inner layer and place a sheet or two of foam film between the two layers and at the bottom of the cover. Doing so will make the computer more shock-proof.
- The key to success in making this sleeve is measuring and cutting with great care and precision. Careless work will result in a messy cover that will come apart easily.
- You can color or decorate the outer layer of the cover however you like. If you have sealing tape, you can cover the surface to make a sturdy cover. Alternatively, you can cover the outer layer with duct tape to make the case waterproof and scratch resistant.
- All types of cardboard are abrasive, but some are MORE abrasive than others, especially plastic. Unless you want some part of the case to be scratched, take precautions so that does not happen.
- Scissors are pointed tools. Be careful how you use them.
- Some people might laugh at your case or think you're not very stylish, especially in a job interview. This cover is not always the best option.
- The cardboard is not waterproof or shock resistant.