How I Made a Stealth iPad Case

An old book modified into an iPad case

When it came to protecting my iPad, I relied on a cheaply made but extremely reliable leather case. Besides proving my beloved device protection against drops, scratches and spills, my leather case was also great for transporting my iPad. It made my iPad easy to carry and more importantly, it didn’t make it  obvious that I was carrying one. From a distance, the leather case just looked like a portfolio. One day I was perusing through ebay for cheap Smart Covers and came across one ending very soon. I placed a bid at the last second and ended up with a brand new Smart Cover for just over 4 dollars. When it arrived I snapped it on and instantly fell in love with it. I placed the leather case in the drawer that time forgot and started life anew with my Smart Cover. As I was walking to the office the next day, I immediately noticed two things; the iPad by itself did not sit securely in my hand and nothing gets you more stares from questionable people than carrying an expensive electronic device in your hand, outside, across long distances. This was a problem and since my motto has always been “if there was a problem, yo I’ll solve it,” and that’s exactly what I did.

I wanted to make something that would conceal and protect my iPad without having to remove the smart cover. In my research, I found a tutorial at Instructables.com on turning a hardcover book into an iPad case. I decided to go this route and found a vintage book that I would be proud to carry around. While the book cover itself was in good condition, the binding and pages were not and I wasn’t able to follow the steps explained in the tutorial so I had to improvise. I ended up removing the pages and binding from the cover, then using a piece of 3/4 inch decorative trim cut to the length of the book, I adhered and clamped it to the cover’s spine for a few minutes until the glue dried. Afterwards I cut more pieces of trim to match the measurements of the book and glued and clamped them to the book as well as the spine, creating a box for the iPad to sit in. At the bottom of the book, I made a slot by affixing two pieces of trim leaving a gap so that I could charge my iPad without removing it from the case. Once box was complete, I cut a piece of felt and adhered it to the bottom of the box.

An inside view of an old book turned into an iPad case

Because of the size of the book and thickness of the trim I used, the iPad fits nicely inside the case. I can even keep a cleaning cloth and stylus inside of the case and everything fits perfectly. The other thing I plan on doing is laying felt or another material across the inside cover of the case to hide the paper and the visible area of the spine.

Here is a quick run down of the materials I used:

  • A hardback book measuring 10.5″ x 8″ x 1″
  • 3/4 inch decorative wood trim (purchased at Lowes in the trim and baseboard isle, about $6 for an 8′ section)
  • Advanced Formula Krazy Glue (made specifically for wood and paper)
  • A sheet of felt (quick warning, applying Advanced Formula Krazy Glue to felt will cause it to smoke I discovered, so use a different adhesive!!)

The tools I used for this projects were a construction knife to remove the binding and paper and small hand clamps to help with the gluing process. All together this project set me back around $20 and about half an hour of my time.

I love this case. It’s sturdy, easy to carry and inconspicuous. Best of all, because of the book I chose, people assume that I have an affinity for old Persian poetry. And anything that helps me seem smarter than I actually am, I’ll take.

 

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One thought on “How I Made a Stealth iPad Case

  • November 30, 2011 at 8:15 am
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    Much like an exquisite books, do good protection

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