January 25, 2013

My DIY iPad Case is a Real Pageturner

We finally got an iPad. And it was free, which is probably the only reason we got it. You see, unlike the hoards of early adopters that camp out in line for days prior to the launch of a new Apple product, I'm more of a "I want to see how this thing pans out" kind of guy. You know...let Apple get the glitches out, then reluctantly hop on board, while simultaneously secretly hating myself for joining a global product trend.

I held out for as long as I could, but, when you have a small child, an iPad is a "don't-leave-home-without-it" type of addition to the baby emergency kit. When you're trying to finish dinner at a restaurant (or home, even), and Campbell is trying to grab a handful of your mashed potatoes so she can rub them in her eyeballs, it makes for a convenient distraction. Just fire up that cartoon animal app and she is good to go. I mean, sure, it plays songs that make you want to shoot yourself in the neck, then reload and fire again for good measure, but it's a small price to pay for a little "me" time, I say.

So, my sister upgraded her iPad and gave us her 1st generation. Campbell then proceeded to treat the iPad like Bobby Brown treated Whitney Houston. She beat that thing like it was her job. Guess it was time to get a case...

I already knew the type of case I wanted - a book. Something like this:

Taking the idea train to Googleville, I found some cases I liked, but there were a few problems. The cheapest one I could find in the style i liked was $60, but I told myself it was worth it. However, after reading through the customer reviews (something I always do when buying a new product), I found a disturbing trend - it breaks easily. No thanks, I'll see what I can come up with on my own. 

If you search for "make your own iPad book case," you will run across quite a few sites that show you how to convert an old hard cover book into a case for your iPad - like this one.

Hold it right there, chief. You mean I'm supposed to individually cut the shape of an iPad out of 300 pages (a few at a time) then go back and glue EVERY SINGLE PAGE to the next? I dunno...what do you think, bronchitis lady?

My thoughts exactly. So...I found this book at an estate sale for $2 and tore every single page out at the binding using a box cutter. It took less than 5 minutes.

Then I traced the iPad (face down) on a scrap piece of 1"x8" whitewood, used a jigsaw to cut it out and a Dremel rotary tool to sand the cut down.

I threw some construction adhesive on the inside of the back cover and clamped it down to dry.

The ribbon was a nice classy touch, me thinks. Not only does it look like a bookmark, but it also doubles as a way to pull the iPad out of the case because it's pretty snug.

The elastic strap was added to help keep the whole thing closed when I don't want to listen to that godawful music it's not in use. I attached the ribbon with construction adhesive and poked a hole through the back cover and tied a knot in the elastic to keep it in place.

UNEXPECTED BONUS: After staining the wood part and wiping off the access, the grains in the wood ended up looking sort of like old, weathered book pages.

I love it when a plan comes together.