DIY Quilted Laptop Sleeve

Make this simple and stylish laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!I remember when I got my first laptop—I was pretty paranoid about denting or scratching it, but I couldn't find a case cute enough to bring to design classes. Well, none in my price range anyway! (Ah, college student budgets—Some things never change after graduation!) I ended up scoring a great vintage leather briefcase that was the perfect size at the thrift store and bought an ugly foam sleeve for added protection inside the briefcase.

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Well it's been almost ten years since I first stepped foot in college (Yikes!), and my ripped up leather briefcase says I'm ready for something new. I wanted a laptop case that would look more like a fashion accessory this time around. Something cute, compact, and padded. After just about an hour of sewing, I had this great little laptop sleeve, plus the itch to make ten more!

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Materials:
-patterned fabric- I bought one yard of indoor/outdoor upholstery fabric.
-nylon or water resistant material in same yardage
quilt batting
interfacing (medium-weight, sew-in, not fusible)
snap kit
bias tape (I only used one pack, though two are shown.)

-thread

Tools:
-straight pins (quilting pins work the easiest for this project)
-fabric scissors
-sewing machine
-pen (not shown)

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Step One: Cut a piece of your patterned fabric similarly as shown above, being able to wrap all the way around your laptop plus some extra fabric, and also about a two inch border on each side. I cut the end of the fabric into a point, but if you wanted, you could do a different shape or round off the point.

Step Two: Cut out a piece of batting and your lining fabric the same size and shape as your patterned fabric.

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Step Three: Pin together the layers of fabric, sandwiching the batting in between the fabric as shown above. Wrap the pinned layers around your laptop to get a better sense of how it will fit. Trim off excess fabric from the length, leaving about an inch and a half of extra length. Mark where your snaps will line up and then take apart the layers of fabric.

Step Four: Stitch interfacing behind where you marked the points for the snaps. Cut out the slits that you marked in the above step (see image 3) and slip the snap through the holes, folding down the tongs of the snap onto the back piece of the snap.

Note: Attaching the snaps might seem intimidating, but is much easier for me than doing zippers, and it's a pretty fast step— really!

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Step Five: After you've added the snaps to the lining and exterior fabric, pin the layers of fabric together again, making sure the right sides of the fabric (with the snaps) are facing outward.

Step Six: Use the pattern of your fabric as a guide to sew quilt lines across the width of your fabric. If you don't have a horizontal pattern to follow, you will want to sketch lines with a fabric pencil as I did in this quilted project.

Note: This quilting step will secure the batting which pads your laptop sleeve, and it also adds to the style of the case. You could technically skip this step, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Step Seven: Now that your layers are all connected from the quilting lines, you'll want to trim away the excess fabric. I left about 3/4" on either side of the laptop, but trimmed up the length of the fabric so that it stopped right at the top of the laptop. See the image above for a reference.

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Step Eight: Pin a strip of bias tape to the flat end of the fabric layers (opposite of the pointed end).

Step Nine: Stitch the bias tape, pulling away the pins as you go along. Keep your needle very close to the inside edge of the bias tape.

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!Step Ten: Fold the laptop sleeve as shown above, making sure the pocket of the laptop sleeve fits the laptop perfectly. Pin the edges into place, then stitch them together. Make sure you keep the stitching pretty close to the edge of the fabric. The bias tape needs to cover the stitches.

Step Eleven: Pin bias tape all around the sides and flap of the laptop sleeve, covering the stitching from the previous step. The bias tape can bend around curves, but at the points and ends, you'll need to trim it, leaving about a half inch overhang to flip underneath before stitching the tape into place.

Make this simple and fashionable laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!I know the directions can get a little wordy, which might be intimidating, but anyone with beginner sewing skills should be able to just look at the pictures to see what to do. If you need more in-depth visuals on the snap part of the process, check out this purse project I shared recently.

Make this simple and stylish laptop sleeve- it's even padded and water resistant!I'm really pleased with how this laptop sleeve turned out! I'll probably spray it with Scotchgard for added protection when the weather warms up (man, those fumes!), but for now at least I know it's a bit water resistant with the nylon lining. Peace of mind for your prized technology and a fashion statement! Not too bad for an hour with my sewing machine, eh? –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

  • Hats off to a great tutorial & thanks for sharing! I used bat for quite sometime, but have switched to foam; I like its feel, plus I find it a better protector between the 2 fabrics…..just my opinion. I’ve made several of these, in different sizes & shapes; love them all; always eager to learn more & your blog is very enjoyable……….Thank You for sharing!!

  • I’m sorry, I didn’t take any pictures of details for the bias tape. But at the ends, you just turn onto the sides when pinning it into place, so when you stitch it, there are no raw edges showing. Hope that helps! Next time I will show some closer-up photos of these types of details. -Mandi

  • The girl in the picture is actually my friend Kara, who isn’t affiliated with A Beautiful Mess at all. I can safely say she didn’t make her hat herself, though that’s not to say a friend didn’t make it for her! My bet is she got it from a store, though. 🙂 -Mandi

  • OMG THIS IS AWESOME.
    How is this possible?
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    мαкє ¢σмρυтєя вαg ƒяσм αвм
    υѕє ¢σмρυтєя вαg ƒяσм αвм
    gєт α ℓαρтσρ

  • Wow yours looks beautiful and I love this idea of making your own! Definitely going to attempt this as saw some really pretty fabric in Hobbycraft the other day!

  • This is rad and beyond useful! And I’m dying to know about the hat you are wearing. Did you make it or can I snag it someplace?

  • This is so awesome! I think I would make it and just use it as a really cute clutch 😛

    Latest post: Ready for Spring – Pastel Tibi & Destroyed Denim

  • Great idea! I’d love to try this, but was a little unsure of some of the bias tape directions. Do you have any posts with any close up pictures on this?

  • Oooohhyeaaahh! What a wonderful idea guys! LOTS better than my boring black laptop sleeve 🙂

  • This is great! I have been needing to sew myself something like this for my new macbook air. Love this, you guys are always one step ahead of me, and I’m so grateful haha xoxo

  • Love the detailed tutorial and the laptop sleeve is really pretty.
    I shared this on my site.

  • I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant, and am a bit shy about modeling in my projects because of my distracting bump. So I had a friend of mine, Kara, model for me. She doesn’t have a blog, or I’d link to it for ya. 🙂 -Mandi

  • Oh my gosh! Yeah! Duh— I’d forgotten all about that episode. Of course, the magnet they used was way bigger! 😉 -Mandi

  • I’ve always wanted to have a personalized laptop bag, now I know how to make one! Is it possible to add a strap or handle to make it easier to carry or is the material not strong enough? Can’t wait to give this a try.

    Juju
    http://www.jujusprinkles.com

  • great! thanks! i think i’ve just watched that episode of breaking bad too many times.. haha.

  • The batting on the inside is a good idea for that extra bit of protection! I’ve had my macbook for a few years now and I’ve avoided purchasing a case because the nice, good quality ones are so expensive, but this DIY seems affordable and practical.

    M.

  • Reminds me on the seventies – very bluna:-)

    www.leuchtend-grau.de

  • Oh, also I just did some reading about magnetic clasps in laptop cases, and found this forum which might be helpful. http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/are-bags-with-magnetic-flaps-dangerous-for-laptops.475963/ “We’ve been over this many times here at NBR. A magnetic clasp will NOT damage your HDD. Again, there is a large neodymium magnet INSIDE your HDD which is many times stronger than the ferrous magnets commonly found on clasps. http://www.pcworld.com/article/116572/busting_the_biggest_pc_myths.html”

    -Mandi

  • Hi Julie! This is such a smart observation, I feel pretty silly I didn’t think of it. I just frantically grabbed the scrap fabric, batting, and an extra magnetic snap (the same one linked to in this post) and tested out the insulative properties and how it would affect the strength of the magnet in the snap. I layered the fabric and batting the same they are layered in this laptop sleeve, and held each side of the magnet snap on either side of the fabric/batting layer. Their magnetic pull was deadened by the insulation of the batting and fabric layers, so I don’t see the magnet being an issue for the laptop, since both sides of the snap are on the outside of the laptop sleeve. This test was done using the exact snap linked to in the post, though, so if someone uses a stronger snap (not sure if they even sell stronger snaps at fabric stores, though) I wouldn’t be able to say for sure if it would be a concern.

    I did consider using a stitch-on snap without magnetic properties, simply because they are less complicated to attach. Though for ease of use, I really hate those guys and worry about them pulling at my stitches or the fabric as the snap is undone so frequently. I love the ease of a magnetic snap. -Mandi

  • I love the orange, so bright and cheerful.
    also, those are some rad tats!

  • are magnetic snaps safe to use on laptop sleeves?? i know it’s not an enormous magnet, but i think a regular snap would be a safer option, no?

  • Yes!!! I have been wanting more sewing tutorial from you all and this is what I’ve got! So excited! Thanks so much for sharing this. xx

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