Padded iPad Sleeve Tutorial

(Note: This tutorial was created for the first generation iPad, but can be adapted for all generations.)

When we were at the Apple store buying my iPad, they had a decent selection of protective cases available, but if you guys know me by now, you know that I had to at least try to make my own before I gave in and bought one.  I quickly went through Plan A and Plan B before I was successful.  So, with you I share my Plan C.

It’s a very simple, quick project to put together.

It’s not so much a case as it is a sleeve.

It fits so snugly that there is no need for any type of closure.  Your iPad won’t be going anywhere.

It’s perfect to throw in your purse for protection against keys, lipsticks, Hot Wheels,  fruity snacks, and melted chocolate.  Please tell me your purse is like mine.  Please?

It’s made using a sturdy home decor fabric on the outside and a fantastically soft flannel on the inside.

It’s cushioned with a nice layer of foam so you don’t have to fret over every bump and booboo.

So, let’s get started.  You’ll need:

Paper to draw out your pattern (I use old wrapping paper with the 1″ grid on the back)

Exterior fabric (I used one from Amy Butler’s August Fields home decor line)

Interior fabric (I’m pampering my iPad with an Amy Butler flannel from her Love line)

Foam for cushion (I used automotive headliner that I got for 50 cents in Hancock’s bargain bin)

Sewing basics (scissors, thread, pins, serger, sewing machine

1.  Cut your pattern piece for your exterior & interior fabrics.  It will be 10.5″ x 8.5″.

2.  Cut your pattern piece for your foam.  It will be 9.5″ x 7.5″.

3.  Using your pattern pieces, cut 2 each of your exterior fabric, interior fabric and foam.

4.  Take one exterior piece and one interior piece and place them wrong sides together.  Serge one of your short ends without cutting the fabric.  Repeat with remaining 2 pieces.

5.  Open up your seam and place a piece of foam inside, leaving 1/4″ between top edge of foam and your seam, and 1/2″ space around the rest of the foam.

6.  Now close your “sandwich” keeping your seam flat and edges even.  Pin through all 3 layers.

7.  Serge 1/4″ around remaining 3 sides.

Repeat with your other exterior/interior/foam.  You should now have 2 “sandwiches”.

8.  Now we’re going to double-decker this thing.  Pin your two “sandwiches” together with your interior sides facing each other.

9.  Serge 1/8″ around 3 sides, leaving one short end open.  Then go back with your regular sewing machine and sew a seam just inside your serged seam to reinforce your sleeve.

You’re done!  Now, this is a tight squeeze, isn’t it?  I decided to make it that way because, A) makes the tutorial simpler 😉 and B) less junk to mess with when I want to get the iPad out of my purse.  However, if you want yours less tight you could expand the width of this case a half inch or so and throw a Velcro or button strap on it.

Let me know if you have any questions!


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  1. says

    You should add this to the OnePrettyThing flicker group. Or somehow let her know about it. It seems like something up her alley.

    • Abbie says

      How did I not know about that site?? It’s lovely. I will send them an email with several different tutorials. Thank you for the suggestion. :)

  2. Zhonn says

    Nice! I’m at the Apple store right now trying it out. Not sure I’ll ever get used to the glass keypad, but at least these old eyes can see the darn thing. Light weight too!

    still too pricey though. dh says maybe with next years return…

  3. Kelly says

    Thanks so much! I just made this and it was super simple. The measurements worked great. Snug as a bug.

  4. Emily says

    Made this in about 30 minutes for my hubby’s ipad – It works perfectly! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  5. says

    Oh I just found you through a google search and I’m going to adapt this to fit a netbook and when my husband gets his iPad I’ll make him a sleeve too. I’m adding you to my reader!

  6. Anne says

    Line the sleeve with a microfibre cloth. We just got our ipad and found that the microfibre does miracles in removing fingerprints. Thanks for the post – I was planning my cover and thought to search for those plans already out there. Yes, my purse is like yours, and my sister’s purse is more so ; )

  7. says

    iPads are certainly becoming more and more popular and these instructions on how to make a sleeve for them is great. The patterns you used are really cool as well. Thank you for this post.

  8. Kathy says

    I love this tutorial. It is so nice!! But I’m having a problem. When I’m serging the pieces with the foam (I actually used some batting), my loopers left large loops. I mean there is a gap between the edge of the loops and the cut fabric. This does not happen when serging without the batting placed between the layers. Is that due to the batting? I never serged with batting before. Would the foam work better because it presses flat when the foot is on it? Has anyone else experienced this?? Thanks.

    • says

      You might try a French seam approach. With right sides together, stitch outer fabric and lining fabric together with a 1/4 inch seam leaving a three inch opening on one of the shorter ends. Turn the piece right side out and topstitch around all edges with a 1/4 inch seam(after whip stitching opening together. Now you have two sides to sew together, sewing around three sides.
      This would work best with quilted fabric. Good luck!

  9. Betty says

    I have a G Tablet, and I’m trying to find a case for it. I like the sleeve, have you made anything like this before??

  10. says

    I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re working with? I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?

  11. Glenrose says

    I whipped up one of these iPad covers yesterday and am so pleased with it! I added a “tab & loop” closure. Thank you for a tried & true pattern!

  12. says

    Thanks for this! I know it’s an old post, but I’ve just made a case for my Kobo reader for traveling. I have a button because I misjudged the width a bit, and added an extra layer of hemmed fabric on one side to create an outside pocket to hold my clip-on light. :)

  13. Jenn says

    Hi! I wanted to make an iPad sleeve for my husband for Father’s Day. I’m new to being crafty but I’ve a natural talent for sewing by hand. My mom has a sewing machine I can borrow I’m just not familiar with the terms. Anyway, to make a short story long, what is a serge? I’m certain I could possibly do it as your instructions are detailed and descriptive and it seems fairly simple. Although I haven’t used a sewing machine in years!

  14. Jeanine says

    Could you tell us, please, what the thickness of your foam was? I tried to use 1/2 inch thick foam, and it was too big. Thank you!

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