Make you own: Nexus 7 or Kindle case

6.4.14 - 20:00

Once upon a time I was looking for a cover for my Nexus 7 tablet. I came across the 'Alano' made by Portenzo. I like that it looks like a notebook (rather than something expensive) yet would still protect the device from scratches and bumps. What I didn't like was the price. I'm not about to pay £70 to protect a tablet worth £150. Even if it is pretty.

So I made my own using some easy book-binding techniques. It's held up rather well so I thought I'd share the process with you. 

It's not a replica - it's just a basic cover made mostly from things you probably have around the house if you're into crafting. You could use it to make a case for almost any tablet or e-reader. 

How it works

It's basically like a hardback book. The covers are held closed by a piece of elastic which is attached to the back. The device is held inside with sticky pads like the HARDcover DODOCase (I thought this was the easiest way to go since the the Portenzo case has a carved wooden surround!). Another option would be to make elastic corners to hold it in place.

What you'll need:

- Book board or the back of a good sketch book (A4)
- Fabric (a fat quarter is plenty) or book cloth (This fabric is curtain material from a sample book but you can use whatever you like. I used patchwork fabric for the first one I made.)
- Scrapbook paper (12x12)
- Wide flat elastic, about 25cm (I've used ribbon in these photos so you can see it more clearly)
- Restickable tabs (I got these at WH Smiths)
- PVA glue
- Ruler
- Pen
- Scissors
- Craft knife & cutting mat


First off, take you piece of board and measure out the front and back covers. Make sure there is a bit of a border to protect the edges of your device. (For my Nexus 7 I found that the width of the A4 board was about right for the height.) 
Using the same height measurement, also cut a 'spine' for your case.  Make sure it's thicker than the fattest part of your tablet - probably around 1 to 1.5 cm. (According to the specs - the Nexus is 10.45mm thick.) 

Remember: measure twice cut once!

Next we need to think about the elastic. It will come out of the back cover at the top and bottom and be secured underneath the coverings. The elastic needs to be long enough to fit around the device and both covers - it has to be tight enough to hold everything together but have enough ease so that you can easily open it. 

Mark out where you need to cut the slots. These are 2cm in from the sides and 1.5cm down from the top. The width will depend on your elastic, it's 1cm across in this image. Make sure the elastic fits through the slot, I found using the back of my knife to 'thread' it through worked well.

Lay out your boards on your fabric. You'll need about 2.5cm around each side. 
Remember: the front cover will be the image on the right hand side of your fabric. Try sticking it down with a bit of washi/masking tape and folding it round, you'll see what I mean.

When you are happy with the placement, cut off the corners. Not flush to the edge of the board though, if you leave a bit you can make a nice fold and get a neater corner.

Now you are ready to glue on your fabric. Make sure you leave 3-5mm between each cover and the spine so that it will close. You'll need to move pretty quickly with the glue of else it will dry out before the boards are attached. Pull the fabric around the sides and fold the corners in. Once it's dried out a bit, re-cut the elastic slots through the fabric. 

Then poke one end of the elastic through each slot. Glue (and tape) the ends down securely.

Next is the inside covers. Measure your paper so that it fits inside the covers with a small border.

Once again - work quickly to completely cover the paper with a layer of glue and stick it firmly in place. Take a smooth rounded object like the end of a pen (or a bone folder if you have one) and run it up and down the gaps next to the spine to create a groove. Gently fold it over. It may take a little coaxing.

Attach six sticky pads to the back of your device. They are removable, reuseable and if they get grubby you can wash them under the tap to get them sticking again. Genius. I was a little unsure whether they would hold, but they are fine. If you want re-assurance, the pack says that 4 pads will hold 450g - the Nexus 7 only weighs 340g. And we are using 6.
Place your device on the inside cover of your case and press down gently.   

That's it. Done. It won't last forever, but then you can make another one with a different look.