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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Quasi-Tutorial: Tablet Envelope

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
This folio case for my new tablet was only $5.30 on eBay!
Last November, I turned further to "the dark side" and purchased a tablet.

I don't recall if I've ever shared the fact that those were my husband's words when I bought an eReader... brought on by my disparaging remarks about eReaders in the past. Similar to the circumstances that led me to buy that eReader two years ago, however — it was almost free — this was pretty much a forced sale as I really couldn't see how I was expected to pass up the deal.

One of our national drug store chains held a "bonus" point redemption event, enabling me to redeem points (normally worth $85) for $100 towards an 8" Acer Android tablet that was on sale — that day only — for $129. That deal alone wouldn't have convinced me, but for that same one day only, the store was also giving away a $50 gift card with the purchase. And it wasn't a "limited time" or "minimum purchase"special gift card; it was a regular gift card for use whenever, for whatever! (Oh, and using the gift card in future would result in the accumulation of more points.)

So you tell me: was this a deal to be passed up?

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Anyway, my first thought after bringing this tablet home was that I needed to make a slip case for it. Then I suddenly remembered what stopped me in my tracks a couple of years ago when I didn't end up making something similar for my eReader.

Folks on eBay sell custom folio style cases for dirt cheap! Ten minutes after starting my search, I had that green case ordered. (And even though it came from the other side of the world, it took less than three weeks to get to me, during the busy month of December.) It opens up like a book, allows for the tablet to be set at two different angles for viewing or typing and fits like a glove; it was made for this particular unit.

After getting it, though, I decided that I still wanted something to protect the entire unit for travel purposes. And I had just the "stuff" to recycle as the required interfacing or padding: a remnant from a melton wool blanket!

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
This is a part of a melton blanket that I trimmed up for my mother...

I didn't want to over-think this little project, since all I was aiming for was a padded envelope with an open edge. Therefore, after taking some simple measurements, I just dove straight into it.

Here are my supplies...
  • some 1" wide ribbon
  • two exterior panels made out of laminated cotton or waxcloth (using either of these for the exterior makes this an easy to clean travel item)
  • a scrap piece of fabric for the lining and
  • the afore-mentioned melton remnant

As soon as I saw this ribbon, I knew it was perfect for this project. First, it's green to match the case. Second, when applied along the edge of the "envelope", it reminds me of the old red/white/blue stripes on a vintage air mail envelope! (The ribbon cost me $1.25, the original 54" x 39" piece of waxcloth was $2 and the remainder was recycled from bedding linens!)

Materials needed: some fabric, a couple pieces of waxcloth, some ribbon and some padding...

The dimensions of my tablet (with the case on) is about 8" x 5.5" and just over a half inch thick.

I started by cutting out a piece of the melton, along with some fabric for the lining, each 10" wide by about 15" high. Then I sewed the melton onto the wrong side of the lining fabric along the two long edges.

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
I folded a seam at the top open edge because my original
plan was to stitch it directly to the exterior panels...

Next, I folded the whole piece in half and clipped together the sides and the top seam to see if the unit would fit.

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
You want the fit to be snug but not too snug...

After confirming that it does fit, I sew up the sides.

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
At this point, I decided that I would use the ribbon along this top edge as well...

Next, I want to secure the exterior pieces, which are the two panels of travel-themed waxcloth.

Turns out I have to go back and unpick the stitches at the top corners, since I want to apply some of the ribbon along the top edge also.

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
Ensure that your ribbon is "sandwiched" evenly so that when you sew, you will secure both sides...

I clip the ribbon and outside panel to the top edge of the lining and sew in place. (Yay — the stitching caught on both sides!) Repeat for the opposite side and trim off any excess ribbon.

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
Check that your panels are even along all edges...

To finish this up, I attach a (continuous) length of ribbon around the other three edges as a binding. (Your fingers will find a way to mitre the corners... or check out the process here from my Wet Wipe Tissue Wallet tutorial.)

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
Again, make sure your ribbon is evenly "half and half" on either side...

Leave some extra ribbon (up to an inch) at the ends to push back inside; this creates neat looking corners.

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
Push the end of the ribbon inside; it will be secured when you sew it up... 

My eBay purchase of generic "wonder clips" is working out like a charm. (I got a set of 36 of them for $2.78!)

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
A very quick project turned around in about an hour!

And there we are: finito! (That wasn't exactly Spanish, but this came to Mexico with me last month... and unlike my waxcloth bucket bag, it survived quite nicely!)

By the way, what do you think of this travel-themed waxcloth? I liked it as soon as I saw it, but also knew that since the pattern elements were so large, it would have limited use. But it works for something like this. (I made a folder out of it that I'll post about soon.)

Padded Tablet Envelope by eSheep Designs
Protected and snug as a bug inside...

I was just thinking: if I sewed the top closed, could I use this as an actual mailer? Wouldn't it be totally unique to receive a gift by mail and have the "container" also be a gift??


  1. What a great little sleeve for your tablet! Thanks for the tutorial! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. That waxcloth is perfect for a sleeve. The use of the ribbon gave the pop of color needed. Never thought of buying the wonder clips on ebay, even if they are generic. Mine are original and they keep breaking on me. Maybe I use them with too much bulk.

  3. I love the fabric! Yeah, large print stuff does have limited use sometimes, but this worked out great. And the ribbon really did top it off. Great deal on the wonder clips. Generic schminaric...whatever works. I use binder clips and clothes pins (when glue doesnt cut it that is!). And the deal on rthe tablet was WOW!

  4. The perfect fabric! The generic clips were a bargain. Much cheaper than Clover clips and I'll bet they're just as good.


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