DIY iPad Cover And Stand

I got an iPad finally! And of course the first thing I did was make a cover for it!

I knew exactly what sort of cover I wanted for my iPad: I wanted a cover like a hardcover book. I’ve seen tons of tutorials for cute little pouches for your tech, but I wanted to be able to protect the iPad and use it without having to remove it from the case.

I know you can find cases like that for purchase, but I figured it couldn’t be that hard to make a DIY iPad case, right?

And I was totally correct!

DIY iPad Cover And Stand: Make your own iPad case out of an old binder and some fabric!

I made myself this awesome cover for my iPad in about two hours and it wasn’t too difficult. If you are super crafty and can crank out a dress from scratch in half an hour, then this definitely won’t take you that long! But if, like me, you are not a professional crafter, budget about 1.5 to 2 hours. :-)

The original idea came from Brandon who wrote a post on The Modern Day Pirates about making a Moleskine iPad case, but I made a few modifications because I didn’t want to have to buy professional binding board and I wanted to cover my case in fabric instead of vinyl.

DIY iPad Cover & Stand

In order to make this iPad case yourself you need:


  • an old 3-ring hardcover binder for the backing of the case
  • fabric to cover the outside of the case
  • fabric for the lining the inside
  • Mod Podge
  • craft glue
  • at least 3 feet of 1/2″ elastic
  • a piece of card stock paper, color doesn’t matter
  • one 7/16″ grommet (usually in the fabric/upholstery section of your local craft store, not the paper crafts section)


  • scissors
  • utility knife
  • foam brush
  • a flat head screwdriver or chisel
  • a drill, or other hole-making device to make a hole for the camera
  • a hammer
  • a grommet tool (if you buy grommets they usually come with the tool you need)
  • a pencil
  • a ruler or tape measure

1. Remove the binder boards from your binder.

You’re going to use them to make the hard cover for your iPad. To remove the plastic-y cover of the binder I cut the bottom edge of the plastic off, and then made a Y cut up from the bottom. Then it was easy to just pull the board out.

DIY iPad Cover: Y Cut

Getting the board out from the back of the binder is a little different because (in most binders) the 3 ring contraption is attached to the back board. But it’s actually easier. Just use some super sturdy scissors or a utility knife to cut the entire metal 3 ring piece off of the binder by cutting through the plastic cover and the board itself, and then you can just pull the board out through the cut you’ve already made.

2. Cut the boards to size.

You need a front piece, a back piece, and a skinny piece for the spine. iPads are 9.5″ x 7.25″, so you’ll want your boards a little bigger. Cut out two 8″ x 10″ pieces for the front and back covers, and cut one 3/4″ x 10″ piece for the spine. I found the easiest way to cut the board was by making JM do it with a utility knife :-) But a sturdy pair of scissors will work too.

If you want your corners rounded just trace the iPad corner onto the board and cut that as well. Make sure you only round the two outer corners on the front and back pieces.

3. Cut your fabric to size.

Lay your pieces out on the wrong side of the fabric, leaving about 1 millimeter of space between the boards so that your cover can fold properly. Cut your fabric down to size, leaving about an inch of extra room around all four edges. The edges of your fabric don’t have to be perfect; they will be covered up later by the lining.

DIY iPad Cover: Board Layout

4. Mod Podge the fabric onto your boards.

Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the back of the boards and press them down onto the fabric, exactly the same way they were laid out before. You can use a ruler here to help line the board up straight and to make sure you leave that millimeter of space.

Quick note: make sure you’re using a thin layer of Mod Podge. You don’t want the Mod Podge leaking through the fabric because it will make the cover stick to your table while it’s drying.

To get the fabric to go smoothly over the rounded corners you’ll need to fold the fabric over in a few sections rather than just twice (once for each edge). Think of a folded paper fan…

DIY iPad Cover: Corner

5. Punch slits into the back for the elastic strap.

Once the Mod Podge is dry, turn the case over so the fabric side is up. On the back cover, mark approximately one inch in from the edges on both corners, then punch two slits through with your screwdriver or chisel. You want to punch from the fabric side inwards.

DIY iPad Cover: Slits For Elastic

6. Thread your elastic strap into the cover and attach.

Cut a strip of elastic long enough to wrap entirely around the case from top to bottom. Thread both ends of the elastic through the slits, leaving about one inch of extra elastic on the inside.

DIY iPad Cover: Elastic Strap

Next, size your elastic strip by placing the iPad inside the case and closing it. Wrap the elastic around the front cover to hold it shut and pull the ends of the elastic until the cover is being held snugly closed. Hold the ends of the elastic in place, remove your iPad, and glue the ends down to the inside of the cover.

7. Cut four strips of elastic, size them to hold down the corners of the iPad, and attach them to the card stock.

Exact measurements don’t matter for this part. Take your strips of elastic and attach them to your piece of card stock (I used glue). It will end up looking like the picture below…

DIY iPad Cover: Elastic Holder

Again, exact measurements don’t matter, but I cut my card stock to about 8″ x 6″, and I cut four strips of elastic about 4″ to 5″ long each. Turn your iPad over on its screen and place the card stock in the middle of the back. Wrap a piece of elastic flat around one corner of the iPad, pull it slightly taut, and mark the ends of the elastic strip on the card stock.

Then remove the iPad and glue the ends of that piece of elastic down onto the card stock where they are marked. Wait until the glue is dry, loop the elastic you just glued down around one corner of the iPad, and then measure, mark etc. a piece of elastic for the next corner. Continue gluing elastic, looping it over a corner, and measuring and marking the next corners until all four are done.

8. Attach the card stock and elastic to your case.

Put your iPad into the card stock/elastic contraption and center it inside the cover. Leaving the card stock down against the board (in the exact place where you centered it), carefully remove the iPad and glue the card stock/elastic in place to the binder board.

I didn’t have the iPad in the card stock/elastic bit when I placed it and glued it. I just squared the edges of the card stock to the edges of the cover (as you can see below). As a result my iPad is a bit wonky in the case. Before you glue anything down just be sure that your iPad  is square to the cover, not your card stock.

DIY iPad Cover: Attached Elastic Holder

9. Line the left cover and spine by Mod Podging fabric onto the inside and folding the raw fabric under at the edges/corners.

Open up the cover, lay out your inside fabric, and cut it to size. Leave about a 1/2″ of extra fabric around all four edges. Again, you don’t need to be super precise with your cuts because the raw edges won’t show.

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the entire left cover except for one inch around the edges and press your fabric down.  Then, starting on one edge, fold the raw edge of the fabric under so that just a millimeter of your “outer” fabric shows and Mod Podge the last inch of fabric down onto your board.

For the corners, do them the same way you did the outer fabric corners. Fold the fabric around over itself a few times to make a round corner; the only difference is you are also folding the raw edge under at the same time. (Paper fan, remember?)

DIY iPad Cover: Lining Corner

Once you have both left corners finished, work your way toward the right side of the case, Mod Podging and folding your lining fabric down at the edges. Mod Podge right over the spine and the gaps between the spine and covers just like normal; no special requirements here.

10. Cut slits in the fabric to pass the elastic loops through, then Mod Podge the rest of the lining down.

Lay your fabric over the card stock and elastic and mark with a pencil where your slits need to be. You want enough of your elastic loops poking through the fabric to hold the corners of your iPad down securely, but not so much that the iPad wiggles around (about 3-4″ of elastic, 1.5-2″ once it’s looped). Cut the slits with an exacto knife.

Then continue Mod Podging the lining onto the cover and folding the raw edges under. Poke the elastic loops through your slits when you reach that part of the case and Mod Podge the fabric down over the elastic ends and card stock.

DIY iPad Cover: Elastic Loops

Fold the last two corners of fabric under and you’re done lining the case!

11. Drill a hole in the case for the camera.

Wait for the Mod Podge to dry completely, then put your iPad in the case. Mark where the camera hole should be (estimating a little bit is okay, you can always make a bigger hole than you need to), then pull the iPad out of the cover and drill a hole.

I started with a pretty small hole exactly the size of the camera, but I found when I turned the camera on and looked through the lens that I could see the edges of the hole through the camera. I ended up making a hole about four times as big as the camera so that my pictures didn’t end up with bits of the case showing around the edges.

Then I attached a grommet to make it pretty looking and I was finished!

DIY iPad Cover And Stand: Make your own iPad case out of an old binder and some fabric!

You’re done!

DIY iPad Cover And Stand: Make your own iPad case out of an old binder and some fabric!

DIY iPad Cover And Stand: Make your own iPad case out of an old binder and some fabric!

Besides being a great way to protect the iPad, the cover works great as a stand as well. You can fold it back completely to give the iPad a slight incline, which is great for typing.

DIY iPad Cover And Stand: Make your own iPad case out of an old binder and some fabric!

Or you can stand the iPad up in the stand for watching movies!

DIY iPad Cover And Stand: Make your own iPad case out of an old binder and some fabric!

Overall the cover is totally awesome and I love it! And even though this tutorial is long and detailed, the whole project only took me about two hours and was reasonably simple to do!

You could also do this exact same project except size it for a Kindle or other e-reader if you want. You could also just use the first half of the tutorial (before the card stock and elastic bits) to make a fun cover for pretty much anything. Stick a pocket in your lining and just make yourself a nice folio or something.

Have you made a cover or case for any of your tech? I still need to make myself a cover for my camera strap cuz it’s itchy and gross… And a pouch for my lens cap or I’ll end up losing it one day…


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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about simple, practical projects and ideas to help you love your home, no matter where you live! We just bought our first house, and I'm busy turning it into a home. I want to make sure we love every single square foot of our new home, so I decorate, I craft, I DIY, I build, I organize, I cook… I even garden! Practically Functional is about loving your home and turning it into the perfect place for you, your family, your pets, your hobbies, your work, and everything else you love! Make sure you follow along by RSS or subscribe by email so you don't miss anything!


  1. Great idea, and a very impressively clear and well laid out tutorial! One of the great things about this design is that it’s professional enough to take to meetings, and, as you say, perfect for taking notes. There are so many pretty cases out there, but your’s is definitely the most functional. Mine will be for DH – and I think I’ll follow your lead and choose a predominantly black print. The darkness of it keeps the black elastic from popping out too much. Well done, Hon, on so many levels!

    Oh, just occurred to me: A very thin layer of automotive (?) foam or thin fleece could be place btwn the outside of the cardboard and the covering fabric. This would add a bit of padding and slightly soften the edges, not to mention adding a posh feel to the final product. You are so inspiring! :)

  2. Open > http://imgur.com/fhUNI Closed > http://imgur.com/TPBeA

    Hi Jessi,

    …just finished this today!
    I adapted your tutorial for a Nexus 7 tablet. I am so pleased with the results and wanted to share this with you.
    Thank you so much for providing accurate and easy to follow instructions…this will be a Christmas present by the way.

  3. It looks great, I guess you can apply the same principle to other gadgets too like phone covers, kindle cases and of course generic tablets..

  4. I’ve a question for all who have made/used these cases. Does the elastic hold the ipad well? Will it keep the ipad secure (under normal circumstances… although I do have a 6 year old brother so…) . I really like the idea of making my own case, but I just wasn’t sure about the way it’s secured to the case. In the past all my family members have used a case the goes completely around the ipad then tucks under and velcroes (or uses a magnet).

    • The elastic works extremely well for me! The nice thing about using elastic in a case you make yourself is you can choose how tightly you want the iPad held in there. Because you measure the elastic against your iPad before gluing it down you can pull the elastic tighter than you normally would if you are worried about it.

      My iPad lives in this case I made it, and I have never had it slip out. One time one of the four corners slipped out of the elastic, but it was still held in by the other three. Other than that one time, the elastic has been great!

    • Adriana L says:

      Yes, Jessi is right! I made four of these for my 4th graders (9 yrs) to use in my classroom, and they’re great!

  5. I am so happy to have found this. After looking ALL over the internet for a Nook cover that will stand as well that doesn’t cost $40 and that is exactly the right pattern has been really difficult. I am going to the fabric store tomorrow and will pick out the perfect fabric for this and will hopefully have a case by the end of the weekend.. until then I will continue to throw it in a fuzzy sock lol.
    Holly W recently posted..Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

  6. this tutorial is easy to follow, hilarious, and has lots of the features I am looking for. I sew, and will sew mine rather than glue it. But I wanted a hard cover for a kindle, the ability to stand it up, and elastics. Your tutorial has that! I am going to add batting as well, since my daughter wants some padding. Hers gets dropped, so I was thinking of bubble wrap (jk.) I will post photos on my blog when I get it finished, hopefully in a few hours. Thanks!
    Janie Holbrook recently posted..February First

  7. Minnesota Nice says:

    Loved the directions! I covered my case with duct tape instead of fabric. Worked well. (Did reinforce the elastic with glue)

  8. First let me start by saying I LOVE LOVE LOVE this DIY.
    I am not a very crafty person, but this came very easy (of course I took a few shortcuts

  9. Great tutorial. I used faux leather for the exterior and a ribbon instead of elastic for the closure. I’m really proud of the end product. Thanks for sharing!

  10. OMG Thank you!! You have solved a big problem for me! I haven’t been able to find ANY case for my Nextbook 7 that didn’t zip up like a pouch- and wasn’t too big. Now I plan to make this ASAP!! This will solve my problem! Awesome can’t wait!


  1. [...] This iPad cover is a great idea! I don’t own an iPad yet but I’m sure lots of people will find this tutorial very useful indeed! [...]

  2. [...] Jessi’s {Practically Functional} DIY ipad cover & stand [...]

  3. [...] Ipad Cover and Stand by Practically Functional [...]

  4. [...] from Practically Functional has a fantastic how-to post for a DIY iPad cover with a stand. Using an old 3-ring binder, some [...]

  5. [...] from Practically Functional has a fantastic how-to post for a DIY iPad cover with a stand. Using an old 3-ring binder, some [...]

  6. [...] from Practically Functional has a fantastic how-to post for a DIY iPad cover with a stand. Using an old 3-ring binder, some [...]

  7. [...] from Practically Functional has a fantastic how-to post for a DIY iPad cover with a stand. Using an old 3-ring binder, some [...]

  8. [...] discovered Practically Functional’s brilliant tutorial. It is not easy, but it is definitely doable. I did a couple things differently, and I adore how [...]

  9. […] project can be found from the following blog by Jessi at Practically Functional. Jessi breaks down how to make this wonderful DIY project and the materials that you would need in […]

  10. […] you guys made cases for any of your tech/devices? Remember the iPad cover and stand I made out of an old binder last year? That thing is still holding up great and I use it every […]

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