I’ve been looking for an iPad case since mine arrived on April 3rd, but the ones I like are all easily over $60. I think that’s pretty ridiculous so I decided to make my own using felt. My total cost was $25!
Here is what you need:
- a sewing machine & thread
- rotary cutter and cutting board (or scissors)
- 11″ x 18″ piece of 3mm felt
- 18″ ruler
- fasteners (if desired)
I chose 3mm felt for a few reasons. The main one being that it’s thick enough to provide protection, but it also doesn’t require edge finishing which makes it easy to use. I bought an 18″ square piece of 3mm felt from FilzFelt on Etsy for $23 shipped and it comes in lots of colors.
The dimensions of an iPad are 9.56″x7.47″0.5″. This case is going to have a pocket that is 9.75″x7.75″, which allows the iPad to fit snugly in the case without it being impossible to get in or out.
The first step is to take your piece of felt and cut it so that you have a piece that is 11″ by 18″ inches. The best way to cut felt is using a cutting pad and a rotary cutter. Hold a ruler against the felt and run the cutter along it for a clean, straight cut. I use the markings on the cutting pad to align the felt and my ruler.
Then take your 11″x18″ piece and cut it in half into two 11″x9″ pieces.These pieces are slightly larger than the finished case will be, as we will be trimming 1/4″ off each edge after it is sewn to make sure the edges are even.
Pin the two pieces together, matching the edges.
Sew across both long edges and one short edges using a 5/8″ seam allowance. You should use a heavy duty needle to sew felt, and you may need to adjust your pressure foot tension due to the thickness.
Try out the case with your iPad then adjust the seams if necessary. I think ideally the case should need to stretch a little around the iPad to hold it securely, but not be difficult to get it into the case.
Once you are happy with the case, take your rotary cutter and trim 1/4″ off the 3 seam allowances. This leaves you with a 3/8″ seam allowance and a perfect edge.
Trim the excess thread and you have a basic iPad case!
You may also want to add a fastener for extra protection, although I don’t think this is strictly necessary. I added one to mine more for looks than functionality. I used a nifty copper buckle, but you could also use a variety of fasteners including a button. For most of these you will want to cut a 1″ or so wide strip of felt and sew it to your 9×11″ piece before you sew the 2 main piece together. You can do it afterwords, but I know from experience that it’s a pain. Just be careful that your fastener does put anything on the inside of the case that might scratch your iPad. For this reason I’d avoid snaps unless they are sew in ones.
Thread Color: It is somewhat tricky to sew a perfectly straight seam with something this thick. So you may want to use a thread that blends with your felt so that any not-so-perfect seams aren’t so obvious. I used copper thread for mine, but if I did it again I’d try either plum or black.
Folded Edge: You might be thinking, why did she sew both side seams instead of just folding it in half? I think 3mm felt is to thick to make a nice crisp fold, so chose to have a sewn edge instead of a folded one. You can adjust the pattern, removing 1 1/4″ from the 18″ width if you want to fold instead of sew.