DIY Macbook Pro Laptop Sleeve

After much debate I recently purchased a Macbook Pro and not an iPad.  For my last laptop, I had a case made out of orange/yellow velour by C.  It was wonderful, but unfortunately a totally different shape than my current Macbook Pro.  So while I was at the fabric store searching for felt to repair the light seals on my Yashica TLR, I picked up some very thick yellow felt.  I’d never seen felt like this before, it seemed just perfect for laptop sleeve as it had a bit of padding to it.  I grabbed some velcro and some thick yellow thread while I was there as well.

Once home I measured out my dimensions and used a rotary cutter and a self healing mat to make the cuts.  I decided to you a carpentry square as it was the right length, however it was hard to keep it from slipping on the felt.  If you’ve never used a rotary cutter before, let me tell you, this is a great invention. So much easier than cutting straight lines with a pair of scissors.

I decided to make the case open on the end instead of on the side like most laptop cases. I figured this way it would be easier to plug it in for charging without taking it out of the case.  All the seams were sewn by hand and then a couple of pieces of velcro were used to keep it shut.

Overall I’m quite happy with this project. The only issue is that the velcro sticks to the felt if you aren’t careful. Besides that, I highly recommend the felt, I may use it to make a camera case or two for some of my thrift store cameras

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DIY CD Case Calendar

Well, Christmas rolled around and being one who hates consumerism and wasteful gifts that people won’t even use, I had to think of a present for some close friends.  While I make books for my family members, this gets costly so I was more interested in a lower cost item that still involved some DIY and photography of course.

I stumbled across Shutter Sisters and their super cool CD case calendars.  I loved the idea and I had a box of old CD jewel cases lying around so it was right up my alley as the cases were likely headed to the recycling depot.  The one thing I didn’t like about their calendars is that although they fit perfectly in the jewel cases, you could only print one month per page on a 8.5×11 sheet of photo paper, what an enormous waste of paper!!!  I rejigged it to fit 4 months on each sheet which still wasted some paper but only a marginal amount.  They end up being the correct width but slightly shorter than the case (a small trade-off for a huge paper savings!)

To create the calendars, I imported pictures into InDesign and typed in the dates underneath each month.  I kept them very plain and denoted holidays/weekends by using red instead of black text.  To make the cases stand up on their own you need to file off a small part of the case by the hinge. This was very easy to do with a small nail file or an exacto knife.

The calendars were very well received and will hopefully be adorning the receiver’s desks this year!