DIY Felt & Leather Laptop Sleeve

I recently started commuting to the office with a laptop. While having a laptop is fantastic for working remote, the actual commuting with the laptop was a bit of a pain. I was hauling it in a thin nylon sleeve, in a laptop backpack. If you have ever tried to ride a crowded subway with a backpack, you will know that it sucks. You have to remove your backpack (otherwise you hit poor strangers with it). This leaves you holding onto it. If you are a girl like me, you will also be holding onto a purse...and a coffee. This leaves me with one hand carrying a backpack, with my purse tucked under that same arm, and my coffee in the other hand. That leaves me exactly no hands to hold onto the subway pole. A week of this, and I almost tossed hot coffee onto innocent strangers and/or almost fell on my ass at least twice.

Sick of arriving at the office with coffee on myself, I took matters into my own hands and created a simple felt laptop sleeve.

Felt Laptop Sleeve

This felt sleeve offers a ton of protection to my MacBook, and allows me to toss it into a large purse for commuting to the office and client meetings. No more laptop bag or backpack!

felt laptop sleeve

Here is how I did it:

I have the 13" MacBook Air. I took a few measurements, and decided a 14" one piece tri-fold sleeve, with 1/4" hems on either side. This would allow for easy laptop removal, but still keep my laptop nice and snug. I got some some 3/8" industrial felt online from The Felt Store. I have never seen thick felt like this in fabric stores, so your best bet is to buy it online and have it shipped. I took a large framing square from my workshop (this may be a woodworking tool, but it is super helpful for sewing, leather crafting etc.) and squared up my piece of felt on two sides. (if you don't start with a nice square straight piece, you will have a heck of a time marking out your pattern.)

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I marked out a 14" x 25" rectangle on the felt using my square and a fine tipped felt marker. Using my big sharp sewing sheers, I used long smooth cuts, and cut out my piece of felt.

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I wanted to add in a little hand hold for easy laptop removal. I marked a 3" wide and 1" deep notch into one end of the felt (on one of the short sides). I offset it to one side. Rather than having square corners for the notch, I used a small circle object (a pod from my Nespresso machine!) to trace a rounded corner. Using the sharp scissors again, I cut out the notch.

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Using a larger round object (this time a drinking glass) I rounded the corners on the other short side of the felt, which will be the top flap.

I top stitched around the short side with the notch. Using my sewing foot as a guide, I top stitched 1/4" in with grey upholstery thread, making sure to lift my foot at the 90 degree corners, and going slowly around the curves. I then continued to top stitch around the entire piece.

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Next, I folded the notched end up 9", and using binder clips, holding the folded end to the rest of the felt so it makes a pocket. I topstitched with the same 1/4" seam down the side of the folded pocket, moving the binder clips as needed.

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I did the same for the other side, and the felt sleeve is now complete!

DIY Felt Laptop sleeve

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For closure, you could install a few buttons, snaps or buckles. I oped for a simple strip of leather tied in a knot. I purchased some scrap leather, and cut a strip roughly 1/2" wide by 26" long.

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I cut the ends to a point on one end, and an inverse point at the other, and tied it around the sleeve.

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Felt laptop sleeve

felt laptop sleeve

Not too shabby for a half hours work. What do you think?

 

SOURCE INFO:

Materials:
Industrial felt - 3/8" thick - The Felt Store www.thefeltstore.com
Scrap leather - Designer Fabrics

Cut List: (for 13" Apple MacBook Air)
14" x 25" piece of 3/8" thick felt1/2" x 26" piece of leather

Tools:
Scissors
Measuring Tape
Square
Marker
Round objects (thread spool, cup etc.)
Thread

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

one out of five

 

Total Cost: $25

 

Disclosure: The Felt Store sent me a sample of their felt, with no obligation or compensation to post about it. As always, all opinions, typos and overuses of the word "awesome" are my own.

 

 

6 Responses

  1. Very nice! How is this sleeve holding up since you made it, now that it's been a few years?
    • El Granto
      It's still in use and holding up quite well! A little dirtier than when it was new and definitely worn in but not looking shabby or anything.
  2. Can you tell me what kind of felt you ordered? The Felt Store has them listed by F-10, F-26, etc as well as by thickness. Some are quite industrial so I wanted to get one that felt nice.
  3. this is beautiful. thank you for sharing this! quick question about the leather - did you secure it anywhere on the case or is it just wrapped around the laptop?
  4. You should totally be selling these!!! I would buy!!!
  5. Love it! Now if only someone would be me a new laptop.....

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