Making my own laptop sleeve

Ever since I put in an order for a Framework, I’ve been worried about protecting it. I’m pretty clumsy! But so far I haven’t quite found a laptop sleeve or case that I, personally, have liked. (there’s already a thread for that anyway!)

So I’ve been puttering about designing my own sleeve for my own needs! So I thought I’d do a little development thread, in case anyone else was interested or at least curious?

To start out, goals:

because the laptop itself is over my budget, I’m trying to be cost-effective with it.

also interested in trying to be as eco-friendly as possible with it, to keep with Framework’s values.

protective but not too bulky

11 Likes

Sure did post it before I was ready but I guess I’ll separate this out!

Fabrics I’m mostly good on with one exception, more on that later, but I’ve been stuck on the padding. I’ve been making prototypes out of muslin and scrap fabric and different ideas for padding:

But as you can see, rn it’s pretty bulky! I did find some thick interfacing so I’m going to try that next.

3 Likes

FABRICS:

I have this leftover cotton from a different project that I think will work for the lining, and some gold/yellow spandex (from an unfinished Angelic Layer cosplay of an older sibling from like the mid 00s, if you want an idea of how many boxes I’ve gone through) that I can use for decorative elements!

The big problem is the outer layer. Strong fabrics I have a bunch of, but what’s tripping me up is trying to find something that’s waterproof or water resistant. Most of the fabrics I already own haven’t passed my test (as in, I drop water on it and see if any soaks through).

Buying new fabric is also difficult because most water proof fabrics aren’t eco-friendly, many of them are made from plastics.

I’ve been researching options:

  • recycled polymers or other recycled fabrics such as PTFE
  • waxed canvas
  • fashion industry leftovers (Wherein the fabric itself isn’t eco-friendly but you’re saving it from a landfill)

So far I haven’t decided yet, partly because a lot of these are pricey! So that’s what I’m looking into right now.

6 Likes

This is incredible and I definitely will be following along with this process. So, please keep us updated! :orange_heart:

4 Likes

I ordered a custom felt sleeve from https://www.byrdandbelle.com/ back in 2017 for an HP Spectre laptop. I’ve since used the same sleeve with a MacBook Pro, a Lenovo Ideapad 720s, and now the Framework. It’s held up very well.

You can see it peeking out here.

2 Likes

Oooh those are very nice.

Felt’s a good option, I do have some lying around somewhere.

I’m so glad, thank you!!

My only update so far is while I was looking into waxed canvas, I remembered that I do have a bunch of old, cheap painting canvases lying around not being used.

They’re waterproof (and customizable, though probably with paint I already have that isn’t the most eco-friendly but using it is better than letting it dry out).

I also have a different project I’m working on right now that I can repurpose canvas frames for, which solves a different problem.

But l do need to be careful with my sewing machine with that thick canvas. Might need to pick up new needles.

3 Likes

When travel becomes sane again, I have a Scottevest that has a pocket in the back for carrying/hiding an anorexic laptop. This thread has me interested. I would only worry about a weak case not holding up if I sit down on a hard chair and lean back. Having a full wood shop, I am thinking of a couple hardest panel(s) to place around it using felt inside or so. Time to hit the wood shop youtube critters. Not as a case, just inside the pocket.

2 Likes

Speaking of canvas, around here at the coast there are some (tourist)
items being made out of used sailboat sails, tote bags and such.

2 Likes

That sounds like a neat idea! Add a little extra protection.

Oh that’s rad, I like that.

1 Like

Hatching out some rough ideas. Sorry about my handwriting! I don’t want to start cutting out fabric until the laptop is in my hands, just so I can adjust sizing. Especially since I’m going to have to add a little for the padding.

I’m rounding up just to give leeway for mistakes or future laptop skins or fabric thickness. It’s a lot easier to include extra fabric in the seam allowance than add fabric if it’s too small.

Debating between a flap and/or zipper - I like being able to fold it out but finding a zipper that would fit might be tricky.

3 Likes

In the meantime, trying out something for padding:

Basted on the thick interfacing I found and on top of that: fake fur that I’m never gonna use. Unorthodox, but it seems to work.

It’s less bulky than my previous attempts and squishes well. Still thicker than some sleeves but not like carrying around a pillow.

If I do some quilting on it, I think it should make air pockets that’ll work well for shock absorbtion. If I take some of the stuffing I have and fill out the corners I think that should work.

I really can’t emphasize how clumsy I am enough.

5 Likes

This is great! I’m looking forward to seeing the result.

3 Likes

Didn’t work on it much today but I have been looking at my paint/colour options if I go with the artist canvas upcyling. Normally I prefer paper, which is why these canvases are largely unused. I was experimenting earlier this year with spray painting canvas -

Left with the wings is silver spray paint on an acrylic background, right is spray paint on spray paint with the canvas peeking through (wax was involved).

Small strip between them is acrylic ink, which I was testing since I usually use it with paper. It binds fine, and it’s thin enough to bend without cracks but any paint splatter or stains show through (important bc some of the canvases are Like That).

Straight acrylic is somewhat flexible too, though can easily add bulk with more layers.

Environmentally these are only options because I already own them - practically I’m not sure how daily use will wear them down.

Spray paint I think I’ll cut out because unless there’s a sudden heat wave in December in [redacted] it’s way too cold to paint outdoors and it’s incredibly unsafe indoors.

Sidenote: trying to balance “healthy” with “eco-friendly” is incredibly difficult. I was researching non-toxic eco paints earlier and was unsettled how many concentrated on non-toxic binding methods, while just saying “natural pigments”.

Natural does not mean safe, especially in the art world. ESPECIALLY with pigments. Historically, some things that have been used as pigments: arsenic, uranium, lead, Egyptian mummies (which is obviously a whole other kettle of Wow Let’s Not). Most of these are no longer used for obvious reasons, but there’s still plenty of pigments you have to be really careful not to breathe in or touch, and yes - including Natural ones.

So I’m not discounting paints marketed towards being eco-friendly AND non-toxic but if I’m going that route I’m going to do my research.

Sorry for the sudden TL;DR, whoops.

5 Likes

I’m sorry? Who in their right mind would even use that as a pigment.

1 Like

I have really enjoyed watching the design process of this project unfold over the past couple of days :purple_heart:

I especially love this diagram you made on paper, it shows all the design considerations and how you got to them.

I look forward to seeing what the finished product looks like c:

3 Likes

Linking Mummy Brown to spare this thread the details. It’s bad!

Uranium glass is a collectable green (glows in black light too), arsenic makes a lovely green too.

People have used some wild stuff to make colours.

3 Likes

Also thanks everyone for the support! I’m glad you’re enjoying this thread!

So I’m probably going to use materials I already have for this project since I might as well use them, but I thought I’d share some of the resources I found in my research:

Natural Earth Paint (I checked the FAQ and it does specify that the pigments have been tested too, to satisfy my late night ramblings.)

Fabcycle, for fabric redirected from the landfill. There’s probably more places like that you can find!

And I was going to link more fabric stores but this site already links the ones I was going to and more: https://mygreencloset.com/eco-ethical-fabrics-yarns/

3 Likes

Few things!

further colour tests with acrylic ink, trying to get something that looks nice with the lining -

Did a sew test with it and noticed that the edges of the seams already show the colour cracking.

I did find some fabric medium (this project greatly helped by leftover supplies from numerous random projects over the years) but I honestly don’t know if that works on primed canvas? But it’s supposed to make paint more flexible so I might do a test.

I know for a fact that India ink stains everything forever (F for one of my favourite bags) but I’m not sure if I want pitch black.

And then I tried testing the canvas with the fake fur and my needle broke so that is gonna be an issue. I will have to buy something after all: new needles.

2 Likes

Experimenting with colours but now using fabric medium! As promised, it DOES seem to help keep the paint from cracking while bent, but on the primed canvas it is really shiny for some reason!

I had leftover blue so I tested it on a piece of scrap muslin which is as you can probably tell isn’t as shiny.

Also since @obfuscurity mentioned liking my diagram (ty!!) I included some further thought process, which is mostly more of the same but with some thinking about seams.

Edit: after checking the bottle, the medium is supposed to be Gloss which solves the shiny problem but now raises the question of why using it on fabric doesn’t seem to have a gloss. I’m not actually sure if I’ve ever used this medium before tbh.

Edit 2: where the medium/paint was thicker or there were a couple of layers, the gloss is visible, mystery solved.

2 Likes

Oh yes also!! I had the idea of trying to flip the canvas and use the fabric side for the painted outside, at which point hopefully (??) the primed side would still protect the interior from water.

I still have to test that theroy, but in the meantime, a colour test:

2 Likes