Placemat Hack: Flaptop Laptop Cover


created on: 05/15/08

created on: 05/15/08

created on: 05/15/08

created on: 05/15/08

Finally a use for colorful, rectangular placements available at World Market!  Here's a tutorial you can follow to make some jazzy padded laptop covers for yourself or for gifts.  You'll need a little more than basic sewing skills to do this, but it's worth the time and it's very customize-able.  With some patience and  desire,  you'll be the envy of all your Black-Nylon-Canvas-Cased Friends. 

what you need:

sewing machine

thread, scissors, seam ripper

three placemats,

padding for interior or quilted lining fabric

lining fabric

fabric for boxing and pockets (I used leather from a vintage coat)

fusible webbing

magnetic closure or velcro

decorative button

template of laptop size and pocket size needed (battery, power cord)


created on: 05/15/08

The above picture doesn't show the old coat used for the boxing and pocket and the fusible webbing or iron

what you do:

1.  Lay laptop template on placemat to assess size, add 1" extra on all sides, cut out

2.  Lay coat out and cut out a strip long enough to go from left top edge to right top edge of cover and wide enough to allow for 1" total seam allowance and the thickness of your laptop.  

 Cut out pocket (I used the pocket that was the inside chest pocket)

created on: 05/15/08

3.  Cut flap piece out of third placemat, adjust edge as necessary for your laptop cover size

created on: 05/15/08

4. Layer cut piece of batting, then fusible webbing on wrong side of front of cut placemat and iron together with a HOT iron, but watch out so that the batting doesn't melt.  Repeat for the back piece of the laptop cover

Now the front and back have extra padding, add more if you'd like

created on: 05/15/08

5.  Stitch leather pocket to outside back side of laptop cover

created on: 05/15/08

created on: 05/15/08

6.  Mark where you want the magnetic snap to be attached

I separated the flap section of the placemat by pulling apart fused top and bottom fabrics so that the metal of the magnetic snap would not be seen on the top of the flap piece where the button will be sewn.  If you don't want to hassle with this, you could just stitch on velcro pieces.

created on: 05/15/08

created on: 05/15/08

Bend the sides outwards to secure in place.

7.  Pin and stitch flap piece to top edge of the back of the laptop cover (the piece you just sewed the pocket to)

created on: 05/15/08

In the picture I left extra room for folding over the flap and topstitching but I ended up taking that out and stitching them evenly

8.  Mark with pencil and attach the other magnetic piece to the front of the cover so that the flap will snap to the front, leaving enough room for the laptop when it's inside

9.  Stitch leather boxing to front of laptop cover, cutting off excess at ltop left and top right edges

created on: 05/15/08

This photo shows how to stitch boxing around the lower corner and snipping edges for flexibility and release

created on: 05/15/08

10.  Stitch your cut out lining pieces together in the same way

Turn laptop top cover right side out

slip the laptop cover into the sewn lining cover, right sides to right sides, pin around topedge , leaving 5 inches open for turning right side out

created on: 05/15/08

12.  Pull laptop cover through this opening until the right side of the cover is all the way out

This is a little intimidating until you do it a few times

created on: 05/15/08

Don't get scared, it looks wacky until it's all turned right side out

created on: 05/15/08

See, what'd I tell you?

13.  Push lining to inside of cover, fold under fabric edge of the 5 inch opening, pin closed and top stitch all the way around very evenly

  This could get tricky, go slowly and you may have to help the needle by turning the wheel as you go

created on: 05/15/08


Variations:  Strap, inside pockets, velcro instead of magnetic, larger flap and on and on

Make a few as gifts

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View/Add Comments (13)


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Angel on Nov 29, 2013:

I love and will make this, but I have to tell you that it is NEVER safe to use a magnet near a computer. The velcro or a snap or button would be better. Thanks for theidea!

Claire on Nov 29, 2012:

This is super cute!  What a great way to make use of those random-but-swesome placemats I find from time to time at goodwill.  I love the idea...thanks for sharing!


Tiffany Kidder on Jun 17, 2012:

Thanks so much for sharing this!  What a great idea!  I'm adding this project to my mile long to-do project list :)

hitokirihoshi on Feb 23, 2012:

wow i inspired to follow this one since the laptop cases are usually expensive. then those cheap have minimal designs or design at all. I hope i can also create as beautiful as it is. I'm planning to use my old t-shirts that i can't afford to lose.

thanks for sharing your knowledge.  

ModHomeEcTeacher on Aug 16, 2009:

Sarah-I'll check it out. Thank you for posting both those bags. I'm getting ready to make another one for The Indy Star. I'll send you the link when it's published. I appreciate your hard work. You guys must really work non stop!!

Sarah J Doyle on Aug 16, 2009:

We've added both of your laptop styles, Laptop Messenger bag and Flaptop Laptop bag on our Sewing Business blog - here's the permalink:  http://sewingbusiness.com/2009/08/16/choose-your-favorite-laptop-case.aspx --- we've invited our readers to vote on which one they like best.  Hard for me to decide, so I may have to make one of each so I can change them out!!

Sarah J Doyle


Http://SewingBusiness.com  blog

And Calliope on Nov 10, 2008:

This is a great tutorial and such a clever idea for whipping together a laptop case. I've included a link to your project as part the Worker Bee page for our Homemade Christmas Gift Guide. Do let me know if you'd like me to link to an Etsy page. Keep up the good work!

missnancita on Oct 14, 2008:

Thank you sooo much for posting this! Recently, I went laptop case hunting and I was terribly displeased with the lack of selection. I went to about 6 stores and could not find anything that made me happy.


And then I remembered that I had 2 sewing machines sitting in dust at home. Anyways, here I am!


Thanks again!

ModHomeEcTeacher on May 17, 2008:

I know!  I was planning this out and was trying to see if I had enough leather to go all the way around the bottom and then come up around the top.  But, on a little different note-I was cleaning my garage out yesterday and inside of of a trunk I had built to upholster someday, I found a huge stack of quilted saddle pads I had made for a few fancy horse shows about three summers back.  They were a hit with the women and girls.  When I made them, I used alrady quilted cotton for the underside and then added another layer of batting and a jazzy batik or embroidered fabric on top and then quilted them on the machine.  I could cut them to size, figure out a flap and have about twenty laptop covers to sell at a show on June 8th.  Sometimes things work out really well. I'll post a pic. if I have time.

Still not done with the garage.

beccajo on May 16, 2008:

great idea! and the buttons are awesome too! i like that you repurposed an old coat. very smart!

i made myself a laptop bag a while back from vinyl and surplus kid's seatbelts, and unfortunately I didn't integrate the strap very well into the body of the bag, instead of it being contiguous with the bottom, it was sewn on at the top. Think overloaded paper grocery bag. When you pick it up by the handles, the handles rip!

anyway-if you decide to add straps to this, make sure to sew them as part of the section that supports the weight of the bag!

ModHomeEcTeacher on May 16, 2008:

Bruno, I know, of course $$$ man, himself tried to make me figure out how I could sell them.  That was my prototype so I would hope they would go faster next time. I am going to make a couple more.  Doing a small art show on June 8th.  BTW, I found two excellent sewing machines at GW for 19.00 each!

Ruajennie, thanks, there are sooo many possibilities!!!

bruno on May 16, 2008:

Wow, this is aswesome! I think I need to get myself a sewing machine.

Any chance you're selling these?

ruajennie on May 16, 2008:

As usual, great tutorial! It looks much nicer (and more interesting, to boot!) than any of the laptop covers available in stores.

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