A Journal-Style Tablet Case

If you’ve read my post on letter-writing, you’ll know that I have a thing for writing.  I love journals.  I love pens.  I am one of those people who get giddy walking through the stationary aisle of Staples or WalMart.  I have an entire shelf in one of my bookcases dedicated to writing.  It’s filled with journals, mostly empty, coil-bound, strung and glued; hard-cover and flimsy; lined paper, plain paper and graph paper; whimsical covers, funny, or plain.  I don’t care.  If I can write on it and it has a cover, I will treasure it.  Soldier Boy throws the word “hoard” around but what does he know.

But I bought a tablet.  Which is kind of a new thing for me since I’m not really a techie.  And when I do venture into tech, it’s usually on my 17″ laptop.  It has to be big.  I have to see what I’m doing.  The tools have to have enough power to fit the vision I have of what I want to do.  The phone is convenient – a camera, texting, an actual phone.  But many a time I have only barely withheld my rage at this micro-machine, taken a deep, deep breath and placed it back in my bag only to make a list of things I need to look up on my laptop when I get home. Because I can’t navigate the apps or the mobile sites don’t give me the right information or I simply can’t read print that small.

But I bought a tablet.

It’s an 8″ Microsoft tablet which means it’s not an ipad (which drives me to drink) or an android (which is completely foreign to me) but exactly like my laptop.  Except half the size.  And yet at least three times the size of my phone.

I’m very happy with it.  Except one thing.  It’s thicker than every other tablet out there.  Which means that the standard 8″tablet cases are slightly too small.  And the 10″ are way too big.  And if you can find a 9″ case somewhere, please let me know.

So I took matters into my own hands and made my own.

I had to murder a journal from 1995 in the process but I think my younger self will forgive me.  Now I have a modern journaling and reading tool for travelling in a case that reminds of the mindful (yet slightly antiquated) practice of writing with pen.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I looked on Pinterest.  Of course.  There are about a kabillion ideas.

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Then I found a book cover slightly larger than my tablet.  It happened to be a journal from 1995.  I cut out the pages (luckily, they were only glued in one each side and not every page, like in most books).

I cut small pieces of elastic and glued them down in the corners with Hi-Tak adhesive.  I’ll let you know later if it actually stays put.  Nothing I own is industrial grade so I’m not really sure how long this case will stay together.

Then, I cut out a piece of sew-on adhesive that I ironed onto a small scrap of fabric that I like and happened to match the journal’s bright colours.  After peeling off the paper backing, I was left with an adhesive-covered piece of fabric.  I ironed this fabric onto a piece of cardstock.  I also added some Hi-Tak glue just to make sure it stayed.  I adhered the cardstock to one side of the journal to cover the ends of the glued-on elastic.

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You’ll notice that the other side is the original pink paper and the spine has been cut out and is now just plain cardboard.

I cut a small strip of fabric and glued it under the inside edge of the cardstock with the elastic.  I folded the book cover back on itself entirely and glued the strip of fabric on the other side of the journal.  I did this because I wanted the journal to be flexible enough to fold backwards.

Then, I applied the same process with the iron-on adhesive, minus the cardstock, to the other side.

The last step was to close it tightly somehow.  I had leather string from years ago when I decided I’d try making dream catchers and it was a dark brown.  I really liked the look of it so I decided to sew a button to the front of the journal.

This was tougher than I expected but with some patience, I was able to get a sewing needle through the board and sew on a one-hole button.

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I have every intention of attaching the leather string permanently but for now it works as just a tie that I wrap around the button and then around the journal, the old-fashioned way.

The elastics keep the tablet from falling out and the leather strap keeps the tablet fairly secure inside.

I also wanted it to be fairly flexible in terms of use.  With the leather strap left unattached, I can slip it under the tablet, loop it around the back of the folded journal and tie it, creating an easel of sorts to watch Netflix or just read.

And there is my very own, very cute, custom 8″ tablet case.  Ta-da!

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