DIY Nightfall “Leather” iPad Mini Case

Last week I received my January For the Makers box and immediately dug into the Sonoran Stone bracelet project, but knew that I wanted to make something a little different from the Nightfall Notebook Cover they suggested (I don’t carry paper notebooks).

Nightfall Notebook Cover | For the Makers

Fortunately my iPad mini was the perfect size for the leather supplied in the kit, so I decided to turn it into a sleeve to protect my tablet in style ;) I utilized the supplies included with the kit, plus a sheet of wool felt to line the interior pocket. By the way – this tutorial could easily be adapted to other sized tablets – just make sure that you have a large enough sheet of faux leather fabric and wool felt.

DIY Leather iPad Sleeve 4

Time to complete:

Day 1 – 15 minutes + overnight dry time for glue

Day 2 – 1 hour

Supplies Needed:

Majority of supplies can be found in the Sedona Sunset collection by For the Makers (in italics) – you can buy the whole collection or just the Nightfall Notebook kit in their shop.

  • “Leather” sheet (mine was approximately 17″ x 8.5″) 
  • Silver Collar Stud
  • Thread in smoke 
  • Needle
  • E6000 glue
  • 100% Wool Felt Sheet
  • Ruler
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  • Binder clips
  • Mini Phillips screwdriver  (to tighten the stud –  can hand tighten)

How to make magic happen

DIY Leather iPad Sleeve 3b

  • Steps 1 & 2:  I measured out the size of the pocket by laying the iPad on one edge, and flipping it over to measure out the amount of fabric I would need. For the iPad mini this ended up being 11 inches. I lightly marked the sides of the fabric at the 11 inch mark for later (on the back of the fabric)
  • Step 3:  I cut down the felt sheet to 11 inches as well – I used my rotary cutter and a ruler, however if you don’t have one you can also use scissors (just mark your line with some chalk or a permanent marker – you can put that side face down)
  • Step 4: As the felt is only 8 inches it won’t reach all the way to the side to be sewn up with the leather. To attach it to the leather I used the E6000 glue. I placed dots of glue around the edge area of the wool, in a very abstract “X” pattern in the center, and paid special attention to placing glue along the edges near the future opening of the pocket so that I don’t accidentally push it down with the iPad when putting it away. Leave it flat to dry (felt size up) overnight.
  • Step 5: fold the bottom end of the fabric up to the marks you made earlier for the size of the pocket. The leather sides should be facing each other, and it will be inside out.
  • Step 6: Use the binder clips to secure the top corners on each side. I used the ruler and pen to draw a guide-line for my stitches a few millimeters in on each side to help keep my stitches straight, though this is optional. Starting at the bottom corner on one side of the pocket, begin stitching small, even stitches all the way up the side.
  • Step 7: At the top of the pocket I sewed an “X” (see diagram below) followed by a double knot to make sure that the corner would be nice and secure.


  • Step 8: Step back and admire your work. But not too long – you still have work to do! Repeat the process on the other side of the pocket. Once you’ve finished this side flip the pocket right-side out and use your fingers to carefully press all the seams into place in and smooth the fabric.
  • The Flap:  Sorry I don’t have pictures of this part – the light had really given out on me at that point. Instead I drew you a set of diagrams (located beneath the instructions) Here is how I did it:
    • Essentially, I decided how far over I wanted the flap to go (do this with the tablet inside the pocket to get an idea of how much fabric that will add to your total flap length), used my finger to mark it, and then used a straight-edge and the rotary cutter to trim it. Don’t forget to add a quarter to a half-inch allowance for the seams along the edge. Mine was about 5 inches long. 
      • For me the size of the seam was determined by the difference between the pocket and the flap edges – folding over and sewing up the seams allowed it to sit perfectly over without any weird bunching.
    • Trim the excess fabric from the top edge.
    • I measured in 11 millimeters from each edge and drew a line on the inside of the fabric – this was the point where my folded edge would end up to create my seam.
    • The side seams should rest just under the top seam (so fold it down just a hair further than the other two so it covers – this will keep everything in place.
    • Tie off with a double or triple knot when you reach the other side!
    • To add the stud figure out where your flap closes (with the tablet in it!) and mark a spot approximately one inch or so from the edge of the flap and the corresponding location on the pocket. Use an exacto knife to cut through the fabric (put something inside the pocket to protect the other side).
    • Push the base of the stud through the felt and leather fabric on the interior of the pocket so the screw is facing the exterior. You may have to fiddle with the felt to get it out-of-the-way a bit. Screw the other side of the stud onto the base.
    • I put a couple of stitches around the outer edge of the slit on the flap so that it wouldn’t tear as much from use but you don’t have to. The slit should fit over the stud and keep your sleeve closed!

DIY Leather iPad Sleeve 5.1

The final step came the next day when I realized that the base of the stud was going to be in contact with my iPad, and I was worried that it would scratch it. There are two ways of solving this problem as I can see – however one of them would be to attach the stud BEFORE gluing down the felt and that ship had sailed. My solution was to cut a teensy piece from the leftover felt and use a drop of E6000 glue to secure it over the base of the stud. I let it dry for a bit and BAM!! problem solved :)

Well, what do you think?

Have you ever, or would you ever attempt something like this yourself (considering I hadn’t sewn a single thing before that felt wallet a few months back)?

Have you signed up for For the Makers yet? What are you waiting for?!

Texas Women Bloggers


Adrianne's left-brain is a graduate student in biomedical science but her right-brain enjoys creating and crafting and sharing it with the world! She's also a Whimseybox Influencer and a designer for Darby Smart!


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