The World’s Niftiest iPad Mini Case

Some Assembly Required

December 12, 2012

A few weeks ago, this image comparing the size and corner radius of an iPad Mini and Moleskine notebook made the social media rounds. And it got me to thinking.

If you are like me, you have a narcotic affection for Moleskine notebooks. I have a drawer full of them, filled with good intentions. (And by good intentions, I mean blank pages.) If the size and shape are such a good match, I figured I could make a nice cover out of one of them. So I did.


You too can make one , with minimal effort and expense. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Hardcover Moleskine Large Notebook – They retail for $18, but you can find them at Amazon for $12ish. But hey, you probably have one in a drawer, the remnant of a previous jonesing.
  • Tack N’ Peel – Amazon sells this, but you can also find this at a crafts superstore like Joann for less than $10. (And you can often find a discount coupon in their free iOS app.) I recognize that the thought of using an adhesive material on an elegant iPad might cause you to great anxiety. Fret not.
  • 1.5″ wide fabric ribbon – Pick this up while you are at Joann in the color of your choice. And men, stop it. There are no conclusive studies linking ribbon handling to testosterone decrease.
  • Some kind of adhesive – I used a glue stick out of my kids’ craft drawer. Spray adhesive may also work.
  • A sharp knife with a short blade. – If, by chance, you were in my wedding party, you got a Leatherman like one pictured below as a gift. The rest of you are on your own.

1) Carefully cut along the seam between the hard cover and the front and back cover pages of the notebook. The shaper the knife,  the cleaner the cut. Be careful not to poke through the cover as you cut though. It’s thin.


2) Cut the ribbon to match the height of the cover. I went with a color that most closely matches the interior, but get as fancy as you like. Coat one side of the ribbon with the gluestick and press it into place. You’ll need to make sure you leave a little slack in the middle, especially if you want to fold the cover all the way behind itself.

This is where the gluestick vs. spray adhesive debate comes into play. The gluestick doesn’t have as strong of a bond, and I had to reattach it a few times in the first several days. It seems to be holding up fine now. I suspect the gluestick offers a little more give than the spray adhesive would, which helps with the different tensions on the ribbon between a closed cover vs. a folded back cover.

3) Press the permanent side of the Tack n’ Peel to the center of the back cover. Make sure it’s the permanent side you stick to the paper, because the side that isn’t stuck to the paper is going to stick to your iPad. Read the instructions on which is which. The permanent side is meant to be, you know, permanent, and you don’t want permanent adhesive on the back of your iPad Mini. Because it’s permanent.

I chose the to leave the legendary back pocket in place, so I put the Tack n’ Peel on top of it. It makes a nice place to store a soft cloth (see below) and the cover for the other side of the adhesive. You might fear that it is too flimsy this way, and you may be correct, but I’ve not had any issues so far.

I used the entire Tack n’ Peel from the package, but you could get by with much less — maybe half, or even two small strips. My iPad Mini isn’t going anywhere when attached to it, so much so that it takes a little patience to remove it. When I do remove the iPad it peels away with to residue at all. This is, of course, because I made sure to attach the permanent side to the cover itself. Because it’s permanent.


4) Now, take a deep breath and remove the paper from the non-permanent side of the Tack N’ Peel, because the permanent side is attached to the cover itself, right? RIGHT? I line up the iPad with the bottom and right side of the cover. This leaves me just enough space to clip a stylus to the pocket above the cover, if you’re into that kind of thing.


…And you’re done. You should find that your new case pairs nicely with a macchiato.


Latest Posts