iPad sleeve tutorial - another clothes upcycle

I've been trying to make things for my daughter's school carnival stall that kids will appreciate, so I figured plenty of kids have iPads, surely they'd like pretty covers for them!

So I made some iPad sleeves from old jeans, shorts and shirts!

I used the denim for the outer fabric, the shorts for the inner, and the old sports shirts for an extra layer of padding in the middle. I also used some left over scraps from previous clothes upcycles for the appliqué on the front.

So here's how to make a simple pretty iPad sleeve.

First cut your pieces. You will need.
6 rectangles 28 x 23 cm (11 x 9")
2 outer fabric, 2 inner (lining) fabric, 2 padding
You will also need a button, 
small length of elastic - a hair tie is ideal!
Some fusible webbing and scraps of fabric for the appliqué on the front.

First decide on your appliqué design. I chose hearts and printed outlines from my computer.  Iron on some fusible webbing to the back of your pretty scrap fabric, then draw your design on and cut out the pieces.

Following the instructions for your fusible webbing, iron your cut out pieces onto one of the outer pieces of fabric. For mine, you peel off the backing paper, place on your fabric then cover with a damp cloth before ironing for few seconds.
Then either appliqué stitch or use a tight zig zag stitch around the edges to hold more securely in place. (I find the glue weakens after a while and the appliqué pieces tend to peel if I don't stitch.)

Next you need to add the button fastening to the same front fabric piece. Place it centrally and 4 cm (1.5") down from the top edge and stitch into place.

Then pin and stitch your elastic on the top of the other outer piece centrally and with around 2.5 cm (1") of a loop sticking out over the top edge.

Now to stitch your pieces together.
First your outer and inside padding pieces.
Lay the outer pieces right sides together and then put a piece of the inner padding on either outside of these like so.

Pin then stitch around the side and bottom edges, leaving the top where you stitched your button and elastic, open.

Trim the seams close to your stitching.

Now take your inner (lining) fabric pieces and pin those right sides together along the side and bottom edges. This time leave a gap about 10 cm (4") wide in one of the sides. You will need this at the end to turn your sleeve right sides out.

Stitch remembering to leave the gap open.
Now turn your outer fabric and padded piece right sides out and slip inside your inner (lining) piece.

Push all the way in and line up the open raw edges at the top. Pin these together all the way around.

Stitch all the way around the top, then turn the sleeve right sides out through the gap you left in the side of the lining.

Make sure the raw edges are folded into the gap in the lining, then hand-stitch the opening closed.

Finally, push the lining inside the outer sleeve and make sure the opening is neat and in line. 

Top-stitch around the opening to hold both fabrics in place.

All done!
Slip in your iPad 

and fasten the button with the elastic loop!

I made a couple of different coloured appliqué heart sleeves.

They are nice and simple to make, so I will be making more of these for the stall.
Any suggestions for appliqué designs for the front are welcomed!!

Note: my daughters have Samsung Galaxy Tablets rather than iPads and they fit into these sleeves too!

I also made another design with a pocket from a pair of shorts on the front.

Which design is your favourite?

For the free downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

To see what else I upcycled this year from old clothes for the school carnival stall,

Or if you are looking for more sewing tutorials, I have over 100 free tutorials available for all kinds of projects and all sewing ability levels on


  1. What a great idea! These are wonderful!

  2. I love the first one because it reminds me of a cartoon thought balloon...only with hearts! The 2nd one is so chic and elegant. Frankly, can't decide, I bet you'd sell a bunch of both styles!

  3. Cute! This looks so amazing. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for bringing such amazing creations to our party. We hope to see you tonight at 7 pm because we LOVE to party with you! Lou Lou Girls

  4. I love the large pink gingham against the denim, Jill.

    1. Thanks Pam! I think that's the one I like best too!!


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