iPad Sleeve Tutorial

So, I’ve been wracking my brain all week trying and come up with the perfect birthday gift for my nearly 30 sweet, sassy socialite sis. I refuse to resort to a gift certificate for someone I’ve known since the moment she popped out of the womb! Finally came up with this…a chic, girlie, quilted sleeve for her beloved iPad. Turned out to be such a fun little project that I decided to whip up this little tutorial in case you want to make one too!

PS- this can EASILY be converted to an e-reader sleeve- see alternate measurements below.

Let’s get started!


  • 2 Fat Quarters or 2 complimentary pieces of fabric at least 22″ X 18″
  • Piece of 100% cotton batting at least 24″ X 20″ (quilt scraps work great!)
  • Fusible Interfacing at least 11″ X 19″. Must be sewable, made for light/med weight fabrics
  • 42″ of ribbon
  • 2″ of thin elastic cord
  • 3/4″ button
  • straight pins, rotary cutter, cutting mat, fabric ruler
  • sewing machine, walking foot, iron

First, cut two 10.5″ X 8.5″ rectangles out of both fabrics (4 rectangles total).
(***If you have a Nook, your pieces need to be 8.75″ X 6″. And for a Kindle they need to be 9″ X 6.5″)

Next, cut 2 interfacing rectangles that extend about 1/2″ outside your fabric pieces on all sides. Follow package instructions to fuse to the wrong side of your outer fabric pieces. Be sure to use a damp thin cloth between your iron & fabric to prevent the edges of the interfacing from sticking to the iron.

Now, cut 2 pieces of batting that extend at least 1/2″ past the interfacing on all 4 sides. Layer fabric/interfacing piece on top of batting, right side up, smooth, and baste with straight pins every few inches.

Quilt both basted pieces as desired, using your walking foot. I chose a modern grid pattern that mimicked the geometric circle fabric that I was using, but you could certainly choose something else if you wanted- stippling, random wonky lines, swirls…whatever suits your fabric and your tastes. Keep your walking foot on your machine, because we’ll use it in the next step.

Trim the quilted rectangles back down to original size with a rotary cutter, being careful not to trim of much if any of the original fabric (if you trim it down too much, the sleeve might be too small for your device!)

Now, get your length of ribbon and make sure it’s nice and pressed. Starting at the top right corner, pin at a pleasing angle, and echo a second ribbon 1″ below it. Repeat on the other quilted piece, but reverse it (so ribbons will start at top left corner and angle down to the right.)

Stitch down both edges of both strips of ribbon, staying as close to the edge as humanly possible, without moving off the ribbon. I found it very easy to just line up the right edge of my ribbon with the inner edge of the right “prong” of my foot.

Turn your pieces face down on your mat and trim off the excess ribbon with a rotary cutter.

Now, take your piece of slim elastic cord and fold it into a loop. Pin the loop to the top (8.5″) edge of one of your quilted pieces, with the loop facing in toward the center and the raw edges lining up with the edge of the fabric. 

Lay the right sides of the lining fabric on top of the quilted outer pieces, so the right sides are together. Pin the top edge (where the elastic loop is), and stitch 1/4″seam. Do the same to the 2nd quilted piece even though it doesn’t have the elastic loop.

After you’ve stitched these 2 edge seams, open up each piece and lay them on top of each other with right sides together, and like fabrics together (lining on top of lining, and outer on top of outer). The seams should be in the center. (Where in the world is my photo of this?? Ugh. Too late now. You’ll see what I mean when you open these 2 pieces up.)

Pin around the entire edge of the unit, being sure to match up the center seams with each other first. These will show so you want them to line up as much as possible. Then sew around the whole thing with a 1/4″ seam, leaving a 3″ opening at the bottom of the lining. It helps to back tack (secure) the beginning and end of your seam, on each side of the opening, so things don’t get all raveled when you turn it inside out.

Clip your corners.

Now turn the entire thing inside out through the 3″ opening you left. Don’t freak out if it feels a little tight. It takes some jimmying to get it all pulled through, and will look fairly crumpled and depressing, but don’t worry- that will all iron out in the end.

Here’s what you’ll be left with- looks like 2 bags sewn together, neck to neck.

Pin the opening shut along the seam allowance folds, and stitch it either by hand or by machine with a very tiny seam allowance. I used my machine, since this is going to be inside your sleeve and no one will ever notice it.

Then just fold the lining down inside the sleeve, and smooth the entire thing out with a nice hot, steamy iron. Stitch your button to the top center, opposite the elastic loop.

And voila! There you have it- a cute, funky, completely customized little sleeve for your iPad, Nook, Kindle, or whatever device you have. The possibilities are endless- you could applique your initial or a cute shape, or add more fun trims like rick rack or eyelet.

If you make one, I’d love to see it, so send me a note! I also welcome any questions or comments you may have as well.

Thanks for the looksie and happy crafting!


  1. Great idea. thanks

  2. Hi Amy,
    I am a BOM student and I totally loved the instruction and I would like to receive your blog posts. Joan from Saskatoon,Saskatchewan, Canada

  3. Thank you for the tutorial! :) I just made one. And it was super easy! :D

  4. Jill Brandenburg says:

    I just finished making two of these sleeves. The first one was for the iPad without a cover and I increased the pattern to 11 x 9 to accomadate it with the thin cover. They both fit well

  5. Just made this for friends and put their initial on the front instead of ribbon – great tutorial, thank you

  6. I just made this and I think it is too small for an iPad. Mine barely fits in. I will try again with larger pieces of fabric.

    • Hi Bobbie-
      I’m so sorry to hear that your sleeve doesn’t fit your iPad! That’s a bummer. I wonder if you have a newer, slighter larger version, as it does fit my iPad perfectly, and I’ve had many many folks email me feedback that it fit theirs well also, but I did made this tutorial back in 2011, so surely the newer versions may have slightly changed in size. Also, did you use 1/4″ seams throughout? Would love to know what version you have, so that I can update the post with sizing changes for those who have newer versions.

      take care!

  7. Hi Amy – great tutorial! How would I modify this if I wanted to change the size? Is there a specific amount that you add to the measurements of the device? Also would there be any issues if I wanted to add a zipper closure instead of a button? Thanks!

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