A Kindle Sleeve Step By Step (And Why I Strive To Fail Everyday)

My numbers might be off, but at last count, I think there were about eight hundred thirty-two bajillion sewing/crafting/parenting/homeschooling lifestyle blogs out there. I guarantee many of those bloggers can sew circles around me (probably literally, if given enough fabric and thread) and thank goodness, because I learn from them. They are all out there already doing a great job so it doesn’t make any sense for me to write these posts if I am not going to be myself and be honest. This blog is about the process, not the end result. It’s about the fact that if I can do it, anyone can. And I don’t just mean sewing. I don’t care how old you are or what you want to learn or try. If I can sew, if I can live in a travel trailer, you can (insert whatever you want to learn or do here). I do these things, but it’s not always easy. I’m going to tell you my secret today. Ready? Here I go:

I fail miserably on a regular basis.

Whew, glad I got that off my chest. Don’t feel bad for me, I’m not sad. I fail at all kinds of things. I used to be SO afraid to fail, but now I’ve done it so much that it’s one of my best skills. Sometimes, I even enjoy it. I’ll give you an example.

I hadn’t planned on doing a DIY Kindle sleeve for the blog (since I already followed an Ipad sleeve tutorial and wrote about it here), but I have been reading a bit more than usual on my Kindle lately so I decided I wanted to try a sleeve for it on my own, without a pattern or tutorial. I wanted to design it myself and figured it couldn’t be that hard. I recently did the same thing with a wine tote (tutorial coming soon) and that worked out pretty well, I thought. So I set out to make my own Kindle sleeve, just for me, and here it is:

Kindle Sleeve Rejects

Oh wait, those are all the failures. The mistakes. The rejects. One after another I tried and I was just missing my mojo. I was measuring wrong, cutting wrong, getting the steps in the wrong order. A point came with each one where I realized it wasn’t going to work and had to scrap it. Surprisingly, I felt very little frustration. I just tossed it aside and moved on. I think I didn’t get frustrated because I really do love the process. I really do just love to sew!

I always set goals for myself with each sewing project. Setting goals when learning a new skill is so important. It would be better to do the same project ten times with different goals set for each, than to do ten different projects without meeting any new goals.

I set the following goals for my Kindle sleeve project:

  • As mentioned, I wanted to design it myself with no reliance on a pattern or tutorial.
  • I wanted to see no raw edges anywhere on the finished product.
  • I wanted it to have pockets on both sides to hold other items, like pieces of paper with notes.
  • My husband added that even though my Kindle is not the touch screen kind, it would be cool to have a place for a stylus, since this same design could then be used for any tablet we have in the future (or as a gift for someone with a touch screen tablet).

After five failed attempts, I finally have the Kindle sleeve I want. It is not my favorite combination of fabrics, but my daughter was included in this process and I find that the more she is a part of my projects, the better for everyone. This was her choice of fabrics, and I will use it for my Kindle happily because she was involved.

DIY Kindle Sleeve and Coffee

I am going to give you the step by step on how I did this now but I don’t think it’s fair to call it a tutorial, because it’s not that exact and my hope is that you will see what I did, let it give you some ideas and take a stab at something better and different. Improve on it. Make it your own.

*Read through all the steps before you start. It will make more sense that way.*

**The measurements are for my basic Kindle but you can adjust them to your tablet. My Kindle is 4 1/2″ X 6 1/2″ and about 1/4″ thick. Add inches as needed for your device.**

First, gather your materials. You will need:

  • Fabric (I used two prints. I had 1/2 yard of the flowered print and a fat quarter of the blue)
  • Some type of batting (I used double-sided fusible batting)
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Iron and Some type of surface to iron on
  • Sewing machine with needle and thread
  • Elastic
  • Velcro

With the following measurements, my Kindle fit VERY snug. If you want, you could probably add a 1/2″ to the width for ease of getting it in and out.

Cut one long piece of fabric 9 1/2″ X 35 ” (this will be known as the “main” piece hence forth)

Cut two pieces for your pockets each 9 1/2″ X 8 1/4″

Cut one piece of batting 8″ X 10″

Fold the long edges of your main piece of fabric toward the wrong side 1/4″ once and iron, then fold 1/4″ again, iron, and sew. You’re basically just hemming the egdes, like this:

Main Piece hemmed

Do the same to hem the 8 1/4″ side edges of your pockets. So you should have this (in the picture, mine are pinned but not hemmed yet, but you get the idea):


Now fold the main piece in half wrong sides together and fold the two pockets in half wrong sides together.

Arrange the pockets (with the folded sides up) and your kindle on the main piece so that when you fold the bottom of the long piece up, it covers the Kindle. This makes more sense in a pic:



In that second pic above, I had not folded it all the way up yet. Fold it so that end of the main piece (which is the folded end) is over the top of the Kindle, so the Kindle is covered. That is going to be the slot that you put the Kindle in. Now mark where the fabric is folded.

Let me explain why this is happening. Basically when you remove the Kindle you could then sew along the sides and the bottom, turn it right side out, and you would have the blue pockets on the outside and the flowery fabric inside, which is where the kindle is placed. But we’re not going to do that yet if you want to have slots for your stuff (like stylus, credit card, etc).

For that, you need to cut your elastic to match the width of your long piece and position at what level you want it inside your pocket. I did that here. This was just to “eyeball” where I wanted it.


So you’re just determining where the elastic will go inside your pocket. Once you determine where it should go you have to open up your main piece and sew it into that spot on one single layer of the fabric. Use your own stuff to determine where to sew the slots as I did here. I made different sized slots all the way across.


So what you should have now looks like the below. You have the main piece folded up with the fold on the bottom, the two pockets folded with the folds facing up, and the elastic sewn (onto just a single layer of the long piece) where if you now imagine that you were folding it up at where you marked it with the Kindle in it earlier, the elastic would be between one of the pockets and your main piece.

At this point you can position your batting inside the folded main piece so that when folded up around the Kindle, it would cushion the front and back. Imagine in the picture below, the batting is in there, the bottom of the batting is positioned down there in the bottom fold of the long piece. Mine was fusible, so I ironed it in there to stick. If you have regular batting, you would have to sew it in there (a big X would work).


It’s at this point I should tell you that what I SHOULD have done next was to sew a piece of velcro onto the middle of that blue pocket right there that you’re looking at in the above picture. Getting it on there later was a HUGE pain. Position your Velcro just above center on that pocket and sew it into place. Make sure it is on the side of the pocket that faces inward toward the other pocket in the above picture (that will be the outside when you turn your work right side out. Now let’s move on.

Fold up the bottom to where it would cover the Kindle, pin it in place and sew along the sides and bottom. You can just start at the top of one side then go down, along the bottom edge, then back up the other side. I don’t have a pic of that step but here is what it looks like once you turn your work right side out. The elastic is now inside that blue pocket. Your’s should also have a piece of Velcro on that blue pocket.


Here is the other side with a pocket as well:


Now turn in those sides of the flap the way I have in the picture above and sew them down.

Then turn the top down twice (you may have to cut some length off the top first. I think I did but forgot to take note of how much.) Figure out where the other piece of Velcro should go to meet with its counterpart and sew that on. We are doing it this way so we don’t see the stitches on the other side. Then turn it down and sew the hem (see the pic below).

And you’re done!

Time for some light morning reading

Have a look down in there to see the elastic “stuff holder” in action!
Slots for stylus cards and money


I hope you have fun if you try this. And if you fail, as I did, I hope you try again!

What kinds of projects have you failed lately?

Something For Everyone! Sign Up For My Free Weekly Newsletter Today!

Bloggers: Get your free linky party organizing tools and pre-publish checklist printable! Crafters: There's a free Essential Oils Keychain Pattern and the chance to win FREE FABRIC in this box for you!

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address and I NEVER SPAM. You can unsubscribe at any time.

19 Comments on A Kindle Sleeve Step By Step (And Why I Strive To Fail Everyday)

    • notimefordiy
      May 4, 2015 at 2:02 AM (2 years ago)

      I know, sometimes when I start to see that failure MIGHT be the outcome I am tempted to abandon a project before it is finished, but I have also had some experiences where I thought it would be a failure but I kept going anyway and it turned out great, so these days I very rarely abandon until that point comes when I am SURE it will not work. My daughter does do a good choosing her fabrics, I just had different ones in mind for this project. Maybe I’ll just have to make another! Good luck with your painting! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  1. Elizabeth
    May 4, 2015 at 3:38 PM (2 years ago)

    Oh, I need to learn from you in this. I often stop work on a project, almost paralyzed because I’m afraid I’ll mess up the next step. Then nothing gets done. :s Praying and hoping for growth :) Well done tutorial and so fun to involve your girl.

    • notimefordiy
      May 4, 2015 at 3:52 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you! I totally get that “paralyzed” feeling. That one happens for me usually before I start a project at all. It takes a while for me to take the first step sometimes!

  2. Carrie Groneman
    May 4, 2015 at 4:59 PM (2 years ago)

    YOU are such a she-ro as you continue to try, learn and teach us all as you grow in your talents. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

    • notimefordiy
      May 4, 2015 at 8:12 PM (2 years ago)

      Awwwwww, thank you, Carrie! The pleasure is all mine!

  3. Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    May 5, 2015 at 8:36 PM (2 years ago)

    It looks great, and it does exactly what it is supposed to do! Congrats on doing it yourself, the failures will teach you as much, or more, than the successes! Here’s to more failures, it means that you are not afraid to try! I love that! Great lesson.

    • notimefordiy
      May 5, 2015 at 11:47 PM (2 years ago)

      That is so true, Nikki, we can learn so much when we fail! Thanks for stopping by and commenting today!

  4. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    May 8, 2015 at 10:03 AM (2 years ago)

    This is gorgeous! Well done to you. I did a intro to sewing lesson at Christmas and loved it. I have a sewing machine at home and really need to get on it. Maybe I’ll give this a go when I’m feeling brave! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  5. Rhonda Gales
    May 8, 2015 at 6:32 PM (2 years ago)

    Just when you thought you had heard of everything, someone comes up with a brilliant idea. I love the idea of a fabric sleeve. You did a great job. I also love the idea of being able to stick money, credit card or your keys in the sleeve. This is perfect for a beach trip. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best.
    Rhonda Gales recently posted…Sunday’s Best #18My Profile

    • notimefordiy
      May 8, 2015 at 6:50 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Rhonda! You’re right! Definitely a great grab-and-go beach item! Thanks for visiting me here and for hosting the link up!

  6. Rae
    May 10, 2015 at 6:29 AM (2 years ago)

    What a beautiful Kindle sleeve – my mum wants me to make one for hers so I’ll definitely be bookmarking this for when get around to it

    My latest failure was not finishing a dress for a murder mystery dinner party I was hosting… but I just adapted the idea by swiftly hand sewing the net overskirt of the ‘failed’ dress on to an evening dress I already had and adding a sash to cover the dodgy stitches. Turned out really well in the end, which I was chuffed about as I only finished it about an hour before the guests arrive… phew!
    Rae recently posted…Wednesday ConfessionMy Profile

    • notimefordiy
      May 10, 2015 at 9:04 AM (2 years ago)

      Thank yo, Rae! If you make one let me know how it turns out! I’m glad your dress worked out in the end. I think being adaptable and making the best of a situation is definitely up there with being able to finish a project, so it doesn’t sound like a failure to me! Thanks for visiting commenting!

    • notimefordiy
      May 13, 2015 at 4:50 PM (2 years ago)

      That pocket has really come in handy. I replaced my wallet with the kindle sleeve now and just keep my credit card, license and cash right in there.I love it! I definitely agree that the process can be more fun than the finished product (probably why I can’t stop taking on new projects)! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Ashley Perez
    June 13, 2015 at 1:31 PM (2 years ago)

    love it!!!

    • notimefordiy
      June 13, 2015 at 3:30 PM (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Ashley!

  8. Jenna
    July 30, 2015 at 3:28 PM (2 years ago)

    I love your approach. It’s never failure if you make something positive from it. I’ve spent most my life trying to make all negatives into positives. It may just be a sewing project but it speaks on the kind of person you are. Lovely ♡♡♡
    Jenna recently posted…A stroke happens every 40 seconds…My Profile

    • notimefordiy
      July 31, 2015 at 8:06 AM (2 years ago)

      Aw, thank you, Jenna! I can tell the very same thing about you. You have a beautiful perspective.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

CommentLuv badge