Sewing tutorial

Emergency Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

While preparing for a flight, I discovered that I didn’t have a dedicated bag for my new laptop. The budget for my laptop purchase didn’t include a laptop backpack, laptop case or laptop sleeve. I had to come up with a quick, easy, and low budget way to protect my laptop while in my backpack on short notice. This is an emergency laptop sleeve tutorial.


Laptops are often transported in laptop backpacks, laptop cases or laptop sleeves. All three offer protection from scratches, bumps, and drops. Laptop sleeves tend to offer the least protection and are also the least bulky. Laptop sleeves and some laptop cases can easily be slipped inside other bags or backpacks. I was inspired to make this emergency laptop sleeve by the Vikalpah blog post on making a laptop cover from a bubble mailer. This is my version.

Step 1 Gather Materials
  • Bubble mailer
  • Duct tape
  • Optional: Stickers, fabric or contrasting duct tape for decoration

A thin and light material that many people have at home is the bubble mailer envelope. Finding a bubble mailer large enough to accommodate my 15.6” laptop was more difficult that I had anticipated.

Bubble mailer larger enough for my laptop

The paper exterior of my bubble mailer was torn in several places so re-enforcing it was important. I purchased 2 rolls of white duct tape from my local dollar store chain for this purpose.

Step 2 Prepare Bubble Mailer

Insert your laptop into the bubble mailer and slide it all the way to the bottom. Draw a line on the bubble mailer indicating where the top of your laptop is.

Mark top of laptop on bubble mailer

Extend this line to the backside of your bubble mailer. Either draw a second line straight across the back or draw tapered corners for the back flap. My flap was 2.5” tall and 10” wide. Trim your bubble mailer along your lines.

Cut off excess bubble mailer
Step 3 Apply Tape

I applied white duck tape to my bubble mailer in horizontal strips. I started with the flap and top edge of the front. In both cases, I folded the first piece of tape over the cut edges of the bubble mailer to protect them.

Re-enforce cut edges with duct tape

My white duct tape was translucent so it took 3 or 4 layers to completely hide the black markings on the bubble mailer.

Multiple layers of duct tape may be needed

I didn’t have enough duck tape to cover my entire bubble mailer with 4 layers of tape. I tried to incorporate translucent and opaque layers into my design.

Cover bubble mailer with duct tape

If your duck tape is translucent, you may either use use multiple layers of duck tape or leave it as as.

Step 4 Decorate

You may wish to decorate your emergency laptop sleeve. Options include washi tape, decorative duct tape, contrasting colors of duct tape, stickers, or permanent markers. I used some stickers.


This emergency laptop sleeve is a quick and in-expensive, no-sew way to create a durable laptop sleeve. It’s also easy to customize. This laptop sleeve makes your laptop bulky while protecting it. Check the fit of your laptop inside any backpack you intend to carry it in before committing to this project. If your laptop is too large to fit inside your zippered backpack, it will definitely be too large to fit when it’s inside a this laptop sleeve. Of course, laptop sleeves may be used for other purposes than inside backpacks.

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