Archives for posts with tag: book

Some of you know I went to New York last December for a vacation.

Well, here’s the fruit of the two weeks spent there (what?! Two weeks there and this is all you have?!) It’s not as professional or as comprehensive as others, but hey, it’s a start…


Incidentally, this is the second book I have “published”…here’s the first one.

Wow…the guy who started it all dropped by this little blog and left the following comment!

“Wow, your final product looks great! I’ve been meaning to clean up my original as the pages have been coming undone and the rubber cement ended up picking up a lot of dust. Maybe I’ll do a 2.0 with better tools, or I’ll be lazy and clean up the first one for a version 1.5. Yours looks extremely clean, well done!”

Thanks Ben!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was not too happy with the first iPad booksafe that I made. Being the perfectionist that I am, I decided to take all the lessons I learnt in making the first two (my original, and another for the wife) and make a third one for myself.

Without going into too much detail, I learnt that I needed a book that was thick enough, and with the right dimensions. I also learnt that to get the pages to align properly, one would need to cut them individually.

Without further ado, I present the “iBook” version 3.0

As you can see, I added a ribbon “bookmark” for good measure…which also helps remove the iPad from the case.

Lesson #1: Cut it deep enough (slightly more than half-inch deep), such that it would fit the iPad (even with the piece of felt)

I smoothened the inside edges of the hollow by CAREFULLY cutting off any bits that stuck out, and used sandpaper finish it (after gluing the pages together, of course)…also stuck foam pads at the inside corners to hold the iPad snugly.

Finally, I think I am done…must say that I am really pleased with this final one.


A couple of weeks after making this, I also ordered a Pad & Quill case (Vol. 3). As any girl would know, you need a different handbag for different occasions. Right? Right. The same goes for iPad cases.

I researched similar cases (Dodocase and Treegloo) before deciding on the Pad & Quill, and have been really happy with it. Why Pad & Quill and not the others? For one, the others use paper linings. Have read in forums that these wear out and tear pretty easily. I also found a review comparing the Dodocase to the Pad & Quill…seems like the Pad & Quill is more sturdy and robust.

Here’s a quick review of the Pad & Quill case (Vol. 3)

According to the website, it’s made with bound leather and birch. The Vol. 3 is also lighter and thinner than the Vol. 2 (and comes with an elastic moleskine-like strap which I am a sucker for).

Best part is the service. You get really excellent and personalised service from the folks at Pad & Quill. I initially ordered the Vol. 2, but when the Vol. 3 was released, Brian Holmes (the president of the company) allowed me to change the order without any problems (even though my initial order was already processed). Also, how often do you get personalised service from the president of a company? How cool is that?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’m really happy with the Pad & Quill case. If you are in the market for a moleskine-type case, and are still undecided, I would strongly recommend getting it from the guys at Pad & Quill.

If you read my previous post, you would have known that I made my very own DIY, bespoke, booksafe case for my iPad. I ended the post wondering how I was going to glue the pages together, so that they did not flap about. Also, while the iPad fit in the hollowed-out portion, I did not have much confidence that it would stay in place while the pages were loose.

Thus began the journey of finding the best way to glue the pages together. Ben (not Kenobi) at Carrypad suggested using Elmer’s Rubber Cement on the inside and outside edges. For starters, I wasn’t sure where to get Rubber Cement, and if it was even available in Singapore.

Anyhow, I decided to do a bit more research before adhering (haha) to any one particular method. I stumbled upon this webpage during my research, which called for white PVA craft glue and water (which are more readily available), and a friend who is an expert in the field of art and crafts confirmed that the PVA/water solution would work best.

I decided to follow the latter, and over the weekend, I visited a speciality store selling art (and craft) products/materials at Bras Basah Complex. While I was there, I picked up a bottle of white craft glue, a UHU glue stick (just in case the PVA-water solution didn’t work)…and lo and behold…I chanced upon Rubber Cement! I got a bottle of that too for good measure, as well as a piece of felt and a rubber/foam sheet (I had planned to use the Rubber Cement to attach pieces of foam to the inside-edge of the rounded corners, to give the iPad a firmer grip…and PVA glue wasn’t going to cut it). The felt would be stuck to the bottom of the hollow, to create a soft, non-scratch cushion for the iPad.

Taking the advice from the WikiHow website, I wrapped the back cover in cling wrap so that excess solution would not get on it. I prepared a 50-50 solution of PVA glue and water, and gingerly brushed it onto the inner edges of the hollow. After a while, I grew in confidence and began slathering it on…I did both the inner and outer edges, and allowed it to dry overnight.

The next night (I gave it about 24 hours), the pages did indeed become one solid block! Ok, it wasn’t exactly as solid as a block of plastic, but still, it worked better than I expected as there were no wrinkles in the pages.


This is what it looks like when I glued the block to the back cover.


To protect the back from scratches, I cut a piece of self-adhesive felt to the desired size, and stuck it on the back.


BIG mistake.

It made the hollow much shallower than I thought it would…and that made the iPad stick out like a sore thumb.



It wouldn’t have been such a bad thing, as it allowed the speakers and volume controls/orientation lock to be exposed…EXCEPT, the book simply would not close properly. After some deliberation, I decided to rip out the felt (really carefully, I might add)…and the end result is as follows…who would’ve thunk that a thin piece of felt would make such a big difference??



Not perfect, but at least the book can be more or less closed…somewhat… *sigh*

More photos of the finished product…




The final step would be to cut the rubber/foam sheet down to size, glue it to the corners of the hollow for a more secure fit, and then add a ribbon below the iPad for easy removal.

If you want to attempt making your own, here are some tips (based on what I learnt from my errors).

  1. Get a thicker book. The iPad is 1/2 inch thick at it’s thickest point. Get something that is thicker than that.
  2. Measure and cut each page one at a time…if you want ALL the inner edges of the hollowed-out space to align perfectly. Oh, and use a pre-measured cardboard cut-out instead of your iPad to measure each page.
  3. Use stronger glue to adhere the “block” of pages to the back cover.

Being a perfectionist, I’ll probably make another one…this time, with less mistakes.

Spot the iPad!

That was probably the equation behind Apple’s iBooks app…take a book, digitize it, and put it into your iPad. Tah-dah! iBook!

However, what if one took an iPad, and put it into a book instead? That was the premise behind my (slightly) crazy idea of making my very own, personalised, DIY, bespoke iPad case.

I have been searching for the perfect iPad case, but they were either too expensive, too boring, too common or just…well…plain did not fit the bill. I wanted one with character…something which shouts “ME!” (sounds familiar, anyone?)

So anyhow, my idea was to find a suitable book and hollow it out, such that there would be enough space to fit the iPad. To my chagrin, I discovered that the idea was not original, and that I was the third person to attempt it (based on my very unscientific method of deduction). There were two other posts on the topic, by Ben and Lindsay. Since I could find no other posts, I must be the third…haha. (Update: found another one. I’m fourth. Hah.)

(Even more recent update: I found a few more examples of people who did the same thing…at the last count, i am probably #1,436,567…)

Anyhow, it was not easy looking for a suitable book. They were either too thin, too thick, too tall, too wide, too heavy, too un-glam, or too softcover (I am beginning to sound like Goldilocks)…however, I eventually found one after scouring Bras Basah complex, looking in dingy corners in second-hand bookstores. It was a graphic design book titled Hindsight, edited by Ken Cato, and cost me $14 (after some bargaining). Best part was, it was fabric-bound, a nice shade of blue, and was just the right size and thickness.

Sorry Ken Cato!

It was no easy feat cutting out the iPad-shaped hole in the book, but it was nothing a ruler and an X-acto knife (and a LOT of patience) couldn’t handle. Here are the photos:

Things you need…a suitable book, rulers of varying lengths, pencils of varying thickness (for greater precision), and different types of blades (with different lengths to help get into those tight corners). X-acto blades work better for cutting the rounded corners.

When you first draw the outline, remember to leave some space (it’s actually up to you how much space exactly, but more is better than less).

After about four hours of cutting, I was still just only part-way through. Until I remembered the sage advice by Ben (not Kenobi).

“Don’t forget to square your corners after the first 10 or 20 pages and continue to cut them that way. Square corners are much easier to cut than the rounded ones.”

Ah…yes, Ben.


After more cutting, I placed the iPad in to see how much more I had to go. Not long now…besides, I was nearing the end of the book.


One point to note…when cutting, you need really steady hands. One little slip, and this is what you get…



Finally! Reached the end of the book…the green-blue page you see is the inner-lining.

Now for the acid-test…

And it fits! *phew*

Of course, along the way, I had tested to make sure that the iPad fits into the hollow. Just that, I wasn’t 100 percent sure about the depth.


And here you go…a DIY book case for the iPad. A newer “old-school” twist, to a new twist on books. Anyhow, this is still only part one of the project. As you can see, the pages are still loose. I have yet to figure out a satisfactory way of adhering the pages together, such that they all become one solid block.

Any ideas?