Problem: Apple’s iPad Smart Keyboard Folio is handy, but the plastic on the outer surface looks kinda meh and isn’t so durable. Solution: cover it with something hardier and prettier!
My previous attempt looked nice and fit well, but the Cards of Wood unfinished veneer paper didn’t hold up to wear and tear. Now I’m trying again with medium leather — this time with some ⌥ ⇧K engraved to pretend it’s official.
This is my first leatherworking project, so I kept it simple: just a light sanding of the edges and rubbing in some finish. Again I’ve used the “temporary” craft adhesive, so if it ever wears through or gets grungy I can always make another one. (Although at this rate I figure I’ll need one for a different iPad model before this one wears out.)
One lesson from the first version: leaving the main fold and the area between it and the stand-up fold unglued gives it a bit more freedom to move. To help with that, I scored a couple lines on the back side of the leather, then masked it off to glue one side at a time. (First the “back” for precise alignment of the camera cutout, then some time sitting closed and weighted down so the leather would relax into its folded shape before gluing the other side.)
In my post on the first version I noted that the extra material makes it hard to fold the cover flat all the way back. That turned out not to be a worry — after a very short “breaking in” period the veneer-paper started folding in on itself better. The medium leather is more substantial, though, so I doubt that’ll happen this time. Maybe better luck with thin leather?
(Fortunately I already find it more natural to hold the cover off the back a little bit when I’m using the device in portrait orientation. It’s a lot like holding a magazine with the cover flipped around, and with a finger already between the covers it’s easy to close it.)