Completed: A cover for my Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 keyboard cover

Yes, you read that correctly, I made a cover for a cover. Which may perhaps at first seem like an odd thing to do but to me it made perfect sense.

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Sometimes I want to take something with me that I can use to easily make notes on and send e-mails. A phone is a bit too small and while a laptop would work, it is also a bit heavy and large, so I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. When I bought it I could also get the keyboard cover for free which sounded like a useful addition for what I want to use a tablet for. I also liked that this tablet comes with a stylus that you can use to simply write on the screen.

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Closed cover

 

However, I wasn’t entirely sold on the design of the keyboard cover when I received it. My main objections:

  1. It looks yawn-inducing boring, I am not sure I could make it look even more boring if I tried.
  2. I am not so sure that the keys won’t scratch the screen of the tablet when it is closed.
  3. There is no real closure, it just folds over and that’s it, nothing is holding it in the folded position which seems like a bit of a risk if you throw it in a bag with other stuff.
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Boring, right?

If you would want to use the tablet for taking pictures there is also no hole in the cover for the camera. Since I think it is a bit ridiculous to use a tablet for taking pictures I don’t really find this an issue but I suppose other people might.

Ever since laying eyes on this cover I have been thinking on how to improve and prettify it. One option I even considered was making a completely separate cover and only using the keyboard cover when I want to use the keyboard, but that would mean lugging two things with me which is also a bit stupid and would probably result in me leaving the keyboard at home.

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Open cover with flap still covering the keyboard.

As I was playing with fabric and the cover I realised I could also simply cover it up and add the features I was missing. I sort of made this project up as I went along and while it certainly didn’t turn out perfect I think it will do the job just fine.

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Outside and lining before they were sewn together.

The outside of the cover contains a very thin layer of polyester batting and is quilted but without a backing. The flap that folds to the inside to cover the keyboard has a single layer of iron on fabric interfacing. To the outside I also sewed a very subtly stretched piece of soft elastic that is used to keep the cover closed. It also contains two tubes of elastic that are used to hold the stylus in place when it is not in use. The keyboard cover came with a thingy to hold the stylus that can be glued to the cover but this sewn solution seemed more practical to me.

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From left to right, the empty fabric cover, the fabric cover with the keyboard inserted and the fabric cover with keyboard and tablet.

The cover lining has a pocket on one side that the keyboard covers slips into to hold it in place. The tablet attaches to the keyboard cover via magnets and this still seemed to work just fine when there was one layer of fabric in between the tablet and the cover. I used the selvedge of the fabric so I didn’t have to do a hem or double layer to have a finished edge. On the other side the keyboard is held in place via two pieces of elastic. At the centre there is also a piece of ribbon for extra security, this was attached after partially sewing the outside and lining pieces together so I could determine where exactly to put it. The lining part of the flap has no interfacing to keep the flap thin.

I am happy with my no longer boring cover. Do you still think it is crazy to make a cover for a cover?

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9 comments on “Completed: A cover for my Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 keyboard cover

  1. katechiconi says:

    Not crazy, but then I’m an inveterate cover maker, since anything that comes with an electronic device is invariably either ugly or just boring. I made something for the Husband’s Samsung tablet which had a pocket for the tablet and a second one for the keyboard. The pocket for the tablet had a stiff vinyl panel inserted into the padding to prevent things poking the screen while it was in his baggage. Your cover looks good and does the trick, so what’s not to like?

    • Emmely says:

      That sounds good as well. He probably has a keyboard that connects via bluetooth? Something that does amaze me somewhat is that nowadays gadgets get so slim and sleek that for daily use you really want to add a cover to protect it because it feels so fragile when you’re handling the device. I prefer things to feel a bit sturdier. The only other cover I’ve made was for my husband’s Kindle and that was years ago.

      • katechiconi says:

        No, it actually plugs into a groove on the keyboard that goes into one of the power ports. The keyboard is battery powered and needs to be charged. But I know exactly what you mean about feeling things have to be protected because they’re fragile!

  2. Anthea says:

    Not at all. The company I work for upgraded its fleet of laptops and I got a Surface Pro. It came with a backpack but no cover other than the keyboard. The stylus attaches with a magnet – seems to have disappeared already!
    Makes perfect sense for you to do what suits you and your use of the item. Looks prettier too 😀

    • Emmely says:

      Oh no, the stylus was one of the features I really wanted with a tablet! Attaching it with a magnet seems a recipe for disaster. Although that could be part of the businessmodel… More people will have to buy new ones if they keep losing it.

  3. Helen Beavis says:

    No I don’t think that’s crazy at all. Its much more attractive! I have made covers for all my sewing machines which was a really good way to test my pattern making. Each cover is made from offcuts of white fabric and then I used coloured decorative stitching on seams/edges. I then made a bag for the foot controller/electric leads in the same matching stitching. Keeps it all more dust free and makes the workroom look much tidier. : )

    • Emmely says:

      Oh, covers for my sewing machines is something that I still plan to do! Especially the cover that came with my overlocker is quite hideous…

  4. amcclure2014 says:

    I think it’s a great idea. I’ve just bought the new version but don’t have my keyboard yet – like yours, it’s free from Samsung but could take a few weeks to get here. I think I’ll be doing the same. I’m not clear what I’m supposed to do with the pen at the moment! I thought there would be a slot in the tablet, but I think I must have been watching the phone advert! I have covers for other things in mind too.

    • Emmely says:

      The cover comes with a plastic holder that you can tape to the cover. The tape is already attached to the holder so it’s quite easy to attach. I simply liked my own solution better. I’ve been using my tablet for a couple of weeks now with the extra fabric cover and I still like what I came up with. Good luck on making your own cover when it arrives!

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