iPad stand tutorial

iPad or tablet stand tutorial

This iPad stand, wedge or bean bag is functional as well as decorative. When I made my first iPad bean bag I realised that the item is quite large and therefore very visible in any room. Therefore this time I wanted to add some touches that make the stand not only functional but also a pretty item to look at.

Video: How to make an iPad stand or beanbag

Or you can make it with the leg of a pair of jeans:


  • 1/2 yard of fabric
  • fabric scraps for the flower
  • self covered button
  • polyfill
  • a stone or weight
  • cardboard
  • iPad cardboard base (pdf). The top should be 3 3/4 in wide  and the bottom part 7 3/4 in. The height is 5 3/4 in. If your printer gives you a different size you can adjust it easily before you cut the pattern.
  • Denim iPad cardboard base (pdf) in smaller and bigger sizes. You may need to trim it

Making the flower

Cut 1 long rectangle 2 1/2 x 8 1/2 and 3 4 inch squares.

Fold the squares in half twice and iron each time.

Cut around the raw edge corner of each folded square as per picture.

Gather the pieces of fabric using a rather long stitch so that the bulk of the gathering is reduced and the hole in the middle is smaller than the the button that will cover it.

Attach button to the centre.

Bean bag
Cut one 18 1/2 x 16 rectangle.

Fold the rectangle in half on the long side, ie use the 18 1/2 inch side to fold, right sizes facing together and pin. The beanbag is about 9 inches across.
IMPORTANT: The photo below does not show the correct rectangle size. My original pattern was longer than 18 inches.

Sew around 2 sides leaving one of the narrow sides open. Trim the corners as per photo.

Turn bag inside out and open the bag placing the seam touching the table (see picture).

Make sure the seam is in the middle and flatten the bag as per  picture.

Find the middle point and mark using a pin (see picture).

Fold the bottom corner up as per picture. This is where the flower will be stitched.

Hold the bag up with the pin in place ready for the flower to be attached.

Stitch the flower to the pinned location.

Filling the iPad stand

Using the iPad beanbag cardboard base (pdf), cut the cardboard pattern and place inside the bottom of the bag.

Then place a stone or something heavy on top of the cardboard. This weight will add stability to the stand.

Fill it with polyfill. Use as much filling as you like. My stand has enough fill to take the weight of the iPad but it’s not hard.

Once there’s enough fill, pin the tube together starting from the edge of the cardboard.

Stitch around the edge of the cardboard.

Making the wedge

Fold the fabric in half as per picture.

Pin along the edge.

Stitch very close to the edge.

Leave a small opening and fill the small tube. You can fill the tube a bit more firmly than the bean bag.

When done stitch the opening by hand.

Et voila!

The stand from behind.

Closeup of the flower.

My other iPad bean bag tutorial.

Order my book Turnabout Patchwork

“Turnabout Patchwork. Simple quilts with a twist” is all about playing with blocks – making a block, slicing it up, and turning or repositioning the pieces to make a completely different block (sometimes two smaller blocks) to yield endless quilt tops.

Order Turnabout patchwork by Teresa Mairal Barreu - TeresaDownUnder

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New year embroidery notebook cover with lattice smocking accent

Back of notebook cover. The back features a strip of lattice smocking.

Do you need to make a gift for someone special? Why not making a New Year notebook cover?

Note: For this tutorial I am giving measurements for a notebook whose top cover is 8 3/4 inches high x 7 inches wide and 13 3/4 inches from cover to cover.

BUT this tutorial can be adapted to any notebook size. Just add 1 inch to the initial measurements.

This is how you measure your notebook:

Measure your book all the way around, from top cover edge to bottom cover edge. Do this with the notebook closed.

My notebook is 13 3/4 inches all around.

Now measure the height.

My notebook is 8 3/4 inches high.

Now, add 1 inch to both measurements.

When I add 1 inch I get a rectangle that is  14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in. This is the final size of cover, lining and fusible interface.

The pockets are the notebook height  x whatever the depth you want to use multiplied by 2 (you multiply by 2 because the pockets are folded in half).

In this case each pocket requires a piece of fabric that is 9 3/4 inches x 6 inches. Using a 3 inches deep pocket is ok in most cases though you could use a deeper pocket if you’re covering a large A4 notebook for instance. Just make sure you double the depth. For a 3 inch pocket you need 6 inches fabric for instance.



  • Linen for cover
  • Stranded cotton in different colours suitable to make a gradient
  • Matching cotton fabric for the lattice smocking inside and pockets


Lining: 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in

Pockets: 2 rectangles 6 in x 9 3/4 in

Cover:  1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in. This rectangle is made of 3 pieces:

    • 8 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in linen
    • 2 1/2 in x 9 3/4 in (lattice smocking)
    • 3 3/4 in  x9 3/4 in linen

Fusible interfacing (iron on one side)

1 elastic band

1 fabric covered button

Stitch used: seeding stitch

Download pattern: Year characters (pdf)


Trace the pattern on a piece of linen and embroider it using seeding stitch doing a gradient.

The photos below show the embroidery progression.

I used several shades of browns and yellows.

The embroidery is quite tight around the numbers and quite sparse just at the end.

When the embroidery is finished, stretch on a padded surface and lightly press using steam.

Cut the piece to 8 3/4 in x 9 1/2 in.

Lattice smocking

The lattice smocking piece is 2 1/2 in x 9 1/2 in when finished.

This is how to make lattice smocking:

To start cut a piece that is 15 in x 7 in. Then follow my lattice smocking tutorial to sew the lattice.

Trim the lattice to the required measure after it has been sewn and stretched, not ironed.

Stitch the embroidery piece, the lattice and the other rectangle into one single piece.

Press making sure the lattice remains intact.

Now cut the rest of the fabric:

Lining: 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in

Pockets: 2 rectangles 6 in x 9 3/4 in

Iron both pocket pieces in half.

Now place the lining fabric right side up.

Place the pockets on top of the lining with the raw edges facing the sides.

Place the piece of rubber band, not longer than 3 inches, over a pocket, as per picture.

Important: The rubber band should be placed just directly under what will be the back of the book cover, i.e. the lattice side. I’m stressing this point because I didn’t pay attention and I had to unpick the band and sew it on the other side.

Cut 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in of middle weight of fusible interfacing and iron to the embroidered panel on the wrong side of the panel.

Then place the panel on top of the pockets and lining.

You can see here the elastic band is on the wrong side. It should be on the opposite side, unless you want to stitch the button on the back of the notebook.

Stitch all around the book leaving 1/4 seam allowance and leave a 3 inch opening to turn cover inside out.

Trim corners after stitching.

Turn inside out. Pay special attention to the pockets and don’t get a fright because they look like they’re stitched to the wrong side. Just turn them towards the lining of the notebook.

Top stitch all around the cover as close to the edge as you can.

The cover is done. Insert the notebook.

The finished notebook cover measures about 9  in x 14  in open. The notebook is 7 inches wide when closed.

No sew Christmas ornament tutorial

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

This project is made with fabric folding techniques.

  • 2 squares of 2 1/2 inch wide ribbon for each side in sparkly red
  • 1 1/2 yards of ribbon 1 1/2 inch wide in gold. Use ribbon that has malleable edging
  • 1/2 inch red ribbon
  • a 2 1/2 inch polystyrene ball
  • headpins

Take one 2 1/2 inch square and pin to the ball as per picture.

From the gold ribbon cut 18 1 1/2 inch squares.

Fold in a triangle once.

And then again

Place the triangle against the edge of the red square and in the centre and pin on each side.

Do the same on each side.

Now fill in the gaps.

Continue to do another row placing the triangle points in between each triangle bellow.

When you’ve pinned all triangles do the other side in the same way.

There will be a gap in between both sides.

Now take the rest of the ribbon and mark it at 1/2 inch intervals.

The markings will be your guide to make the box pleats.

Check out my tutorial on peekaboo pleating for a guide on how to make the pleats.

This is what the edges of the pleating looks like.

If using malleable ribbon you don’t need to stitch the pleats so that they stay into shape.

When you have done enough pleats to cover the ball, about 9 1/2 inches, wrap the pleated ribbon around the ball to cover the gap and pin on each pleat. Then place a narrow red ribbon on the middle and pin to the pleated ribbon all around the ball.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

Now, look at the picture and fold each opposite corners of each pleat as per photo. To achieve this effect, your gold ribbon has to have malleable edges so that the corners stay in place after folding.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon


No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

View from the top.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

Using the red narrow ribbon, make a couple of loops with it as per picture and then a larger loop to hang and pin to the ball.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

The ornament is done.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

If you are interested in fabric folding, check my other fabric folding tutorials.

No-sew Christmas tree ornament

No sew Christmas tree ornament - tutorial


  • Scrap fabrics
  • Head pins
  • Sequins
  • Ribbon
  • Polystyrene cone (7 1/2 in high x 3 in diameter at the base)
  • Small beads


Covering the polystyrene cone
Pin the tree background fabric pattern to the fabric as per picture.

Cut at least 1 inch below the pattern line. The extra fabric will be used to cover the base of the cone.

Cover the cone with the fabric and pin on the edge at three different locations as per picture.

Pay attention to the angle of the pin when you insert them near the top of the cone. The pin will need to be at an angle, otherwise you may stab yourself while pinning.

Then cover the base of the cone well, and pin each fold making sure the base is as flat as possible.

Adding texture to the cone

Cut 4 wedges out of the contrasting fabric. I used white but you could use something more festive such as golden or silver fabric too.

Press each wedge as per picture below aligning both sides of the wedge in the centre. I chose this method instead of stitching the wedge into a tube to reduce bulk in the central seam.

Place the 4 wedges as per picture below making sure they’re evenly spaced apart. Pin on the top. I folded the tops in to make it neater. Don’t worry, the top won’t show. At the end we’ll be adding a bow.

Now pin each wedge on the bottom too.

Pinning the sequins

Now mark with a pin where the sequins will go.

Pin at 5 in, 3 in and 1 1/2 in from the bottom folding the fabric inside or out as per picture below.

Use two pins for the top 5 in marks rather than pinning both sides of the fabric together.

Now, one by one get a small bead and put it through the headpin, and then do the same with the sequin. Then start replacing the pins in the cone with the sequinned headpins. For the pins at the top you will only need to replace one of them. Make sure that the second headpin is hidden by the sequin (see picture).

You can be as creative with your sequins as you like. I alternated sequin shapes and colours (golden, red and green) that matched the fabric and the Christmas theme.

Closeup of the sequins.

Hiding the raw edges of the fabric

Cut a rectangle 9 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in and a piece of ribbon the same size.

Press the top edge of the rectangle 1/4 in inside and do the same with one of the sides (see picture).

Start pinning around the base of the cone as per picture.

Pin as you go 4 or 5 times. Ensure the ribbon edge is hidden behind the white fabric at the end.

Pin the rest of the fabric to the bottom of the cone as per picture.

Make a bow with some matching ribbon and pin to the top.

There you have a Christmas ornament in no time at all and without using your machine.

No sew Christmas tree ornament - tutorial

Give handmade gifts this Christmas: 9 free tutorials

I’m digging out some of the items I have made in the past few months. I made many of them as gifts for friends and relatives.

Most of them can be made in a few hours and all tutorials are original and free.

  1. SEWING: iPad / e-book reader beanbag
  2. SEWING: Mini wallet/bag
  3. SEWING: Spirit tote bag
  4. EMBROIDERY: French cuisine embroidery tea towel
  5. PATCHWORK AND EMBROIDERY: Reversible tray cover using improv piecing and embroidery
  6. FOUNDATION PIECING AND QUILTING: Foundation piecing teapot holder pattern
  7. SEWING AND EMBROIDERY: Embroidered spare toilet roll holder
  8. FOUNDATION PIECING AND QUILTING: Scrappy heart potholder
  9. SEWING AND QUILTING: Quilted hot water bottle cozy

If you  are thinking of making any of the items why not share photos of your finished project. I love seeing what you make with my tutorials.

Note: you need to have a Flickr account to be able to upload pictures to the pool.