Coffee Bag Laptop Sleeve, or Last-Minute Closure Hack

Those laptop sleeves are so fun to make that I did another one for a friend’s birthday last weekend (no broken bones from the skating party, by the way!). Her boyfriend is the coffee roaster at the coffee shop where we hang out, and he’s given me a bunch of empty bags, so I turned one of them into a laptop sleeve for her. I think it turned out really well — but no more sewing with burlap until allergy season is over. It generates too many little particles floating around in the air!

Coffee Bag Laptop Sleeve, Front

I positioned this so that you could see chunks of the text and the flower image on the front and back of the sleeve. It said “Magnolia” in the blue cursive and above the flower it said “Cafe de Costa Rica” (if I remember correctly!).

Coffee Bag Laptop Sleeve, Back

If there were a support group for people who wait until it’s too late to make decisions about sewing projects, I would need to be the first person to sign up (though I probably wouldn’t, because it’s hard to admit that you have a problem!). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten nearly to the end of a project and thought, “What would be really cute here would be ric-rac around the pockets, or a piece of velcro to keep this closed, or a pocket on the inside, etc., etc.” And it is pretty much always too late to add any of these things.

Coffee Bag Laptop Sleeve

Case in point — the closure for this laptop sleeve. If you recall the first one of these I made for my sister, I did a couple of buttonholes on the flap with vintage buttons. But from the very beginning I didn’t think I would that on this one because I was uncertain how the buttonholes would do on the really open weave of the burlap. So, even though I knew from the start that I wasn’t going to do buttonholes, I waited until the very end to come up with an alternate plan.

Coffee Bag Laptop Sleeve, Button Detail

And here’s what I came up with — and I really love it! And tons easier than the buttonholes, for those of you who are afraid of buttonholes but can handle sewing on a button. Basically, I took a piece of elastic the right length to wrap around the whole sleeve (test this with the computer in the sleeve!) and threaded the two ends through the button and tied them together securely behind the button. The knot is hidden on the back side of the button. Then, just stitch the button onto the flap! I did this so that the stitches were buried between the burlap/muslin and the quilted lining so that you couldn’t see it on the reverse side. In the close up you can see that the elastic comes out the two holes in the button and the stitching goes between the two holes, just like it normally would.

Coffee Bag Laptop Sleeve, Inside Lining

Necessity really is the mother of invention!

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8 comments to Coffee Bag Laptop Sleeve, or Last-Minute Closure Hack

  • Sam

    Way cool. Almost beats the panties, but, then, nothing could beat the panties!

  • Ana

    I love it! Very graphic. I did get some burlaps from a local coffee shop (owned by a parent in my class), but they are printed in very faint brown, so not as fun. But we are using them to embroider with the kids and (other than being covered in “burlap dust”) they have turned out to be perfect for all sorts of projects.

  • What a cute bag and what a great tip! Thanks for sharing this!

  • How lucky to have a source for your coffee bags. This laptop bag looks great made in the coffee bag. I love the closure too – seems fitting with the materials. That same thing happens to me – I get so far into a project and then remember something I should have done or added. Doh!

  • This is brilliant. I live in eternal fear of buttonholes, so your hack is right up my alley…

  • Another great idea for using your coffee bags — and so appropriate for your friend. I’m going to use this closure idea on the ones I’m making for Christmas presents (using your tutorial, of course).

  • AWESOME!!!!! anytime you need more bags I got em!

  • Melissa

    I love this coffee bag laptop sleeve. Is there any possibility you could make a tutorial for this one?

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