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A completely individualised and unique laptop skin with limitless possibilities.
Step 1: Materials List and pre-project timesaver
Sheet of adhesive laminate or vinyl cling (represented by plastic baggie, not replaced by bag)
Small Paintbrush (like in a watercolor kit)
1" foam brush
Magazines and mail order catalogs
Masking tape (not pictured but necessary!)
Nice but not necessary- Rotary cutter and mat.
Before you start the project it's a timesaver to have the images you want already clipped. A good, mindless project for in front of the tv. This part doesn't have to be neat and tidy, you can do any trimming when you start gluing later on.
Step 2: Measure and cut first layer
Measure the top of your notebook/laptop lid allowing 1/4" border all the way around (ie: remove 1/2" from total measurement)
I used a rotary cutter to cut the laminate. This is not necessary, but it was handy. If you don't have a rotary cutter, mark the lines with permanent marker on sheet and cut carefully with scissors.
Set on top to double check that you have approx 1/4" space to edge.
This layer will allow you to take off your design at a later time- therefore it is intended to be non permanent. I do not know what will happen if modpodge is applied directly to a laptop, nor did I want to find out. I bear no responsibility to any damage incurred to your machine should you choose to go this route.
Step 3: Secure cling vinyl or laminate to notebook/laptop
If you are using adhesive laminate, separate at a corner and carefully set where you want it. Then slowly press it down squeezing out any airbubbles. Working carefully is a good idea here. Keep pressing down until you've completely removed the backing.
If you are using vinyl cling do the same thing, omitting the separating the non-adhesive layer off.
When the clear layer is on put masking tape along the edges of the exposed cover.
Step 4: Pick out your background images and start securing
Choose full page images with interesting colors and textures. Solids do not create as nice a background in my experience. I found a couple of covers from the New Yorker and cut them to fit inside the masking tape. Then I cut them in strips and alternated them so it didn't look cut in half. This was a last-minute decision and I'm really glad I did it.
Once I had the strips cut I put a thin coating of mod-podge with the foam brush on and put the images down, again pressing gently but firmly to squeeze out airbubbles.
Step 5: Place larger images first!
Pick larger images to put down over the background covering it in a way pleasing to you. Coat back of image with mod-podge and place where you want, squeezing out airbubbles. I find this part is best done with larger squares, rectangles and circles rather than random shapes. You can do that part next.
Step 6: Glue on smaller, oddly shaped images
Smaller images that you can use to soften the edges of the last step or to fill in some of the background space. I've found that pictures from mail order catalogs work great for this step.
Step 7: Seal your creation
With the foam brush and mod-podge, paint on even, thin layers on the collage. It will have a haze to it until dry. Do several layers this way. IME, if you put it on too thick and goopy it takes forever to dry and gets wrinkled. Be patient.
Step 8: Remove masking tape and show off your creation to the world
Don't make the same mistake I did and remove the masking tape too soon after you put your final layer of mod-podge on. I really should have given it a couple of days to cure more, but didn't and some of the sealer peeled up. I was able to re-seal those areas, so all was not lost, but really wish I was more patient.
When you take the tape off work slowly, holding down the edge of the sealed collage.
I do wish I had used the vinyl cling rather than the laminate adhesive. If I do this project again, I will go that route.