While driving, I use my kipi to navigate, and so I need a holder for it our new housebus. Rather than buying a boring plastic mount, I took my cue from this Etsy vendor and made my own cover in the shape of old-fashioned television.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
This wooden frame is easy to make and makes your kipi look hip! The device slides in easily from the top.

NOTE: Our family uses the word kipi (pronounced “kee-pee”) as a generic term for our electronic tablets. It’s a word Brioni made up, it saves us from using a brand name all the time, and it’s stuck.

I found a retro TV shape that I liked, and I used that as my model for the shape of my frame. Then I had to find a template to help me make the shapes that I wanted.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
Looking through our kitchen supplies, I choose a lid with rounded corners to use as a template.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
A larger curve is needed for the frame, so I find a plastic platter for my template.

I only used two thicknesses of wood. I used a thin plywood for the front and back, and thicker plywood for the interior frame. Because I keep my kipi in a protective cover, I needed to make the whole frame suit the kipi while it is still in its case. After tracing out the shapes, I used a jigsaw to cut the three pieces before gluing them together.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
This is really a simple project, with only a few tools needed. I'm fashioning three layers of wood to make the cover.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
A thick plywood frame is mounted on the thin backing panel. I slot my kipi in place to make sure it fits before I glue it together. The top of the frame will mean I can "post" my kipi into the frame whenever I need to use it in the bus.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
I spread wood-glue across the surfaces to hold it all together. I don't want to use screws because it'll spoil the look. (I have no idea how other people apply wood-glue, but spreading it like honey works for me!)

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
Once the glue is fully dry (24 hours), I sand the frame so all three layers of wood are exactly the same shape. Although I started out hand-sanding the frame, the electric sander works faster.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
Checking again — I can see that my kipi fits. But I've forgotten something — a hole to access the power socket.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
I drill several holes and sand them smooth. The hole is a bit larger to make it easier to plug the cord in. If I wanted to use the earphones jack, I would drill the hole in the frame now.

When the sanding is finished, I add some finishing touches. I want to complete the look with knobs, but I’m not happy with the look of wooden knobs. I also decide that I don’t need to use the speakers on the kipi while it’s in its case, so I don’t have to provide holes for that.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
I cannibalise two analogue dials from an old sound system and try them out for size. The knobs don't serve a purpose except for finishing the retro-TV look.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
I want the dials to twist, so I drill holes and glue the dial's inserting poles into them. (The glue gets messy because it really does need 24 hours to dry instead of just 18.)

Getting the knob columns to the right depth was pretty tricky. Thank goodness the dials cover the mess I made with the glue! A router would make the holes properly, but I improvised with a large drill bit.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
The frame has a slot at the top for the kipi to drop into.

Making a retro-TV ipad cover, October 2012
After a coat of aluminium paint for the dials and stain and varnish on the wood, the kipi cover is looking finished.

I’m really happy with the finished project! I’m going to give the frame a couple more coats of finish before I lay it aside, and then it’ll be screwed permanently in place in the front of The Gifted Gypsy.

This was a very simple wood-working project with fantastic results. With just the basic tools, you can turn your kipi into a real wow factor. If you make one of these, I’d love to hear about it!