How to mod your laptop

Have you ever wanted to liven up your laptop's looks? Here's how to spruce up your portable PC with stickers, paint, fabric, and more.

Stencil Your Laptop With Souffle Pens

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What the heck is a Souffle pen? It's a brand of puffy-paint ink pen made by a company called Sakura of America, and you should be able to find them at your favorite craft store.

Stock up, because these pens are an excellent way to modify the external look of your laptop without going through the rigors of disassembling it.

Other gel-style pens might work as well, depending on how glossy your laptop's texture is. Feel free to test these out on a tiny area of your laptop's cover before you tackle the full design how-to detailed below--most dry ink will come off with a gentle fingernail scrubbing or a damp cloth.

Start by purchasing a bunch of these pens in whatever color you feel like painting up. Don't plan on completely transforming your laptop's color, though--these pens are more for creating artistic textures and designs on the external casing than for transforming the entire laptop into a new shade or color.

If you're not much of an artist, you don't actually have to freehand a design on your case. Grab some tracing paper, a graphite pencil, and some kind of rubbing instrument and presketch your designs in a safer environment.

When you're ready to transfer your final images to your laptop, you'll be able to create a picture-perfect copy for following with your puffy-pen work.

Before you begin drawing, however, make sure that you get a gentle flow of ink rolling by rubbing the pen on a piece of scrap paper. And remember--the slower you go, the more the ink collects, which delivers a stronger color instead of a speedy streak.

Add Fur and Fabric to Your Laptop Case

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It's time to take your adventures in basic modding to the next level: textures. Head on over to a local fabric store and pick up a chunk of fur that has around 4 inches of extra fabric on each side compared with the overall size of your laptop.

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While you're shopping, you'll also want to grab a hot glue gun if you're interested in covering the edges of your laptop's screen as well.

If you just want to slap a rectangular hunk of fabric on the top your portable, spray adhesive will work just fine. And, yes, applying fur to your laptop is a top-and-sides only experience--do this to the bottom of the machine and you'll ruin your system's ventilation.

If you just want to have a carpet square's worth of fur on the top of your case, all you have to do is add some adhesive. Cut the fur to whatever size works best and stick it on top of your laptop. Done and done.

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If you want your fur to wrap around the edges of your laptop's screen, you'll need to create lines of glue--one edge at a time--around the periphery of the screen.

Just to be clear: These lines of glue don't go on the same face as the screen. If your laptop's facing you, apply the glue to the perpendicular east, west, and north borders of the laptop, not to the direct back or the direct front.

Also, glue the fur one side at a time. Wait for it to dry a bit before going on to the next side.

As you're gluing, you'll want to make sure you're giving the fur a decent tug to allow it to fit nice and tight atop your laptop's cover. Once the fur is adhered to your laptop, grab a razor and trim the edges (and any spillover glue) until your furry creation looks as sharp as it does fuzzy.

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David Murphy

PC World (US online)
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