Tyvek is a material made of high-density polyethylene fibers flashspun and bonded into a paper-like sheet. This lightweight and highly breathable plastic resists tearing, moisture, and chemicals, but can be folded and cut like paper. Tyvek is often used in protective clothing, backpacking groundcloths, CD sleeves, and mailing envelopes. It can also be used to make weather-resistant pouches for electronic devices. In this case, Tyvek from a used USPS Priority Mail envelope was engineered into a T-Mobile G1 smartphone pouch.
You will need a large Tyvex envelope, a sheet of paper towel (I used Bounty) for padding, a T-Mobile G1 as a template, tape (double-sided would be best), a pair of scissors (a knife would be helpful as well), and preferably a paper cutter or trimmer. Each envelope makes two pouches. Please follow along with these photos.
- trim off the ends of the envelope and make a bisecting transverse cut
- open and trim the envelope along its seam
- fold one of the sheets around the phone along its superior-inferior axis and secure with tape
- insert padding material
- tuck down the lower lip of Tyvek tube about a half-inch from the bottom
- roll the phone, tuck the lip, and secure lip with tape
- repeat until satisfactory, trim off excess material, and secure with tape
- trim the top of the tube to fit the G1 and leave a flap if desired
- to secure the flap, add a thin band of Tyvek around the top
- that’s it!
This is a rather simple procedure that should not take very long. The resulting pouch is breathable but waterproof, so it should not cause overheating. Along the same lines, I chose to use paper towel instead of heavier padding. My pouch ended up having three layers of Tyvek with two layers of Bounty sandwiched within. This first attempt is a bit crude, but it’s a nice start.
Misuse of Packaging Supplies
According to the USPS,
Packaging supplies provided by the United States Postal Service are solely for use in sending Express, Priority, Global, or Global Express Mail via USPS. Misuse may be a violation of federal law.
Because their packaging materials display small “please recycle” symbols, I do not think recycling an old shipping envelope would constitute “misuse.” Discarding such an envelope would be quite wasteful. Any other source of Tyvek would do; UPS and FedEx use these envelopes as well. Recycle at your own risk.