Homemade iPad Pro Magnetic VESA Mount

For a while now, I've had my iPad Pro next to a 27 monitor for my home setup. This is on a dual-monitor VESA Mount using a magnetic mount for the iPad Pro. It's been working out very well for a long while, given that I had the M1 12.9" iPad Pro.

So when the new iPad Pros were announced and I knew that I was going back down to the 11-inch size, I figured it might be a while until I had a magnetic mount again. But I remembered that there were multiple people out there that created their own in the past from a folio case and some wood. I know I'm a bit handy/creative, so I thought I could manage this pretty easily.

Preparing the way.

First, I needed to see if there were any magnetic smart folio cases. As was with my previous Pro, I quickly found the ESR iPad Pro Folio: not only is it just like Apple's – except for the new magnetic rails, which I expect them to create at some point – but it's also around a quarter of the price, with the added benefit of a protective magnetic flap for the Pencil. So I ended up ordering 2 of them, using one normally and one for this mount. I also knew that I needed to fasten the VESA mount plate. I added some M4 threaded inserts and socket head cap screws to my order to make sure I had everything on hand for easy assembly.

No room for error here.

Next, and very delicately with a fresh utility knife blade, I used a ruler to align the cut of the folio case, splitting it in two. ProTip™: if you have a metal ruler, it sticks extremely well to the folio case and doesn't move while cutting. This gives the perfect outline and maximum attachment. I did think about cutting down the folio case back, but ultimately decided it would be more work to do everything cleanly and scrapped that idea.

Then, I found a scrap piece of 1" x 8" pine. You don't have to use pine: you could use plywood or other hardwoods that you might have. I cut it to the length and width of the folio, cutting the width just under the camera opening of the folio case. Once this was cut, I located the VESA mount holes and drilled a pilot hole for the threaded inserts. I sanded the corners and the piece, then routed the back side to give it a more friendly edge, though routing is not a necessity. A quick sanding and black spar paint finished off the wood part of the project.

Leave plenty of dry time for both paint & glue.

With the board painted black, the threaded inserts installed, the back of the folio case super glued, and everything fully dried, all I needed to do was attach the mount plate and put it on the arm. I ended up adding some cable management for the USB-C cable to make it super clean.

I think this is just about the most simplistic build that could be done for this, and what most people would be best served by. I could have done a few things differently to allow for a super-slick hidden cable management system, but in practice it's perfectly fine. I'm sure that there are other material options here instead of using wood based on your own aesthetic - like 3D printing – so use what you think might be best. Fun little project, and it saved me a bunch of time and money waiting on someone to make it for me.