Dressing up one's iPad is perhaps less of a necessity if you got the Apple Smart Cover, but when carrying the device in a regular purse I'd rather both the iPad and the cover be protected from errant pens, rouge lip glosses and who knows what else. Also, it's fun and adds a little girly flair, at least in my case, as I've gone all pink: both the Smart Cover and the handmade sleeve I chose.
Here are some other lovely options I found on Etsy. All handmade and quite different than anything you might find at Staples:
The gray felt at the top reminded me of the Orla Kiely dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore recently. Made by TheSweetMemory from Arizona ($16).
The red leather, hand-cut and engraved case comes from RN&TN Studio in Thailand ($78).
Jeanine King from Upstate NY makes actual sleeve bags (and also laptop and camera bags), this was my favorite but you can also find some cute vintage prints in her collection ($54.99).
This one is hand-knit from a bulky yarn is quite amusing and will fit those who like a home-spun look. By CharBirdie from Ohio ($25).
A much sleeker and more urban look comes from Mari in Omaha, Nebraska. She offers tweedy options in herringbone, tartan and even pinstripe ($75).
This case from The2SistersShoppe in Florida actually replaces the regular Smart Cover and can stand on its own ($55).
The cute marching elephants come from SymbiosisbyJulia in Portland, Oregon ($27)
Estonian EightSeasons is a current favorite of mine. This leather case goes well with the designer's other pieces ($68).
This linen with leather accents case by HaHalley from Vietnam holds several more items such as cards and a smartphone ($48.99).
I bought my pink plaid case (above) from Day Of The Thread, the same California studio that made this one. The cases come beautifully packaged ($45) .
All links in this post are provided for your convenience. I'm not affiliated with any of the stores and get absolutely no compensation, monetary or other.