In this age of technology, computer accessories like the humble mousepad might seem unimportant, but a good surface for your mouse can make all the difference in comfort and precision.
Sometimes, though, we find ourselves in need of a makeshift mousepad or simply want to add a personal touch to our workstations. In this comprehensive guide, we present 12 alternative things you can use as a mousepad, complete with DIY-making processes, so you can create a functional and stylish addition to your desk.
1. Hardcover Book
Hardcover books can serve as sturdy, functional mouse mats. To create your own, select a hardcover book with a smooth surface, preferably one with an aesthetically pleasing cover. Remove any dust or debris from the cover, then apply a layer of clear, self-adhesive vinyl to protect the book and provide a smooth glide for your mouse. Voilà! Your hardcover book has now become a sophisticated mousepad.
Magazines offer a wide variety of colorful, eye-catching images to add flair to your workspace. Choose a magazine with a glossy cover, and then carefully cut the cover to the desired size using a paper trimmer or scissors. To ensure durability and a smooth surface, laminate the cover or apply a layer of clear, self-adhesive vinyl. Enjoy your vibrant, upcycled magazine mousepad!
It provides a comfortable, textured surface for your mouse. To create one, cut a piece of corkboard to your desired size, and then sand the edges to eliminate roughness. You can also decorate the corkboard with paint, stencils, or stickers before applying a clear, protective sealant. Your rustic corkboard mouse mat is now ready for use!
Placemats make for practical and stylish mousepads, particularly those made from silicone, vinyl, or fabric. Simply select a placemat with a design and texture that suits your preferences, and then trim it to your desired size. No additional modifications are necessary – your repurposed mouse placemat is ready for action.
5. Glass Surface
A glass surface can create a sleek and modern mouse mat that’s easy to clean. Choose a piece of tempered glass for safety and durability, then cut it to the desired size using a glass cutter or ask a professional to do it for you. Attach rubber or silicone pads to the corners to prevent slipping and protect your desk. Enjoy the elegance and functionality of your glass-surface mousepad.
6. Vinyl Record
Vinyl records can be transformed into unique, retro mouse mats. Begin by cleaning the record with a soft cloth to remove any dust or debris. Then, apply a layer of clear, self-adhesive vinyl to protect the record and ensure a smooth surface for your mouse. Your vintage-inspired vinyl record mousepad is now ready to rock!
7. Photo Frame
This one allows you to showcase cherished memories while providing a functional surface for your mouse. Choose a frame with a glass or acrylic cover and a flat, smooth backing. Remove the backing and insert your favorite photograph or artwork, then reassemble the frame. You now have a personalized photo frame mousepad to brighten up your workspace.
8. Fabric Scraps
Fabric scraps can be fashioned into a comfortable and customizable mousepad. Select a piece of fabric with a texture and pattern that suits your taste, and then cut it to the desired size. Next, adhere the fabric to a piece of non-slip shelf liner or rubber matting using strong fabric glue or double-sided tape. For added durability, consider stitching the fabric’s edges or applying a layer of clear, self-adhesive vinyl. Your custom fabric scrap mousepad is now ready to impress.
Turn your old or unused t-shirts into comfortable and personalized mouse mats. Cut out a section of the t-shirt with a design or pattern you like, and then trim it to the desired size. Attach the t-shirt material to a piece of non-slip shelf liner or rubber matting with fabric glue or double-sided tape. For a smoother surface, consider ironing a piece of fusible interfacing to the t-shirt fabric before attaching it to the base. Your stylish t-shirt mousepad is now ready for action.
The cardboard can serve as an eco-friendly, temporary mousepad. Start by cutting a piece of cardboard to your preferred size, making sure the surface is smooth and free of creases. To increase durability and provide a smoother surface, cover the cardboard with clear, self-adhesive vinyl or laminate. Your eco-friendly cardboard mat is now ready for use.
For those seeking a unique, textured mouse mat, sandpaper can offer a surprisingly effective solution. Select a piece of fine-grit sandpaper to ensure a smoother glide for your mouse. Cut the sandpaper to your desired size and attach it to a non-slip base, such as a rubber mat or non-slip shelf liner, using double-sided tape or a strong adhesive. Your unconventional sandpaper mousepad is now ready to make a statement.
12. DIY Foam Pad
This one offers an ergonomic and customizable solution for your workspace. Start by cutting a piece of foam to your desired size – memory foam or neoprene works well. Then, cover the foam with a fabric of your choice, securing the edges with fabric glue, double-sided tape, or by sewing.
Attach a non-slip base, such as a rubber mat or shelf liner, to the bottom of the foam pad to prevent slipping. Your comfortable, DIY foam pad is now ready to enhance your computing experience.
Is sandpaper safe for my mouse?
Fine-grit sandpaper can be used as a mousepad, providing a unique textured surface. However, it may not be suitable for all types of mice, especially those with sensitive optical sensors. Test your mouse on the sandpaper surface before committing to this option.
What type of foam is best for a DIY foam pad mousepad?
Memory foam or neoprene works well for a DIY foam pad mousepad, offering an ergonomic and comfortable surface.
Can I wash my fabric-based mousepad?
They can typically be spot-cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent. If you have a fabric-based mouse mat with a removable cover, you may be able to machine-wash the cover according to its care instructions.
Will a DIY mousepad work with any type of mouse?
DIY mouse pads should work with most types of mice. However, some mice, especially those with sensitive optical sensors, may not perform optimally on certain surfaces. It’s best to test your mouse on the alternative mousepad material before committing to a particular option.
How do I maintain the longevity of my alternative mousepad?
To maintain the longevity of your alternative mousepad, keep it clean and free from dust, debris, and spills. For fabric-based ones, spot-clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent as needed. If the surface becomes worn or damaged, consider replacing the material or applying a fresh layer of clear, self-adhesive vinyl, if applicable. Regular maintenance will help ensure the best performance and durability for your DIY mouse mat.
With these 12 alternative mousepad ideas and their accompanying DIY-making processes, you can create a customized and functional addition to your workspace. Whether you’re seeking a temporary solution or a personalized touch, these alternative mousepads offer a wide variety of options to suit any style or preference. So, go ahead and add some flair to your desk, while also improving your mouse’s performance with these inventive and practical mousepad alternatives.