Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Old Mouse Pad Into New -- DIY Tutorial

No blouse today. Again.

*le sigh*

On the brightside, I've been feeling heaps better and still really itching to craft. I know, I know. I wouldn't say I'm lazy, but surely I have a fierce propensity to procrastinate... especially when there's so many things I wish to do at once, and one project is taking up more time than it should.

So in order to treat you all, (and also alleviate some of the guilt) I have a tutorial I'd like to share: turning your old, ratty mouse pad into a new and awesome one! I've been wanting a new mouse pad, but could not find one that reflected my tastes for less than $30. And I thought to myself, why not craft one myself? I have the stuff and the know how, plus I could make other matching accessories later with endless possibilities!

Onto the tutorial....

What you'll need:
  • Scissors-- fabric and utility (I know, it's rotary cutter up there)
  • Fabric of choice
  • Old mouse pad
  • Marking crayon/chalk/pencil
  • Fabric protector spray-- I use Scotch Guard's fabric & upholstery type
  • Fabric adhesive-- either heavy grade iron on ( I used Heat n' Bond's ultra hold), or spray (shown but not used is Elmer's multi-purpose Craft Bond)
1. To begin, trace the outline of your mouse pad onto your fabric like so... I used chalk because it gives me the right amount of allowance needed for this particular project. It's better that the mark isn't flush to the pad for this step; you'll see why further down. Cut it out as accurately as you possibly can, leaving a crisp edge; this is why I prefer rotary cutters to scissors for cutting fabric.

2. Then you're going to take that circle, and trace it onto the paper side of the iron on sheet as close to the edge as you can-- this step has to be flush. I like using pattern weights because it really helps to keep the fabric from moving around too much as you trace

3. Now, you cut out the circle from the sheet. Your pieces should be nearly identical. Proceed by following the instructions on the labeling of your iron on adhesive, to adhere the sheet to the fabric as evenly layered/together as possible. All iron on adhesives require you to iron it on the back side of the fabric.
You should now have one piece that has the fabric on one side, and the paper on the other; like this...

4. You'll notice that fabric and paper are peeking out at both sides of the piece; this is alright, because now you're going to peel that paper off and reveal the iron on side...

5. Align the fabric on top of the old mouse pad as evenly as possible. There should be even allowances going past the edge of the old mouse pad-- do not put an edge of the fabric to the edge of the mouse pad.
Now iron it on as per instructions once you align it all properly.

Be really careful not to over iron this type of adhesive because you can end up burning it off, rendering the bond useless (not to mention stinky).
Check and make sure that the fabric doesn't come up from the edges easily. Having the allowance makes sure that your bond is flush against the old mouse pad, with very little chance of coming up.

6. Finally, trim your allowance and spray two thin coats of fabric protector spray. This ensures that the fabric you've chosen will suffer minimal damage and stains over the use.

And you're done once its dry! A nice new-ish mouse pad to adorn your computer area!

Alternate adhesive instructions:

I apologize for the lack of photos for this version, but anyways:

Follow step 1 of main instructions.

2. Then you're going to spray a light coat of adhesive to the backside of your fabric, and to the top side of your mouse pad. Let it briefly dry so it becomes tacky.

3. As accurately as possible, align the two pieces together with the allowances all around just like in the main instructions, making sure not to wrinkle the fabric as you stick the two together. A brush over the top with a card or ruler will ensure that there are no wrinkle bubbles and such.

4. Place some heavy books onto the top of the pad and let dry over night. Check to make sure your edges don't come up; apply more if needed and that dry over night again.

Once it's all nice and snug and dry, proceed with step 6 of the main instructions.
Then you're done!

Enjoy and happy crafting!


  1. Oh wow, this is such a great idea! If I have a proper desk and mouse for my laptop one day I will have to do this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. The edges of my current Mucha mousepad are all curling up, and I've been thinking I should do something with it for a while now. So this is a very timely post! My iron isn't packed away yet but all my fabric is. Guess that means I'll either have to wait a while to do it, or else go buy some new fabric ... ;o)

    1. Heh I'm happy to hear it, though I feel kind of sad hearing that a Mucha pad might end up being covered up. Perhaps you can cut the fabric into some kind of frame for the image? That way the edges are restored and you can still look at the pretty picture that I'm certain it is.

  3. What a cool idea! Does the adhesive or Scotch Guard stop the fabric from fraying too?

    1. The ultrabond heat n' bond actually keeps the fabric from fraying-- it goes on pretty thickly, it feels like an iron on patch when you've applied it onto a cotton material. The scotch guard just stops it from staining too quickly and repels liquid, if you're like me and are almost always at the computer with a cup of tea, hehe.


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