How To: Make a Modern Geometric DIY Leather Mouse Pad

By: Capreek Oct 01, 2012

created at: 09/30/2012

We're nearing the finish line of our office makeover (more on that later) and so I've turned my attention to some of the finer details... details like, you know, mouse pads. After a desperate search to find some that blended form and function in a way that made my aesthetic-loving soul happy -- and failing -- I decided to make my own. And I'm glad I did because, holy cow, I love them!     

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These bad boys combine a few of my favorite things: leather, triangles, and the color black (always good in the right doses). Also, these take no time at all to make -- I busted out two in less than an hour, including drying time. So. Wanna see how it's done? Let's go!

Materials:

created at: 09/30/2012

1. leather finish/sealer - clear matte

2. acrylic paint

3. painter's tape

4. cutting mat

5. hot glue gun (or contact cement) *OPTIONAL

6. tooling leather, size 3 to 4 oz. (I got mine from Tandy Leather Factory - they have locations across the U.S.)

7. cork *OPTIONAL

8. paint brush

9. craft knife

Steps:

created at: 09/30/2012

Step 1: Take a (dirty old) mouse pad you already own and use it as a template, tracing around the edges with a marker or pen on the backside of the leather.

created at: 09/30/2012

Step 2: Cut along the marked lines with your craft knife, using a ruler to help keep your lines straight (if you're doing a square or rectangular mouse pad). Use several moderately firm strokes to cut through the leather. Cut off the curved corners if you're into that.

created at: 09/30/2012

Step 3: With painter's tape, tape off your design. You could also use contact paper or a stencil, depending on how intricate you want your design to be. I'm kinda digging triangles, so I kept it simple.

created at: 09/30/2012

Step 4: Fill in the design with acrylic paint in your color of choice, brushing each stroke in the same direction. You could also use a sponge brush for a smoother, less-painted look. Allow the paint to dry before proceeding to the next step (or taping out additional designs if necessary).

created at: 09/30/2012

Step 5: Brush the clear matte leather finish/sealer on evenly with a foam brush. Once dry, you're ready to use your fancy new mouse pad!

Optional Step 6: Remember that glue and that roll of cork? Here's where they come in (if you're so inclined) -- Apply glue all over the backside of your leather mouse pad then immediately press it down on a sheet of cork (cut-to-size). Wipe off any glue that might have oozed out then set a heavy book or two on top and allow the glue to dry. After everything is all dry and stuck together, you can put your mouse pad to work!

created at: 09/30/2012

And that's it! Enjoy your new mouse pads, kids!

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9307 views | Comments (9)

Comments

zouav - This was my first time working with leather as well! What you'll want to look for is "tooling leather", in a pretty thin thickness. Leather thickness is described in ounces/weight -- for a mousepad, anything between 3-5 ounces will be good. I bought the cheapest, smallest piece of 3-4 oz. tooling leather I could find and was able to make three mousepads. I still have some leftover, that I might make into coasters or something else! Anyway, I hope that helps!

Stumbled upon this tutorial through Pinterest, great stuff. Could you give some details about what kind of leather you used for this project? So many to choose from and I have zero experience.

@Melanie I say YES to you making one! YES! Do it. :D

@ck8go Hmm... no? I've had a laser mouse for years and have always used a mouse pad. They don't work well on reflective surfaces, which is why you need one.

I'm saying YES to this project. Yes! I'm also a fan of triangles and black. I need to make this.

Arent mouse pads obsolete in this day of laser mouse technology? I mean, they were really only useful for the roller ball style mouse. Maybe you can spin it as a leather mouse area rug. Or a leather mouse resting station.

Thanks Laura!

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So much easier than my leather mouse pad, so cool inspiration, thank you so much!
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