Introduction: Mouse Mouse!

Picture of Mouse Mouse!

Hacked travel-size (hardware) mouse + taxidermied (wetware) mouse = Mouse Mouse!
Fully functional, and furry!

Warning: this project involves taxidermy, dremels, and sometimes graphic pictures of dead animals. While there are no guts in this tutorial, viewer discretion is still advised. If you are offended by this entire idea, please peruse the wallet contest or the laser cutter contest instead.

Concept by noahw
Implemented by noahw and canida.

Step 1: Acquire Mice

Picture of Acquire Mice

Obtain a small travel-size (hardware) mouse. This one is a wired mouse that is way to small to use comfortably every day, but perfect for going inside of a mouse.

Obtain a similarly-sized (wetware) mouse. These are commonly available fresh or frozen from pet stores, or any other place that sells reptile food. It's easier to fit a small object into a large mouse than a large object into a small mouse, so err on the side of caution. You can always fill extra space with cotton balls.

If you've got an optical (hardware) mouse, make sure to choose a pale-furred (wetware) mouse for lightest skin pigment - this will be important later.

Step 2: Dissect (hardware) Mouse Part 1

Picture of Dissect (hardware) Mouse Part 1

Disassemble your mouse.

The mini travel mouse didn't come factory ready to get put inside of a taxidermied mouse. (What were they thinking?)

Thus, you'll need to take your mouse apart and see whats inside.

Take off the spring loaded cable retractor by taking out the screw and then pop the two halves apart with a screw driver.

Remove the little plastic nub that was on the wire so that the wire will thread smoothly through a hole in the (wetware) mouse.

Next, grab a marker and draw lines around all parts of the plastic mini mouse housing that aren't essential. We needed to slim our (hardware) mouse down to fit inside the (wetware) mouse. We used a rotary tool to remove sections from the front of the buttons and the rear sides so that the (hardware) mouse would fit between the (wetware) mouse's shoulders and hips.

Remove as much plastic as necessary to make your mice fit, but take care not to damage the circuit board. The pseudo-ergonomic styling is really for decoration- you can't make a little mouse like this ergonomic, so go ahead an trim it down to the size of the circuit board.

Make a new slot in the back of the (hardware) mouse for the cord- we need to relocate it to the back to fit with the (wetware) mouse tail.

Step 3: Dissect (hardware) Mouse Part 2

Picture of Dissect (hardware) Mouse Part 2

In order to pass the USB cord through the tail hole in the (wetware) mouse we had to remove it from the circuit board. This is done by desoldering the connections using a soldering iron. It's easy to do once you have done it before, so maybe practice the method a bit before you give it a shot on the actual mouse. For a quick explanation on desoldering check out the How to solder instructable.

Before you take things apart be sure to write down what wires go into what mounts on the circuit board so that you will be able to put things back together correctly.

Using a soldering iron, gently touch the tip of the iron to the ball of solder that holding the wire in place. After a second or two the solder will melt and the wire will come free. Leave the ball of solder attached to the circuit board - you can use it to re-attach the wires later on.

Step 4: Shave (wetware) Mouse

Picture of Shave (wetware) Mouse

Grab a pair of tweezers, your fingernails, a razor, or some wax and remove some fur from your (wetware) mouse's belly. This is where the optical sensor will peek through at the end of the process, so you'll need to clear the fur out of the way.

We started with a sharp scalpel, then moved onto tweezers and fingernails as they are easier and less likely to damage the skin. Your mileage may vary- go with what works.

Step 5: Dissect (wetware) Mouse

Picture of Dissect (wetware) Mouse

Disassemble your mouse.

Take your mouse apart using the techniques described in my previous Mouse Taxidermy Instructable.

You should now have a bag of mouse skin; discard the innards. Remove the tail if you want to run a cord through the opening instead.

Wrap and wire the legs as described for a bit of support, but cut off the wire ends- we'll just let the legs hang loose around the Mouse Mouse body.

Prepare a head-only form, and attach the eyes.

Step 6: Assembly Part 1: Reconstitution

Picture of Assembly Part 1: Reconstitution

Run the cable through the tail hole, and re-solder the four wires onto the surface of the circuit board. Refer to the How to solder Instructable if you need a refresher on surface mount soldering. Once the wires are in place, plug it in to make sure everything works.

Reassemble the shell and circuit board, and hot-glue the pieces in place.

If you've trimmed any bulky edges of the casing away, you'll want to wrap them in plastic to keep the mouse skin away from the circuit board. We used folded-over kitchen plastic wrap, and hot-glued the edges to the sides of the casing.

Step 7: Assembly Part 2: Integration

Picture of Assembly Part 2:  Integration

I inserted the mouse head form just like in the Mouse Taxidermy Instructable, and trimmed the wires so they wouldn't interfere with the rest of the project.

We inserted the (hardware) mouse into the shoulders first, then pulled the tail region around the back. It was a tight fit - next time we'll find a fatter mouse, as it's easy to fill extra space with cotton balls! Skin is stretchy, though, so long as you keep it moist the mice should integrate nicely.

Sew up the back opening, starting near the tail and working towards the head. Leave a space for the scroll wheel- it won't work properly covered in fur!

Tack the skin down around the scroll wheel with a bit of superglue, taking care not to gum up either the buttons or the scroll wheel. I usually apply the glue with a tool, either a pin or a piece of wire with a small loop on the end.

Step 8: Optical Sensor

Picture of Optical Sensor

If you've got an albino (wetware) mouse, its skin might be clear enough for your optical mouse to work directly through the dry skin. Our mouse had a bit of pigment, so it was necessary to remove the skin flap. Thankfully we had already shaved this area, making the process much easier.

Make sure your completed Mouse Mouse is dry first, or the skin may pull and warp as it dries!

Use your X-Acto knife or scalpel to carefully trim a hole for the optical sensor to peek through, then add just a touch of cyanoacrylate (tissue glue, aka superglue) to the edges of the skin. This will toughen the skin edge and fasten it to the plastic around the sensor.

Use a tool (I used a bent piece of wire) to apply the glue, and do so sparingly- you don't want to drop any on the optical sensor!

Step 9: Completed Mouse Mouse!

Picture of Completed Mouse Mouse!

Now plug your Mouse Mouse into your computer and test things out! Ours worked perfectly- I was really quite surprised by how well it turned out.

The buttons and scroll wheel worked beautifully, as did the cursor movement after we trimmed the belly skin away from the optical sensor. You may need to trim a bit of fur around the edges of the scroll wheel or optical sensor, but otherwise it's a wrap!

Keep in mind that this mouse isn't meant for heavy-duty computer use- it's a functional work of art, and should be saved for stylish installations and special occasions. Using the Mouse Mouse on a daily basis will likely cause shedding (the mouse) and RSI (your wrists), so we really can't advise it.

Of course, it's Really Damn Cool- every nerd who's any nerd should have one!


zenilorac (author)2007-06-01

now featured in the latest edition of Bizarre magazine
not on the website yet...

good work

lemonie (author)2007-05-05

This instructable was featured in Friday's Metro:
(The printed version did have a picture)
So that's exposure to a million bored-commuters.


rinipakhe11 (author)2017-12-07

It is very bad to use a real dead mouse.

Epmcateer (author)2017-12-05

Awesome! Trying this tomorrow! As a taxidermist I love this! Thanks for the idea!

bevishobbs (author)2017-05-23

What happens when the mouse starts rotting?

bananabunny7 (author)bevishobbs2017-09-14

It doesn't. I have taxidermied before, and the skin practicly turns to leather. How do you think mummies work? That is the reason museums and that one weird uncle are able to keep critters looking the way they do for centuries.

bevishobbs (author)2017-05-23

Don't like the thought of moving a dead mouse around all the time.

Be better if you used a soft toy mouse insead of a dead one.

robypc (author)2017-05-16

Great but I'd try it with a stuffed one!

robypc (author)2017-05-16

Is. That. A. Real. Mouse. ???!!!

andrew_bentley (author)2016-01-21

This in an interesting idea, but it looks rather odd. I don't think I'd like this in my house.

DEEJAY642 (author)2015-12-11

very germy

JamesW33 (author)2015-12-10

Seems a little disrespectful to the mouse, and rather dubious as technically no one can own a corpse, but I like the idea. Though I'm not sure how you stop it rotting.

hawk090535 (author)2015-08-26

Totally insane.
Won't say anithing more.

xenobiologista (author)2015-08-12

I just saw this article - making things out of dead mice was suggested in the 1930s.

Woodworker_17 (author)2015-04-25


The Manic Puppeteer (author)2015-04-21

This is simultaneously brilliant and insane. The best things tend to fall under that category.

Mz.Liz (author)2013-06-19

That's sick.

chatrooms (author)Mz.Liz2014-01-31

It looks so real!

dmark2 (author)chatrooms2014-12-05

maybe because it is!

davidbarcomb (author)2014-11-25

I would do this but not using real mouse. Stuff toy is better

twilightfox (author)2014-08-16


GothicSpeaker (author)2014-07-23

If this was a stuffed animal mouse/ toy mouse I could laugh about this, but although this mouse already didn't live anymore before you used it for this I still think that this is horrible. I think that you should even have respect for the remains and if you feed it to a reptile, there is at least some way in which nature uses it, but this is to me, disgusting.

This is similar to an artist in my country, Tinkebel, she has used her cat which passed away for an artwork which most people thought was disgusting. I don't know what to think of it, I think it's just to shock people and I think the same of this too.

If you can use a stuffed animal, why don't you do that? That's at least funny.

chall32 (author)2014-01-24

I feel bad for that should of used a stuffed animal not a real one...that is kinda gross one and 2 really sad :( no affence

KingRyt (author)chall322014-07-07

The mouse was already dead, he just put another use for it than feeding reptiles

revelation (author)2014-04-30

What do you call a mouse with no balls? An Optical mouse !

Clefspear999 (author)2014-03-02

Omg that is awesome keep up the good work

eva_maree_dixon (author)2014-02-02


mvernon2 (author)2013-10-15


MineTurtleField (author)2013-08-05

I have a pet mouse :(

kguns1 (author)2013-07-19

i think is like ammm WOOOOOOO, but... i feel sorry for the mouse u////u
but well i just tried with a fake mouse......

laffinm (author)2013-07-17

That is hilarious!

andrea biffi (author)2013-06-04

I had the same idea time ago, but I only drew it in 3D :-) PC-Mouse

millejackson (author)2013-05-09

Now new featured in the latest edition of magazine. Using the real mouse is

Pfarmkid (author)2013-04-22

This is so wrong yet so right lol!!!

Pfarmkid (author)Pfarmkid2013-04-22

I just realized i also made the first comment on this since '07 wow.

MakeItWithJason (author)2013-04-08

Holy. Mackerel! Was not expecting this one!

bhargav.satya (author)2013-04-06

R.I.P Mouse :'( :P

lautn (author)2013-03-27

Using the real mouse is crazy >o

k2iran (author)2013-03-25

that poor mouse Creeps me out :D

charlyoak (author)2013-03-21

Although I can appreciate you talent, maybe an instructable for a fake mouse will appeal to those less squeamish or those against dragging dead animals across a table to finish their taxes (seems a little foreboding).

hahns (author)charlyoak2013-03-25

"...finish their taxes..."

Dare I say...'tax'-idermy?

hopeeckman (author)2013-03-24

:( nice concept but using a real mouse is just sad

3366carlos (author)2013-03-22

awesome, you shoul'da used a wireless mouse.

Bartuss (author)2013-03-22

Good present for ppl who don't actually like mouses ;P

caarntedd (author)2013-03-21

This is awesome. Creepy, but awesome. I love it. My wife would kill me.

wolfgang64 (author)2013-03-21

I want to make one and hook it to my daughters computer and catch it on vidio !

seanthesheep101 (author)2011-06-29

AAAAAAAAAAaAAAAAAAGH....oh right it's not real

Looks pretty freaky though if only there was a motor in the computer mouse and scare the heck out of my mum. Lol

there are plans for a motorized mouse on make magazine but without the skin.

joshabgvghn (author)2013-03-21

Nice(ish) idea can/will there be a v2? Maybe use a fake mouse instead, it didnt freak me out but I found it a little weird

About This Instructable




Bio: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!
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