Cheap (but Excellent) Mouse Pad

Intro: Cheap (but Excellent) Mouse Pad

I am too cheap to spend $25 on a quality mouse pad, so I decided to make my own. Everything should be under $5. I'm using it with a Logitech G5 laser mouse, and have tested it with a Razer Copperhead laser mouse and a cheap Microsoft ball mouse. Works great with all of them, glides well and tracks perfectly.

Step 1: Gather Materials.

You will need:

-Transparencies (number depends on how many mouse pads you want to make). Make sure you do not get printer transparencies, they tend to have some kind of glue on them that allows the ink to stick better. This will ruin the feet of your mouse.
-Very fine grit sandpaper
-A flat surface

Step 2: Sand.

Before you start this step try using your mouse on the plain transparency. Mine felt sticky and did not glide at all, but your transparencies may be different. If you do not like the feel, cut or tear the sandpaper into a small square. Lightly sand one side of the transparency in one direction. It does not matter which direction, I sanded parallel to the sides. After you have completely sanded one side, sand perpendicular to the direction you just sanded. In the interest of contrast, my pictures show me sanding off the newspaper which is a bad idea since it is a wood table. In reality, make sure what you are sanding underneath is meant to be sanded.

Step 3: Review.

When you think you have finished sanding, hold your transparency up to the light to check for spots you may have missed.

Step 4: Wash.

In hot water wash off the sanded trasparency. Get rid of all the extra plastic you removed. Dry.

Step 5: Enjoy.

I play a lot of Counter-Strike (1.6 and Source, I go by "low"). I also spray painted one of the pads I made just for decoration. If you decide to do this, you will also need to sand the side of the transparency that you want to paint.



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    24 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I'm pretty sure I didn't miss anything in your 5 steps but what you've made is not a mouse "pad" but it is a mouse surface that will make noise as you use the mouse.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I personally have a rather large masking tape pad on my desk. Just lay strips down flat right next to each other. works like a charm


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    you have to pay for shipping, but, it's worth it. (I used the bottom offer)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is a very good tip. But I have a better one and I just don't feel like dong a whole instructable so I'll hijack this one lol. I looked at a pretty pricey laser mouse pad and touched it and it feels almost exactly like the surface of one of those black plastic covered ring binders. So I took one I had lying around the house and cut the one cover off. Works like a dream. The only problem I found was that it slid around. All I did was cut strips of foam weather stripping and stuck some down the width of the back and the one long one along the top and bottom to keep it from bending. Now I have a very nice, rigid, non-slip mouse pad that works brilliantly for any mouse.

    2 replies
    Capt. Kidd

    9 years ago on Step 5

    lol i just use a piece of cardboard, but it keeps folding when i play counter strike(1.6). thx alot!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    you should be a hand model! anyways, its not really related to the Instructable but seeing as you've used both do you prefer the copperhead or the g5? why?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I like making stuff as well as the next nerd but my inborn (ingrown, inbred) laziness usually trumps that urge and leaves me more time in my Lazy-Boy watching Survivor Dubuque. I have also made a cheap but OK mouse pad. I made my way over to the nearest Dollar type store and picked up a three pack of flexible cutting boards. 12" x 15" and no sanding required. I'd like to send a photo but it's pretty much invisible.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    How is there a difference from just using the table to using this mouse pad, I'm sort of confused also doesn't your hand start to hurt after a few hours? If you want a cheap mouse pad go to garage or rummage sales, I don't think I have ever seen a $25 mouse pad, where do you shop?

    5 replies

    You've never seen a $25 mouse pad?! Wow, I wish I could say that. :( The gel pads with wrist protection (or whatever they call it) were about $25 when they first came out.


    When you sand the plastic, it creates random grooves in it giving the laser/optic thingy something to track better than a plain surface. Why would my hand hurt?


    Well I know that when I use a mouse on a hard surface it starts to hurt, but when I uses a foamy mouse pad it doesn't.