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After I made my chair cover, I wanted my desk to have some of that fabric as well and since I had a bunch of scraps I decided to make a mousepad (I really needed one too) I also wanted to give my brand new ModPodge a try even though the one that I have it's not one the recommended for fabric.

I wanted to wait a while in order to write this post to see how it worked first, it's been more than 3 months and it holds the shape and works perfectly, so now that passed the test of time I can share it =]

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It was actually pretty simple and if it wasn't for the dry time of the ModPodge it could be done easily in less than 15 minutes.



Before we get started, remember to pre-wash the fabric you are going to use because it can shrink after you get it wet with the Modpodge.

– Cut your fabric in the size you want your mousepad (mine is a 10×10 inch piece), you can get all creative and try different shapes, I just did a square because I don't have much space in my desk right now and my square fits perfect!

– After you have your fabric, cut a bigger piece of the shelf liner and pin it in place, add a paper towel in the bottom, that way the shelf liner will be in between the fabric and the paper towel to be able to sew it. Otherwise, it will get stuck to the foot of the sewing machine if you plan to hand-stitch it, dismiss the paper towel =]

– Sew your mousepad carefully around the edge making sure the fabric and mat do not move

– After you are done sewing, pull the paper towel carefully away from the sewing line (right picture above) after you do all of the edges the center portion will come out very easily.

– Grab a brush and cover the fabric in a thin layer of Modpodge, if you don't have Modpodge you can use tacky glue and water (just remember to use 2 portions of glue by one of water)

– Let it dry and if necessary put weights on the corners fo the mat so it stays in place while it dry. After the mousepad is completely dry repeat with another layer. I only did 2 and it works perfectly, but if you have a thinner fabric I would recommend you to use 3 layers.

Let it dry completely and cut the excess of mat on the edges. You are ready to use your fabric moused!

I love this mousepad and the best thing is that I can make them as bigger or smaller I need, with pretty fabrics for a more customized desk look =]
I hope you have a lovely day!

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Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop. Read more about her & the blog here →

47 replies
  1. Beth Huntington
    Beth Huntington says:

    Hi, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this mousepad idea! I’m going to try this for future gift giving (and maybe even one for myself :)).I’m a Kindergarten teacher and it would be fun to make some for my classroom computers. Oh the ideas that are swirling around in my head right now!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Sara
    Sara says:

    This is so adorable and I think it’s the one project I’ve seen that I might be able to manage on my sewing machine! Yay!

  3. Suzee
    Suzee says:

    This is a great idea for quick gifts..even for guys!!! thanks! I even have all the stuff already to make it!

  4. Jen of Quality Sewing Tutorials
    Jen of Quality Sewing Tutorials says:

    Great tutorial! You’ve been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.
    We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for home sewers.

    (PS I just found your blog and I LOVE it! You are a fantastic designer and a new inspiration for my own work…thank you! Jen)

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      The only thing is that you would not be able to wipe things off, you will need to wash it and you will need to make folds at the edges to prevent fraying, and if the fabric is too thin I don’t think the mouse will run correctly but you should try =] I hope that helps

  5. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Do you modge-podge on the fabric side or the liner side? Love the idea and am so excited to try it!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Ellen, I only did it on the fabric side =] It worked pretty well and the fabric got pretty wet, so I don’t think there is need to do it on the other side.

  6. Jasmine
    Jasmine says:

    oh man! I love this tutorial.. I have been looking for cute mouse pads everywhere and can’t find one, I will definitely have to try this :)

  7. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    well, i tried this today and failed TWICE! i couldn’t get the fabric not to bubble up once wet with modge podge. bummer!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      That’s sad, I’ve never experience the fabric bubbling at all! =[ maybe your fabric is too thin? you should try pinning it down to a piece of styrofoam or something like that so it keeps it’s shape when you apply the ModPodge, wishing you luck!

    • Bonnie Spielman
      Bonnie Spielman says:

      Maybe you are putting on too heavy or wet a 1st coat. Go lightly and do several coats.

  8. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    Hi! This is ADORABLE and I can’t wait to make some!
    But I think I’m missing a step – did you turn the edge of the non-slip pad under and stitch it, or did you trim it off to get the nice clean, finished edge?

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Kristen, as the post said “Let it dry completely and cut the excess of mat on the edges.” I just cut the excess of the non-slip pad off =] I am so excited you are going to make it!

  9. Viah
    Viah says:

    hi, i really love to try this project but what do you mean by this “Let it dry and if necessary put weights on the corners fo the mat so it stays in place while it dry, after is completely dry repeat with another layer. I only did 2 and it works perfectly, but if you have a thinner fabric i would recommend you to use 3 layers.”
    please respond soon. thank you

  10. Marie
    Marie says:

    I found this tutorial a couple of days ago and pinned it on Pinterest. I loved it and decided to make one of my own. I skipped the mod podge and decided to give mine a quilted look and some frayed looking edges for a shabby chic look. Thanks for posting this! Here’s a link to a picture of the finished project:

  11. Vicki
    Vicki says:

    Hi Joy. Love this idea, by chance do you have pattens for matching desk acessories? I would love to create an entire ensemble for my daughter’s room.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Vicki,

      I currently don’t have any other, but since I’m working on finishing up my office I might try something else =] and of course I will share it.


  12. bzybee
    bzybee says:


  13. lucy saavedra
    lucy saavedra says:

    try photo transfer on cloth and a fabric backing; then mod podge. I haven’t tried it yet; would like grandchild pic on it. thanks for the idea!

    • Bonnie Spielman
      Bonnie Spielman says:

      Hope you post a picture if you make it with the photo transfer. I was wondering myself if that would work. I would think that you would not be able to do a lot of brushing with the Mod Podge or the ink will smear, but do a lot of coats lightly.

  14. LauraCYW
    LauraCYW says:

    I’ve been seriously needing a mousepad for like years now and just two days ago I happened upon a whole roll of that shelf liner in my garage! I know what my next project will be! Also love an opportunity to use modpodge!

    I swooned over your mousepad in today’s post and stalked it to here. :-)

  15. Judy
    Judy says:

    Hi, I made the mouse pad and it was easy and turned out good. I have a question….the fabric after 2 coats of the Mod Podge seems a little tacky and I don’t know why this would be. I am going to buy a new bottle of Mod Podge and try it again, the one I had is pretty old, maybe that was the problem.

    Thanks for the project.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Judy,

      Did you try the Mod Podge for fabric? I know that there are different ones out there, mine got completely dry and not sticky at all after only an hour.

  16. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    any recommendations for a tacky pad? I did this and it is super tacky (after 24hours of drying) and does not work well with a mouse. THe bottle of mod podge i used was brand new.

  17. Michele
    Michele says:

    I have made two of these, the first one bubbled, I was putting it on as thin as possible. The second one, I put a stabilizer on. Now it is really rough. When I went to the store to get the Mod Podge, I didn’t realize there were so many choices, I choose the one for fabric. I went back and got the glossy finish, maybe that is why it is rough? I had not worked with mod podge before, so I am not familiar with the different ones. So I looked back at your tutorial and noticed you had the matte finish. So I will try it again. I really want this to work! I am making them for teacher gifts.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      That is very weid, mine didn’t bubble at all but the corners were a little curled when I first made it, but after it dried I placed it on the middle of a book for a day and after that the corners were as flat as can be. Maybe your pad (the anti slip) didn’t let the fabric breathe?
      I hope it worked out for you!


  18. Jude
    Jude says:

    Hi Joy…I am curious as to ‘what’ kind of fabric did you use on yours? Also, I noticed that you have a different kind of edging? Did you just sew a border around the inner edge? GREAT idea!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Jude!

      My fabric is an outdoor cotton canvas, but it’s thiner than the heavy cottons (actually kind of see through) And just like I explained in the tutorial, I just sewed a line inside the border of the fabric, once everything was dry I cut the non-slip mat to the size of my fabric =]
      I hope that helps!

  19. tru leigh
    tru leigh says:

    I’m getting ready to make a couple of these. I’m thinking I should use the modge podge first on the fabric, let it dry, then sew.

    Or maybe I should skip it all together and just use fray check on the edges and little interfacing for stiffness. I’ll make a couple of trials before I use my good fabric.

  20. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    I absolutely love this project. I’ll have to go out and grab a roll of paper towels especially for this project. I can’t wait to make mine and maybe even make some for gifts. Super easy! Thanks!

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