14 Quick And Easy Makeshift Mousepads And Alternatives

There is nothing worse than having a bad mouse pad. Your wrists get sore, and your mouse gets all unresponsive. If you are tired of buying a new mouse pad every month or so, these 14 makeshift mousepads are just what you need.

They are easy to make and do the same job. No more sore wrists or unresponsive mice!

But before that let’s talk about first what are the suitable mouse pad surface.

Suitable mouse pad surfaces

As far as mouse pads go, price is usually the first thing people look for. You can get a decent, inexpensive one, or one that’s extremely cheap; the point is that you don’t want to spend more than you need to.

One other thing that’s often overlooked is the surface the pad is on. A mouse pad’s surface is really important in terms of comfort or what it can do to improve your gaming experience.

Silicone surfaces

Silicone surface mouse pads are used widely in schools and offices since they are considered being more comfortable and reliable. Even though there are different types in the market, they are mostly made of either polyurethane or silicone.

Best mouse pad surfaces for gaming

There are dozens of different gaming surfaces you can purchase for your gaming PC, ranging from the high end, glittery, and expensive to the low end, the cheap, and super durable. There are also a handful of surfaces that are somewhat durable, but still cheap, and suitable for gaming.

Mousepad surface such as plastic, glass, aluminum and carbon fiber are the best for gaming experience. These surfaces have a textured surface and are specially designed for the gaming purposes.

Gaming mouse pads provides much better comfort level than traditional soft cloth mouse pads. In addition, they avoid over regulation and provide long-lasting durability to satisfy your needs for hours of gaming.

Gaming mouse pads are designed with specific features to enhance mouse tracking capabilities and stability. There are many mouse pad brands and models to choose from and, in our opinion, there really isn’t any wrong choice except personal preference.

So now let’s continue on the 15 makeshift mouse pad materials you can use at home.

14 makeshift mouse pad materials

There are over 14 different materials you can use to make a makeshift mouse pad. For this hack, I needed a surface that would be easy to clean and light.

I also needed something that would could easily do overnight. With these requirements in mind, I selected some various materials to take a look at and see what they could be used for.

It’s important to note that these makeshift mouse pads are only suitable for light activities such as browsing the internet, watching videos and word processing and not for pro gaming.


Magazines may be found in any household, and you can use these at home as mouse pads. You will need to remove the sticky pages and cut them to the size of your mouse pad. Make sure you lay them flat and firm on a solid surface and check if they are smooth enough. I’m pretty sure they can make a good mouse pad as this is what I typically do!


Newspapers are a great option for a makeshift mouse pad because they are cheap and easy to find. It is also a great way to recycle an old newspaper you have lying around that you can’t bring yourself to throw away. You just need to cut the paper into strips and then glue them together to form a square.

If you have old newspapers lying around, you can easily cut and glue the pages to create a mouse pad. You may need to use more glue in order to get an even, sturdy, thick mouse pad.

Bond Paper

Bond paper is actually a great option for any mouse pad you can make as it is thin and flexible. However, using this would give the mouse pad a rougher texture and it may be a bit too sticky to use for extended periods of time. It also breaks easily and gets crumpled when you have sweaty hands. But the best thing about this is that you can make your own mouse pad for free!


This is a great alternative for a desk pad. It can be used on hard surfaces, like wood, metal, or glass. The best thing about this is that you can cut it to size and shape and it is really inexpensive. It is easy to stick and remove.

This is a good option because it doesn’t have the paper-like texture of bond paper and it has a natural grain pattern. The color is a sort of cream-ish, which is nice. The paper is a little thicker than normal copy paper, so that’s great.


Another great alternative for your desk pad is these placemats. These are great because you can use them on glass, wood, metal, and even plastic. They come in a set of two for just $7 or much cheaper and are made from flexible silicone.

These are a little more expensive than most of the desk pads listed above, but they’re still pretty affordable.

Office Folder

Office folder can be a good mouse pad alternative when you don’t want to spend much money. These are great because they can be made into many shapes and sizes. They’re flexible and can be used on most surfaces. You can find them in many colors and designs. Just make sure that you place it down on a smooth surface.

Duct Tape

The duct tape mouse pad is one of the most popular desk pad alternatives out there. This is because it’s cheap, and you can use them on just about anything. However, this isn’t the best mouse pad alternative for regular mice. Since it’s just a piece of duct tape, it is going to get dirty and wear out over time.

The tape can get dirty and worn out over time, which makes it easier for the sticky side to come apart from the plastic. When this happens, it’s time to replace it.

Wax Paper

Wax paper is a simple alternative to most mouse pads. It’s much cheaper than some other alternatives, but it will also get dirty and wear out over time. They may not be suitable at first glance, but due to their smooth surface, then can be a good mouse pad alternative.


Sketchbook pages have very similar features to mouse pads and are a very cheap alternative. They are going to wear out very quickly, but for just general purpose use, they’re actually pretty good. Because they are also sturdy and come typically in large sizes, they can be a comfortable makeshift mouse pad as it allows you for more wiggle room. The added advantage is that you can use it as a writing pad when you are done with gaming.

Hardcover book

A hardcover book can be a very cheap alternative to mouse pads. But be aware that the pages in these books will get wear and tear over time. Not as long lasting as a mouse pad.

You can get a very cheap hardcover book and simply cut out the pages, leaving only the back cover. This will be a very uncomfortable surface and not really ideal for gaming purposes.

Wooden desk

Modern mouse pads can work on many types of surfaces even without a mouse pad. You can easily use them directly on your wooden desk without problems. However, you should be careful when using a computer mouse on surfaces that are slippery and soft. It is always better to use a mouse pad for added comfort and peace of mind.


You can also use your bedsheet fine as most modern mouse can work on it as long as you smoothen it and make sure it’s not wet. I have used my bedsheet for using my mouse in the past when I was feeling lazy! Overall, it works fine. However, it’s not as accurate as using it on a solid surface.

Your Lap

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try using your lap as a mouse pad! I have done this quite a few times for browsing and casual use, but don’t ever think of using your lap for gaming. Just don’t!

Self-healing cutting mat

I am using a self-healing mat to protect my desk/work bench from cutting with blades/scalpels and it turns out they can be a great mouse pad alternative too!

They are very thick, so it gives you nice traction and can be moved around easily if I need to clean underneath or something. I think they are of really good quality, but maybe not the most attractive.

What surfaces to avoid using your mouse?

If your mouse is often on the go or you use it in a variety of settings, you might be wondering what surfaces to avoid so as not to erode its performance.

Reflective surfaces

Using a mouse pad with a shiny surface can cause issues when you move your mouse around as it reflects light, causing a dull image and, therefore, slow response. Using this surface will make your accuracy diminish and also cause your cursor to jump around if you change your position too quickly.


Shiny surfaces can cause issues with your mouse, but so can plastic surfaces, as they can attract dust and dirt. This can make the buttons more difficult to use, as well as increase slippage of the surface.

Glass table

While glass surfaces are safe to use, they can damage the mouse as it is prone to fingerprints. This will make tracking inaccurate and your cursor may randomly jump around if you move your mouse too quickly.

Soft fabrics

Foam mice pads and fabrics can cause issues with your mouse due to their softness. If you move your mouse around quickly across the surface, it will be difficult to use. You will have to slow down how fast you move your mouse across the pad or fabric, which is not good if you are used to a certain speed. You may experience trouble with tracking with these surfaces.

Glossy surfaces

Glossy surfaces can cause issues with your mouse. As it is prone to trapping and collecting dust and dirt, this will make your mouse more difficult to use. Also, it will only sense its reflection, which means the mouse will not respond as accurately.

Bumpy surfaces

Bumpy or rough surfaces can cause issues with your mouse. They can make it hard to control the mouse, as it will skip and jump around on the surface. You can fix this by using a mouse pad or getting rid of rough spots.

Can I use a mouse without a mouse pad?

A mouse can be used without a mouse pad. The bottom of the mouse will still be able to pick up the movement as it moves across your desk. However, you will not get the same accuracy and control that a mouse pad gives.

You will also need a mouse pad if you are going to use it on the surfaces I mentioned above.

Why should you use a proper mouse pad?

A good mouse pad will make your mouse move smoother and it will reduce the amount of friction. It is designed specifically for that and the materials used by manufacturers are perfect for using your mouse.

Your mouse will not slip off the pad. It also has a smooth surface so that it is easier to move the mouse with it. If you use a cheap or poor quality mouse pad, then you may need to take some time and get one that is really good for your money.

The control is going to be much better with a proper mouse pad. It will give you precision that you can appreciate and it can take your gaming experience to the next level.

A proper mouse pad can also reduce the amount of fatigue that you may feel after using your mouse for long hours. It will provide support to your hand and it will ensure that you can use your mouse for a longer period without any problems.

Will these makeshift mouse pads damage my mouse?

The mouse is very sensitive and fragile, so any slight additional friction on the mouse might cause some complications. It is always best to use a mouse pad rather than a DIY makeshift mouse pad if you are requiring accuracy and ease of use, as they are not designed specifically for it.

In general, they will not damage your mouse unless your mouse is really old and nearing the end of its lifespan. If it’s old and you already used it for more than 5 years. I think you should consider buying a new one!

It is always recommended to use a mouse pad that has some kind of material to ensure a smooth and frictionless surface so that you do not compromise your mouse’s performance.


Makeshift mouse pads can be created from a variety of materials. A mouse pad surface should be smooth and not slip around too much if it is to be used for gaming. The best mouse pad is one that is comfortable and that you can get the most use out of. Make sure your mouse pad is soft enough to use for long periods of time without causing hand cramps or fatigue.