So your computer mouse has been failing and you need to do something about it ASAP, but still can’t get a new one right away? Well, you don’t need to throw away the current one. Instead, enhance your browsing experience with one of these 10 DIY mouse projects.
1. Mini mouse made with a Tic Tac container
Computer mice have come a long way. The first mouse had a wooden shell and metal wheels! And if you thought that’s crazy, well there’s more: the mouse rotated when moved! But it was about the coolest piece of technology you could find in the 1960s. Then, years later, came the thumb-operated trackball mouse. Logitech pioneered this, and it was a success.
Now we have the optical sensor mouse. The best type so far, it converts light rays into signals that a processor can read and thus guide the cursor on the screen. And if you have an old optical mouse, you can restore it to working order as long as this key technology works.
Even better, you don’t have to stick to the standard design. As long as you have the optical sensor, you can redesign your old mouse with a bunch of creative stuff, including a Tic Tac container, as shown in this Instructables guide. You can also quickly fix and continue to use other common devices in your home.
2. Portable mouse
Whether you’re an avid gamer, writer, or heavy computer mouse user, the comfort of your hand is critical. Unfortunately, the standard mouse design gets the job done, but it twists your arm while you use it. This could result in a number of problems you don’t want, such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome.
For maximum comfort and productivity, your arm should be in a natural handshake position while using a mouse. There are now many ergonomic mouse models designed to position your arm naturally, but they come at a fairly high price. Fortunately, this Instructables project has all the information you need to build your own ergonomic mouse – the portable mouse. You can move it like a glove and guide the cursor as needed.
3. Steampunk Mouse
Steampunk is a retro-futuristic style inspired by science fiction. It combines historical elements from the 19th century, the steam-powered era, with technological features, creating one of the most stunningly unique design aesthetics you’ll find. Imagine a steampunk-style mouse! It will certainly be an icebreaker. Now, stop imagining it and build one by following this Instructables guide.
4. Carbon Mouse
Do you like the idea of building an ergonomic mouse, but didn’t like the one mentioned above because you want to feel a real mouse in your hand while you work? This DIY carbon mouse could be what you’re looking for.
If you have a creative mind, configure the carbon fiberglass mold in any ergonomic shape you want, but if you want a boost, consider taking inspiration from existing models on the market. You’ll need some soldering skills for this project, but beyond that, everything else is easy thanks to Instructables’ detailed guide.
5. Cardboard mouse
Do you have a mouse whose design is now a hassle or do you need an easy-to-build DIY mouse as a temporary solution? If you answered yes, check out this cardboard mouse. With just a small piece of cardboard and in just eight steps, you can repurpose components from your old laser mouse to build a cardboard mouse inspired by your favorite mouse on the market. Check out the Instructables tutorial to complete this project.
6. Gesture controlled mouse using OpenCV
Imagine a mouse that performs all the typical mouse functions corresponding to hand gestures and movements. It would seem that you are writing in the air, or doing some sign language; either way, it would look great. It would also be more convenient, especially for tasks you’d normally need a remote for, like changing TV channels. And while it sounds pretty fancy, you can build it using this DIY Gesture Controlled Mouse Instructables guide.
Have you ever felt like you were clicking your mouse so much while working that your index and middle fingers needed a break? Building a footswitch mouse will definitely improve the life of it. And surprisingly, you don’t need a master’s degree in technical engineering to build one. You just need this guide from Instructables, an old mouse, a switch, and a platform stand, which could be anything solid, including a random piece of wood that you’ll carve into an ergonomic shape.
To hone your woodworking skills, check out the best DIY channels to master woodworking, 3D printing, and crafting projects.
8. Mouse pen
Fancy the idea of using a mouse to draw digital art, but can’t keep your arm steady for dear life? A mouse pen could be the game changer you need to seamlessly create your artwork on your computer screen. And, as with the other projects on our list, it’s incredibly easy to build. You’ll just need to remove and replace the scroll wheel and solder a few parts, as explained in the Instructables tutorial.
This project can be a great addition to DIY gadget projects to beat weekend boredom.
9. Steampunk mouse with wheels
Another steampunk mouse! And it’s just as easy to build as the other one on our list of mouse DIY projects, but more refined. It looks like a 1950s Turner sports car, but with a Victorian twist thanks to the steering wheel and steampunk touches. Check out the steps to build one in the Instructables guide.
10. Make an ergonomic USB mouse
While there is no denying that commercial ergonomic mice are spectacularly designed, the high price tag is not that appealing. Fortunately, as noted above, you can build a mouse out of just about anything solid as long as you have the right components. And we mean anything solid and sculpted, including foam, as shown in this Instructables project. The best part? You can sculpt it into a shape that feels most comfortable in your hand.
upgrade your mouse
Computer mice are among those devices that most of us can no longer do without. They are used everywhere, for work and leisure. And while Douglas Engelbart, the man behind the first mouse, didn’t live long enough to see it, its wooden shell and metal wheel brought life-changing technology.
You can be a part of history by upgrading your old mice with a DIY project. Reproduce the ideas above as-is, or add a little twist to make your DIY mouse work just the way you need it to. You never know, you might just be sitting on a mouse design tweak that the world needs.