So your computer mouse has been having problems and you need to do something about it as soon as possible, but you can’t get a new one right away? Well, you don’t have to throw away the current one. Instead, enhance your browsing experience with one of these 10 DIY mouse projects.
1. Mini mouse made from tic tac container
Computer mice have come a pretty long way. The very first mouse had a wooden shell and metal wheels! And if you thought that was crazy, well there’s more: The mouse would spin when moved! But it was about the best piece of technology you could find in the 1960s. Then, years later, came the thumb-operated trackball mouse. Logitech pioneered this device and it was a hit.
Now we have the optical sensor mouse. The best type yet converts light rays into signals that a processor can read, and thus guides the cursor on the screen. And if you have an old optical mouse, as long as this key technology works, you can bring it back to working condition.
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 number of creative things, including a tic tac container as shown in this Instructables guide. You can also quickly fix and continue using other common devices in your household.
2. Portable mouse
If you’re an avid gamer, writer, or frequent user of a computer mouse, your hand comfort is critical. Unfortunately, the default mouse design gets the job done, but twists your arm while you’re using it. This could lead to a number of problems you don’t want, like Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
For ultimate 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 pretty steep price. Luckily, this Instructables project has all the information you need to build your own ergonomic mouse: the wearable mouse. You can rock it like a glove and guide your cursor as needed.
3. Steampunk mouse
Steampunk is a retro-futuristic, sci-fi inspired style. It blends historical elements from the 19th century, the steam-powered era, with technological features, creating one of the most stunning and unique design aesthetics you will encounter. Imagine a steampunk style mouse! It will undoubtedly be an icebreaker. Now stop imagining it and build one by following this Instructables guide.
4. Carbon Mouse
You like the idea of building an ergonomic mouse, but didn’t like the above because you want to feel a real mouse in your hand while working? This DIY carbon mouse could be just what you are looking for.
If you’re a creative mind, configure the carbon fiber glass mold into any ergonomic shape you want, but if you want a nudge, consider taking inspiration from existing models on the market. You will need some soldering skills for this project, but beyond that everything else is easy thanks to the detailed Instructables guide.
5. Paper Mouse
Do you have a mouse whose design is now a sight to behold, or do you need an easy-to-build DIY mouse as a temporary solution? If you answered yes, check out this paper mouse. With just a small piece of cardboard and in just eight steps, you can reuse your old laser mouse components 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 with OpenCV
Imagine a mouse that performs all of the typical mouse functions that correspond to hand gestures and movements. It would appear as if you were writing on the air or using sign language; anyway it would look cool. It would also be more convenient, especially for tasks that you usually need a remote control for, like changing TV channels. And while it sounds pretty nifty, you can create it with this guide to DIY gesture-controlled mice.
Ever feel like you’re clicking your mouse so much while you’re working that your index and middle fingers need a rest? Building a mouse with a footswitch will surely improve your life. And surprisingly, you don’t need a master’s degree in technical engineering to build one. All you need is this Instructables guide, an old mouse, a switch, and a platform support – which could be anything solid, including a random piece of wood that you carve into an ergonomic shape.
To perfect your woodworking skills, check out the best DIY channels to master woodworking, 3D printing, and maker projects.
8. Mouse pen
Do you feel like drawing digital art with a mouse but can’t steady your arm to save your life? A mouse stylus might be just what you need to seamlessly create your artworks on your computer screen. And like the other projects on our list, it’s incredibly easy to build. You just need to remove and replace the scroll wheel and solder some 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 on wheels
Another steampunk mouse! And it’s just as easy to build as the other one on our mouse DIY project list, but more sophisticated. It looks a bit like a 1950s Turner sports car, but with a Victorian touch thanks to the steering wheel and steampunk accents. Check out the steps to create one in the Instructables guide.
10. Make an ergonomic USB mouse
While there’s no denying that commercial ergonomic mice are spectacularly designed, the hefty price point isn’t all that appealing. Luckily, as mentioned earlier, you can build a mouse out of almost anything solid, as long as you have the right components. And we mean anything solid and malleable, including foam as shown in this Instructables project. The best part? You can mold it into a shape that feels most comfortable in your hand.
Upgrade your mouse
Computer mice are one of those gadgets 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, his wooden shell and metal wheel mouse spawned life-changing technology.
You can be part of history by upgrading your old mice with a DIY project. Replicate the above ideas as is or add a little twist to make your DIY mouse work the way you need it to. You never know, you might just be sitting on some mouse design tweak the world needs.