1. Decide what shape you'd like the mouse pad to be. As well as choosing a good design, also make sure that the design you choose is a size that will suit your available desk space. Here are some options:
An animal: A dog, cat, frog, mouse, crocodile, pig, etc. You name the animal and if you can find a basic template shape, it can be turned into a mouse pad.
An animal paw: This is a cute shape for a mouse pad, such as a cat or dog paw. Have a base piece (the paw shape) and a paw pad and three claw pads on top of the base piece.
An animal head: For example, a cat or dog head, a unicorn or horse head, etc.
A shape: Any shape is fine, from squares and circles to triangles and hexagons.
2. Create the pattern template. You can free draw a design (using a ruler or stencils for straight edges or specific designs). Or, you can print off a template of a design from internet pictures or trace around designs in a book or magazine. Draw the template design onto a piece of paper suitable for using as a template, making sure it is large enough to serve as a mouse pad. Once this is done, cut it out in readiness for using as a template.
If you need to change the size of a traced picture, see How to change the size of a picture using a grid.
3. Choose the felt color. It is highly recommended that you only use wool felt, not artificial felt. Wool felt will ensure a quality finish that can withstand with the frequent movement of the mouse and won't interfere with the electronics of the mouse. Artificial felt can be used but should definitely include the step on adding a sealant, to ensure a smooth surface and to keep the felt intact from constant mouse usage (see sealant step below).
4. Place the template piece over the felt. Pin in place. Cut out the design from the felt.
If cutting out additional pieces, such as paw pads, lettering, eyes, etc., pin the additional templates to different pieces of felt and cut these out as well. These additional designs must be kept thin.
5. Attach any additional pieces of felt to the base felt piece if needed. Either stitch or sew in place, keeping these pieces very flat. Realize that by adding pieces, bumps are created that can hamper easy mousing.
If using fabric glue, ensure that it is dry before proceeding.
6.Attach the base piece of felt to either self-adhesive foam padding or a non-slip shelf liner. Use the template to cut out the exact shape in the self-adhesive foam padding or non-slip shelf liner, then carefully attach the felt piece to the padding piece. If using self-adhesive foam, stick to the sticky backing that already forms part of the foam padding. If using the non-slip shelf liner, either glue or stitch in place.
Keep the join smooth, to avoid leaving wrinkles.
7.Seal. This step is optional but can extend the life of the felt mouse pad, especially if you've used thin and cheaper felt; it also helps to keep the pad surface smooth for the mouse, especially if you've added lettering, paw pads, eyes, etc. from additional pieces of felt.
Either spray with a fabric sealant; or
Paint with a layer of Mod Podge to add a sealant finish. Allow to dry, then paint on another layer. Keep both layers very thin.
8. Done. The mouse pad is now ready for use. Place it on your desk, non-slip or foam side down and run the mouse over the felt side.