Mousepads are Easy Christmas Craft Gift Ideas

Personalized mousepads make perfect Christmas craft gift ideas

It’s tricky to find easy, inexpensive Christmas craft gift ideas. That’s why I love these personalized mousepads. It’s true that for some people, mousepads are a thing of the past: with all the new technology that has come out, you often don’t even need a mousepad. Many people still like them, however, and you can’t go wrong with a personalized Christmas craft designed specifically to someone’s tastes.

In my case, I have a sister who loves butterflies, so my example involves a butterfly mousepad. The cool thing with this craft, though, is that you could really do just about any theme you like. There are no limits to your imagination.

Christmas craft ideas: personalized mousepads

What You’ll Need:

-EITHER a spare mousepad (like the ones some advertisers give away) or a piece of craft foam cut to mousepad size
-A computer paint program such as Adobe Photoshop or Gimp, the freeware version
-card stock
-tacky glue
-decorative embellishments such as ribbon, stickers, etc. (optional)

mousepad.jpg

What to Do:

If you’ve never used Photoshop or other paint programs, go through a quick tutorial before beginning this project. It’s not at all complicated, but you will need to know a few things, such as how to use layers and how to adjust the opacity of layers. Other than copying, pasting, and resizing, that’s about it for the technical requirements.

1. Decide on a theme for your mousepad. You can use something the recipient enjoys, like I did with butterflies, or you could use family photographs, original artwork scanned into a computer, or a wide variety of other things. It’s totally up to you. Either search the Internet for pictures you like or use originals from your own computer.

2. Copy and paste your photographs into your paint program to create a collage. Arrange them in a way that is attractive to you. Allow overlap and try not to leave any blank spaces in your Christmas craft.

3. Group all of the pictures together in a single layer. Reduce the opacity somewhat — not too much — so the pictures fade together. The amount you fade it depends on the look you want. I wanted a bit more of an antiqued look, so I faded my pictures a bit more than I would have if I was going for bold and modern.

4. Optional: In a new layer, either apply a mask or copy and paste an image of something solid (I used a photograph of a piece of parchment paper). Extend it over the entire picture and reduce the opacity until you can see your picture through it. Again, you can make this as strong or weak as you like. I made it quite weak so as to give that antiqued feel to my artwork.

5. Print it onto cardstock and glue it onto foam with tacky glue.

There you have it: a simple personalized mousepad. You can glue on other decorations and embellishments as you see fit. These are fast, simple, inexpensive Christmas craft gift ideas for almost anyone.