La Crème de la Crème of Mouse Taxidermy

San Rafael, California · 1003 Sales


La Crème de la Crème of Mouse Taxidermy

San Rafael, California 1003 Sales On Etsy since 2014

5 out of 5 stars

Announcement   You can now read all about my secret journey to mouse taxidermy in my book, "Of Mice and Muses", available on Amazon: http://a.co/1TzvPDU


Last updated on May 12, 2018

You can now read all about my secret journey to mouse taxidermy in my book, "Of Mice and Muses", available on Amazon: http://a.co/1TzvPDU

Mai Nguyen

Contact shop owner

Mai Nguyen


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
Dilucas Van

Dilucas Van on Jun 19, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

Wow nice job Thank you L

Cindie White

Cindie White on Jun 19, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

AMAZING as always. Love all your animal characters.


marthassmith on Jun 18, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful piece!! It looked even better in person.

View all 282 reviews


All my secrets revealed! Now on Amazon.
I just posted more headmounts! Go for it. Order before 3:00 PST and it'll ship today!
View all 8 updates


Collectible Mouse Taxidermy

My name is Léa Mai Nguyen.
I started working with leather in the summer of 2013, when my father-in-law passed his leather tools on to me. He showed me how to use them, and I mostly made bracelets, belt buckles, small leather experiments. I liked it enough that I quit my Art Director job of 20 years in video games and wanted to do it full time.
But I became restless after a few months. I wasn't being creative enough.

I had taken a bird taxidermy class a few years ago at Paxton Gate in San Francisco, and I wanted to try and make little leather armors for mice, roman or fantasy, now that I knew how to shape leather and tool it.
It quickly evolved into full-on steam punk style instead, when I came upon a lot of really thin, bone-white leather that I could dye and use to sew tiny clothes.

I make everything myself, by hand. I design the patterns for the different elements (hats, coats, dresses), and figure out how to make the accessories that I want. The goggles are clear epoxy poured into a ring of leather, trowels are pounded from thick, soft metal wire. I sew and glue and solder. I use leather, metal, recycled electronics, fabric, jewelry findings, and frame mouldings for the pedestals. The bags open, and I usually slip a tiny treasure inside. See the Making Of on my webpage at leheartdesign.com.
Because of the process, every mouse, even within the same collection, is a little different. The face, the pose, the colors, the details of the clothes and accessories, they each have their own personality.

After the first prototype, I generally make four more, so that each costume line consists of five mice. They're individually named, numbered and signed. The last name of each series indicates the type of costume, and I try to make a male and female version for each line.

You can contact me at leheartdesign [!at] gmail.com.

Interested in making a mouse yourself? Check out my tutorial video:

About the mice...

A lot of people are curious, sometimes concerned, about the origin of the mice.

I don't kill them, I buy bags of frozen feeder mice online, the ones intended for snake consumption. The online vendor (Layne Labs) claims they're killed humanely.
Once I'm done with my part, I donate the bodies to the San Rafael Wildcare Center so they can feed rescued raptors and other animals.

Shop members

  • Mai

    Owner, Creator

Shop policies

Last updated on December 5, 2017

Accepted payment methods

  • Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 21 days of delivery
I don't accept exchanges or cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
  • Items on sale
If you're not satisfied with your purchase, I'm happy to offer a full refund for the mouse, provided you contact me within 14 days of receiving your order. You'll get a full refund once I receive the item back.
If the item arrives damaged, I'll send you a replacement at no cost, or if you feel crafty, I can instruct you on how to repair it.
If your pet eats it, it doesn't count and you'll need to purchase another one.
I use USPS and you pick the speed you would like. Etsy combines shipping costs automatically for multiple items as long as all items are included in a single order.
Orders are packed and dropped off at 8:00 AM every morning except Sundays.
Additional policies and FAQs
Unfortunately, I cannot ship to Australia and New Zealand because of the restrictions they place on organic materials crossing their border.