Create a stylus

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Create a stylus
Create a stylus

Have you lost your stylus? Do you want to be able to draw more accurately on your tablet or does your touchscreen not work properly when you wear gloves? There is no need to spend money on a new stylus, as you can easily make your own using familiar household items.


Method 1 of 4: Knowing what kind of touchscreen you have

Make a Stylus Step 1

Step 1. Find out what kind of touchscreen your device has

There are different types of touchscreens and your homemade stylus may not work on all types of screens.

  • iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Kindles and many other types of smartphones and tablets have a capacitive touchscreen. Such a touch screen needs an electrical conductor (like the human body) to determine where the screen is being touched.
  • The Nintendo DS, the 3Ds, the Nook and some other phones and e-readers have a resistive or infrared touchscreen. Such a touch screen only needs pressure to determine where the screen is being touched. You can use almost any object as a makeshift stylus, but be careful not to scratch the screen.

Step 2. Test your screen if you are not sure

Touch the screen with the tip of a pen cap. If the device responds, then it has a resistive or infrared touchscreen. If nothing happens, the screen is not active.

Method 2 of 4: Making a stylus from a sponge (capacitive screen)

Make a Stylus Step 3

Step 1. Gather your materials

Find a clean washing-up sponge (not a scouring pad) and a ballpoint pen that you can twist off the tip.

  • An inexpensive plastic pen will work best, as long as you can easily twist the plastic nib off and take out the ink refill.
  • Having a pen that you can see through a bit will make it easier for you to see what you are doing.

Step 2. Cut a piece of sponge about the width of the pen

You can estimate the correct size by holding the pen against the sponge and marking the width with a marker. You can also just gamble.

Step 3. Cut or tear off the abrasive side of the sponge if necessary

Scotch-Brite sponges, for example, have such an abrasive side. Anything abrasive can scratch and damage the screen. You only need the part with the sponge itself.

Step 4. Wash and dry the sponge

Some sponges contain soap on their own, so rinse the sponge in warm water just to be safe. Squeeze out all the water and let the sponge dry.

Step 5. Remove the plastic nib and the interior of the pen - the ballpoint nib, the ink refill and the feather if the pen has a click cap

You should now only have the empty shell.

You should be able to pull or twist the tip with your hand. Try it with needle-nose pliers if you don't succeed otherwise

Step 6. Insert the sponge into the pen

Squeeze the sponge to make it smaller and push it into the bottom of the pen shell.

Make a Stylus Step 9

Step 7. Leave about 3 to 6 mm of the sponge sticking out of the pen

Use your fingers to loosen and pull apart the fibers of the sponge.

Step 8. Hold your stylus near the tip to make it work

Your fingers should be touching the bottom of the pen, where the pen meets the sponge. If you touch the hollow part of the pen, the electromagnetic current will not pass through the sponge and the touchscreen will not register the touch of the stylus.

Method 3 of 4: Making a stylus with aluminum foil (capacitive screen)

Make a Stylus Step 11

Step 1. Gather your materials

You will need about a foot of aluminum foil, tape of any kind, and an unsharpened pencil. You may also need a sharp knife to trim the pencil.

If you don't have a pencil, you can use a pen, chopstick, or dowel instead. You can basically use anything with the shape of a pen. Pencils and other wooden objects work best, however, as you may want to trim your stylus to give it a slanted point

Make a Stylus Step 12

Step 2. Use a sharp knife to trim the tip of the pencil and make it slightly angled and flat

You are not supposed to sharpen the pencil point as if you are going to write with it. The angled tip should have an area of ​​at least four millimeters, about the size of a pencil eraser or the tip of your finger. Many capacitive screens don't respond to the touch of anything smaller.

  • The stylus will also work if you don't do this step, but you'll need to keep it completely straight. This step will allow you to hold the stylus more comfortably.
  • Always be careful when working with a knife. Remember to cut away from your body and never bring the blade toward yourself.

Step 3. Wrap the entire pencil in at least two layers of aluminum foil

Fold the aluminum foil neatly around the ends.

If you're using a pen, leave the cap on when you wrap the foil around it

Step 4. Smooth the aluminum foil around the angled tip of the pencil

The foil around the tip should be smooth and flat with no wrinkles or bumps.

Your stylus may not work if the tip is not flat

Step 5. Wrap a piece of tape around the center of the pencil

The aluminum foil will stay that way.

Step 6. Wrap transparent tape around the tip of the stylus

The aluminum foil will not be able to scratch your screen.

Step 7. Try your stylus to see if it works

If the stylus doesn't work, try making the tip even flatter. Remember that the tip should be at least the size of a pencil eraser, otherwise your touchscreen may not recognize the stylus.

Method 4 of 4: Making a stylus from a chopstick (resistive or infrared screen)

Make a Stylus Step 18

Step 1. Gather your materials

You will need a chopstick and sandpaper, as well as something to grind the wood with. A manual sharpener is easiest, but you can also trim the tip with a sharp knife if you don't have a sharpener.

Do not attempt to use an electric sharpener as the stick may break

Step 2. Sharpen the tip (the narrow tip that touches the food) of the chopstick with the sharpener

Don't sharpen the chopstick as much as you would with a pencil. The tip should look like a flat pencil tip.

Step 3. Smooth the tip with sandpaper

A sharp point can damage your touchscreen and injure you. Rub the tip with the sandpaper until it is blunt. It shouldn't hurt if you push the tip into your skin.

Also, sand down any rough edges of the chopstick so you don't get splinters in your hand

Step 4. Decorate your stylus with washi tape or paint

Wrapping a few layers of tape around your stylus will make it more comfortable to hold.

  • Remember that this stylus not works on an iPhone, Android device, Kindle Fire, or any other device with a capacitive touch screen.

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