Make Your Own iPad Stylus From Household Junk [How-To]


If you care nothing for aesthetics, you can make a stylus in a couple minutes. Photo CNET
If you care nothing for aesthetics, you can make a stylus in a couple minutes. Photo CNET

So, you just spent $800 on a shiny new iPad so you could write, paint and draw on the go. But — inexplicably — you’re still too cheap to spend $20 on a stylus to help you do it. And if you’re this tight with your money, it’s likely that you have been hoarding the very ingredients you need to make your own stylus right now. So go grab the detritus lingering at the bottom of your fruit bowl or junk drawer and follow along.

You’ll need the barrel of a Bic pen, a Q-tip, some aluminum foil and a little of your spittle. You could head over to CNET, where Sharon Vaknin will show you how to make one in a short video, but it’s so easy you don’t really even need pictures.

Just cut the Q-tip and stick it shaft-first into the pen barrel, leaving the cotton peeking out. Wrap the tin-foil around the bottom of the barrel and make sure it touches the cotton. Wet the cotton and you have yourself a home-made stylus, the metal and moisture carrying your animal magnetism down to the screen where it is transferred into swipes, taps and strokes.

Should the contact start to fail, just give the tip another quick lick.

A mod that would make this stylus truly useful would be a wad of conductive foam. This sometimes ships inside hard-drive packages and the like, so you may already have some lying around. This will then obviate the need for you to spread your precious bodily fluids all over your iPad’s screen.

  • inkshawn

    So people can afford an iPad and can’t pay eight bucks for a real stylus? Get real.

    Faced with this crap, I recommend you use your finger…. .it’s free and you don’t have to give it a “quick lick”

    What a dumb, dumb article.

  • MySkyizBlue


  • JoshObra

    I just got my $8 box wave stylus yesterday, totally worth it.

    Still considering that Wacom Bamboo though.. It’s always out of stock so it must be good.

  • Bob_Zimmerman

    That pic would never be approved by Apple! lol

  • Neil Anderson

    File this under “Things that make me go ‘Yuck'”

  • Artoo

    Even easier:

    -Step 1: get a woodless pencil.
    It costs about $1 and It looks like this:

    -Step 2: sand it down to a blunt end.

    -Step 3… There is no step 3!

    You’re done! The graphite is conductive, too soft to write on glass, and you don’t need to lick anything.


  • Proto732

    Yeah.  You spent $500+ dollars on your cool new ipad.  Spit on a q-tip to use it as a stylus?  


    Spend $3 on a real stylus.  Stupid article.  Between this and the ridiculous Windows 8 Tablet article … seriously considering deleting CofM from my feeds.

  • Mike Rathjen

    This is the worst article I have ever read about anything.