How to make a stylus

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Did you lose your stylus? Are you looking for more accuracy when drawing on your tablet or are you having trouble using your touch screen while wearing gloves? There’s no need to waste money on a new stylus when you can easily make one yourself using common household items.

Method 1
Method 1 of 4:

Know Your Touch Screen

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    Find out which type of touch screen your device uses. There are several different types of touch screens and your homemade stylus may not work with all of them.

    • iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindles, and many other smartphones and tablets have a capacitive touch screen, which needs an electrical conductor (like the human body) to register where contact is made.
    • Nintendo DS, The 3Ds, the Nook, and some other phones and e-readers use resistive or infrared touch screens, which only require pressure to register contact. You can use just about anything as a makeshift stylus–just be careful not to scratch the screen.
  2. 2
    Test your screen if you’re not sure. Touch the screen with the tip of a pen cap. If the device responds, it is has a resistive or infrared touch screen. If nothing happens, the screen is inactive.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 4:

Making a Stylus with a Sponge (Capacative Screen)

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    Gather your materials. Find a clean dish sponge (not a scour pad) and a ballpoint pen with a removable tip.

    • A cheap, plastic pen works best, as long as you can easily pull off the plastic tip and remove the ink.
    • A slightly see-through pen can make it easier for you to see what you are doing.
  2. 2
    Cut off a piece of the sponge about the width of the pen. You can approximate this measurement by holding the pen against the sponge and marking the measurement with a marker, or you can just eyeball it.
  3. 3
    If the sponge has an abrasive side for scouring (like a Scotch-Brite sponge), cut or tear it off. Anything abrasive can scratch and damage your screen. You only want the actual sponge part.
  4. 4
    Wash and dry the sponge. Some sponges come with soap already added, so to be safe rinse the sponge in warm water. Squeeze out all of the water and let the sponge dry.
  5. 5
    Remove the plastic tip and the interior of the pen–the ballpoint tip, the ink reservoir, and spring if it is a click pen. You should be left with the empty base of the pen.

    • You should be able to pull the tip off with just your hand. If you have difficulty, try using a pair of needle-nose pliers.
  6. 6
    Insert the sponge into the pen. Pinch the sponge to make it smaller and push it into the base of the
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    7
    Leave about 1/4-1/8 of an inch of the sponge sticking out of the pen. Use your finger to feather and break up the fibers of the sponge.
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    Hold your stylus near the tip for it to work. Your fingers need to be touching the base of the pen that is in contact with the sponge. If you hold the hollow part of the pen, the electromagnetic current won’t pass through the sponge and the touch screen won’t register the touch of the stylus.

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