Introduction: How to Make the Best Homemade Stylus Ever Made!

Picture of How to Make the Best Homemade Stylus Ever Made!

What I'm about to share with you is a clear, transparent instruction of how to easily make the best homemade stylus, It’s the product made by experiences and a lot of trials and errors but anyway, It’s fun!

In April, 2010 I was studying in the university thinking about what to do to make money so I decided to import styluses from USA to Thailand. The sales were good but the product itself was crap. Some of you may remember styluses with the black foam tips back in days, they are still in the market, cheap but won’t last long. Due to my maker nature, I decided to make it better but how…I was thinking.

I found this https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10055 this is what I was looking for. Combined with my own DIY experience when I was in an elementary school I thought to wrap it on felt fabric. Felt is tough and spongy, mixing it with other things locally found such as wood and aluminum tube then I knew how to make the magic happen.

The conductive fabric is excellent, it’s tough and really smooth to glide on the screen leaving no bits of foam behind. The feedback from my customers are always positive and they are not only from within Thailand, I got customers from USA, Japan and Canada too. With more than 3000 sold and many who bought are returned customers, this is the assurance of quality.

Now in 2016, I hope it's not too late to share the idea with you guys. Tech products won’t last but knowledge will. So, Let’s get started!

Step 1: What You Will Need...

Picture of What You Will Need...
  1. A small piece of conductive fabric
  2. A small piece of thin felt fabric - I recommend the wool felt not the synthetic one.
  3. An aluminum tube - minimum width of 1/4 inch. I’m using 5/16 inch.
  4. A small, round file
  5. A stainless steel kitchen scrubber
  6. A tube cutter
  7. Scissors
  8. Tweezers or a toothpick
  9. A ruler
  10. A pen or a marker
  11. A handcrafted wooden stopper (optional)
  12. Super glue gel

Step 2: Cutting and Finishing the Tube

Picture of Cutting and Finishing the Tube
  1. Measure the length you would like to cut and mark it with a marker pen. By using a tube cutter it will leave no burr to worry about.
  2. Filing the inner part until you see the tube is wide open.
  3. Mix the dish soap with water and soak the tube in for a couple minutes and scrub it vigorously with the kitchen scrubber until it gets shiny and smooth.
  4. Wipe it clean and set aside until completely dry.

Step 3: Making the Tip

Picture of Making the Tip
  1. Cut the felt and conductive fabric into 2*2 cm. If you're using a smaller tube than mine, the felt site should be 1*2 cm.
  2. By using the tweezers, roll the felt tightly and push in only halfway into the tube. Grab the conductive fabric, as it has 4 corners, gently push the first corner inside, grab the opposite corner and push in the opposite side, also do the same with another 2 corners.
  3. Right now you’re still seeing the untidy head. Working all around the side, slightly pushing all the wide open parts inside but be careful, don’t use too much pressure and don’t push it from the top or you’ll poke the hole on it.
  4. Keep sculpting until you see a round and sturdy head.

Step 4: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Now you have a fully functioning product but for me it’s not finish yet. With a small amount of super glue on the bottom end. I glued the wood stopper stamped with my logo, wait for a minute then it’s done…Tada!

Hope you’ll enjoy the tutorial and you can also visit my website.
www.iwhateverstylus.com

There are pre-made styluses available and also the kits for whoever wants to make a stylus but doesn't want to find the tools all over places.

or if you face any difficulty, you can email me here.

Thank you.

Comments

bfn07 (author)2017-03-01

This a great idea. I need one to be able to take notes on my tablet. Wonder if there is a way to make one that is more like a pen?

SparkySolar (author)2016-08-30

I love it.
I am so happy you put this instructible up
Thank you kindly

SparkySolar

nobhasorn (author)SparkySolar2016-09-02

:)

thepoisonivy (author)2016-08-31

Nice! I actually have some of this fabric. Now (if I ever get the motivation) I have something to make with it.

LilacLisa (author)2016-08-27

It's what you use for touchscreen tablets, computers, etc. I'm always losing mine, so I like this instructional.

yss (author)LilacLisa2016-08-30

Instructiable.... ???

sashadjas (author)2016-08-28

I'm 42, familiar with vinyl and touchscreens, and suffered no confusion over what bloomin' stylus was going to be made because there was a picture of it right there on my touchscreen... Even without such an apparently cryptic visual aid I'd have assumed that a stylus for playing vinyl records would need to be the more clarified item.
Perhaps there's less confusion than pedantry....?

DaMome80 (author)sashadjas 2016-08-29

LOL, I'm 64, & knew it was!! I doubt one could make a record player stylus....or could one? Any thing is possible on instructables ; )

yss (author)DaMome802016-08-30

making a record player stylus is not so hard... All you need is a good length of stiff plastic......a ruler/scale, a good source of heat, and the ability to pull hot molten plastic apart till it makes a string. Allow to cool, bre,ask off where you feel it is narrow enough, file to a point, , feed through the neck of the vibrator arm, superglue into place, and voila, we have a working... At least for about 6 hours of playing.... Enjoy.

darkczar (author)2016-08-27

WTH?! I had to read the comments to figure out what the heck a stylus is. I clicked on this because I thought it was for a record player. The instructions do not make it clear what is being built. ???

Poppy Ann (author)darkczar2016-08-28

I think you (darkczar) will find there are more people now a days that only think of the word "Stylus" as something you use on a touch screen, there are not many people around who have ever seen a a record player never mind seen or heard of a stylus used on one.

KayjayUK (author)Poppy Ann2016-08-29

If you were correct Poppy Ann there would be no comments regarding the record player stylus, which is the more appropriate meaning. It's only younger people and not all of them, that haven't seen a vinyl record player. In fact as vinyl is now making a return more and more younger people are becoming aware of them. I, like many others, clicked on this because I thought it was about record players and not touch screens.

Poppy Ann (author)KayjayUK2016-08-29

Vinyl sales may be rising and CD sales falling but I doubt vinyl will be picking up more than 15 to 20% of the fall what is happening is more people are buying digital downloaded music. also I did not say that no one has seen a record player or never mind changed a stylus I said that there are more people who have not seen one or heard of a stylus in relationship to one, myself being the age that I am are one of the falling numbers that have. my own children who are in there 40's have never used one they only know of them due to my old collection which I have not played since they were born and do not own a player if I wanted to I asked them if they knew what a stylus was and they both said it is used on a touch screen I said they are used on record players and have they ever heard of them and both said no not for record players.

even in people my age many of them have never thought of changing one, I remember having to change the "needle" (no one called them stylus's) on the old 78 wind up player I had back when I was still young.

I remember buying my first CD player back in the early 80's and it was not long after this that record sales were plummeting in 1982 in the USA alone they sold 400000 CD players and it grew from there.

Regards Poppy Ann.

cerebralvortex (author)darkczar2016-08-28

Yup me too, was getting quite excited. DENIED.

Filbert11 (author)darkczar2016-08-27

I read the comments ... and I still don't know !!! {:>)

jr443 (author)2016-08-27

Seems a lot cheaper & easier to just buy one. There cheap enough & most people aren't gonna have all these items laying around their home.

badrobot (author)jr4432016-08-29

If you are looking for cheap and easy i would suggest Ebay or Amazon. but if you enjoy making things yourself Instructables is the place to be.

nobhasorn (author)jr4432016-08-28

So what's the point of 'Instructables' then?

Lamichca (author)2016-08-27

there seems to be a lot of people that are getting confused between a touchscreen stylus, and one that is a more proper name for a needle on a record player.
I don't know a lot about the instructables site yet but maybe you should try changing the name to:
"How to Make the Best Ever Made Homemade Stylus for Electronic TouchScreens!"
I assume it is just a title change and doesn't effect the file's status (contest or other), but if it changes the address and links or everything then maybe just editing in a line at the very beginning for something like "build a better stylus for your electronic touchscreen device that will really last!" or something. lol

I really like the idea and I'm going to try and find some of that fabric!
Thanks for sharing this

Old Coot Papa (author)Lamichca2016-08-28

I'm a 69 year old coot who grew up listening to vinyl records on record players and I still knew immediately what a "stylus" was. I'm confused about the confusion! But I am an old coot. I'm also great at misplacing things and I love DIY projects, so this is perfect for me. Thanks

TCC3 (author)Lamichca2016-08-27

Actually the word is older than that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stylus

"Styluses were first used by the ancient Mesopotamians in order to write in cuneiform."

"gramophone records, as well as to record the sound indentations on the master record."

Seems that Thomas Edison used the word cause the needle cut a groove in the soft wax. the wax was then hardened so as to preserve the groove.

So this usage is entirely correct whereas your usage is the contrived:) Your still correct tho.

Fathomlis (author)2016-08-27

This looks great! well done

nobhasorn (author)Fathomlis2016-08-28

Thank you.

jr443 (author)2016-08-27

Yes Lilac...basically a "pointer" fir touchscreens instead of using your finger.

charleslinquist (author)2016-08-27

What is the best conductive fabric, and where can I buy some?

I recommend this : https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10055

lmedina1 (author)2016-08-27

Where can I get the resistive fabric?

bruker (author)2016-08-18

Would the synthetic resistive material work on gloves? My last pair of screen touch work gloves lost their resistive, spray-on touch surface in about 1 week.

xmdp (author)bruker2016-08-27

I know, eh! It keeps sliding off the record.

nobhasorn (author)bruker2016-08-18

Maybe you'll need to use this : https://www.nanotips.com

wrecks135 (author)2016-08-19

How do you get the tip cleanly glued into the tube? Seems like it would just pull out.

nobhasorn (author)wrecks1352016-08-19

You don't need to glue, it will never fall out until you pull it.

redrooster (author)2016-08-18

I was puzzled at first thinking, how in the great flying spaghetti monsters name could anyone play an LP record with that? lol

deluges (author)2016-08-18

Cool project. And such humbleness in the title ;)

nobhasorn (author)deluges2016-08-18

Thank you :)

yrralguthrie (author)2016-08-18

The yellow foam on Scotch Bright scrub pads works well as the tip for a stylus. Don't use the green side!

Just cut off a piece of the yellow foam, shape it and put it in a metal tube. With this foam the tip can be shaped. Lots cheaper than conductive fabric.

nobhasorn (author)yrralguthrie2016-08-18

I haven't tried to use the yellow foam though do you have any other project to recommend?

vkmcgee2 (author)2016-08-18

Your right about the quality of the styluses available. Our home health care worker has one we use to sign on her phone that she was here for the day and the rubber tip has already started to tear. There is an alpaca farm not to far from here where I could get the felt. She's always losing her styluses so I made her a lanyard and now I'll make her a good styluses that will last more then a week. She helps me take good care of my husband it's the least I can do. Thanks. Maybe I could even sell some to the other aids and make a little money, that would be a blessing. I'll have to look into this.

nobhasorn (author)vkmcgee22016-08-18

Nice!

Cayotica (author)2016-08-18

sounds good because I'm always losing my stylus but what the heck is conductive fabric?

nobhasorn (author)Cayotica2016-08-18

It's the fabric that has special coating to conduct electricity.

You can find it here : https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10055

JerryR62 (author)2016-08-18

So where can you get small pieces of conductive fabric? Not easy to find.

rring883 (author)JerryR622016-08-18

lessemf.com sells conductive fabric, as does amazon.com.

buildandsewandstuff (author)2016-08-14

Elegant! What do you mean by "real felt, not synthetic" ? What is real felt made of?

Hi, buildandsewandstuff

Real felt is made of wool well I should call it wool felt.

It's denser and more stable than the synthetic felt.

seamster (author)2016-08-14

I like it! Very clean and simple, and looks pretty easy to make. Thank you for sharing the steps! :)

nobhasorn (author)seamster2016-08-14

Thank you <3