Paint Brush Stylus for Ipad. Used on Sketchbook PRO!





Introduction: Paint Brush Stylus for Ipad. Used on Sketchbook PRO!

When I got my Ipad, the first App I downloaded was Sketchbook Pro. I've been using it on wacom for work and loved it. I quickly realised that drawing with fingers on an Ipad was much more difficult, so I decided to design my own stylish stylus. It took me a while to understand what makes a stylus work correctly, so I hope you'll learn from my mistakes.

Here is how to make a fun and effective stylus for Ipad and Iphone. 


Step 1: You Will Need

You will need :

A metalic paint brush (8mm diameter)
A standard eraser tip
Conductive foam (Used to hold electronic chips) 

Step 2: Cut the Eraser

Cut the pointy part of the eraser. You will only need the cylinder part. 

Step 3: Foam

Cut a corner of the conductive foam as shown.

Step 4: Insert

Insert the conductive foam inside the rubber tube. 

Step 5: Assembly

Insert the back of the metalic paint brush on the other side of the rubber cylinder. Make sure you leave enough surface foam surface for it to be detected. Also make sure that the metal isn't sticking out of the foam or you will scratch your screen. 

Step 6: Try

Try your new stylus and adjust it so it work perfectly for you. You will also realise that, (if you have an Ipad 2) you stylus can be magnetised by the frame and held in place while doing something else. 



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Where can you get the foam? Somewhere cheap. Especially if it's for a small project like this. But great job!

7 replies

There are pens on I got 4 for 6 bucks and have seen 3 for 5 dollars.

I get free shipping because I am an Amazon prime member for my Kindle fire.

this is a good instructable if that is what you want to do.

I'm curious... Why did you need 4 Ipad pens?

In case you lose them!!!

I didnt need 4 really, my girlfriend and I have both have Kindle Fires,, so I really only needed 2,, but they sell them in lots of 3 and 4,, so we bought the 4 pack for 5 bucks. easier than making them, and they have some cool colors.

I bought a pen on ebay for 50 cents!

Go to the closest computer store and ask for some foam they use to store the computer chips. As shown on step 2. They will probably give you some for free.

@datacomm (I can't reply for some reason)

Soap/fabric softener, I like this post! Perhaps you could simply soak it up with a Copic Marker tip. After all, the Copic Marker experience is what i'm trying to create with my iPad.

Too bad Sketchbook Pro would still need pressure sensitivity to really complete the experience.

I love old tech, especially when it's combined with new tech.

Thanks for the tip on the foam, but I tested other materials there must be some conduction from the hands through the foam; a wooden brush will not work.

I didn't have a metal tube so I used a disposable pen, ran a wire from the pen to some ally foil.

I know sponges will work but not the foam sponge type. One small sponge the size of a deck of cards would last you a very long time. I really think I was that thread either in here or perhaps on you tube.

Wow, excellent solution. I've been thinking about finding a piece of conductive foam to try something like this. I want to trim the foam into a fine point so it is more of a pen like experience. I wonder why most of these styluses are always blunt and rounded. There must be a reason. Thank you

3 replies

I also tried to get a sharp tip, but the foam just compacts. Tell me if you succeed.


use a ring with a hole in the middle so you can see the center

It's hard to create a fine point bec the screen detects a "blob" shape (like your finger tip), calculates where the center of that blob is, and puts the "tip" at that center. A fine point doesn't affect a large enough area. The Dagi stylus creates the blob with a clear disk, and the pens "tip" is at the cenetr of that disk. Never usded one, but it seems like it would help in accuracy while drawing.

The finest tip I can get to work on my screen is the tip of a AA battery, but the screen's detection is very unreliable, leading to broken lines and undetected presses.

Everybody says that it has to touch your hand in order for the capacitive display to work. This is not true, you just need something conductive at the tip to contact the thin pieces of metal embedded in the display, it has nothing to do with touching your skin, there is nothing magical about your skin that interferes with the display other than the fact that it conducts electricity. You could use a wooden or plastic paintbrush and it would work just the same.

1 reply

But it would not be magnetised by the frame...

'anti stat' foam is soft and crumples eventually. 'Pink Polly' is also strong but doesn't crumple as easily.. They're both soft and you will end up with a blunt end on your stylus. Pink poly can also be found in this sheets that can be used to wrap around other items. Years ago when many good things were made in America, a very fine and inventive american communications and manufacturing company (AT&T Western Electric) found ways to make many things 'anti-stat'. One of the ways was soap. Soap is conductive which is why a fabric softener might very well include soap. (Much of our IPADs includes tech that is over 30 years old!) It was a very common practice to spray things with D***y fabric softener to stop static buildup on many surfaces in that company. It's possible that a pencil eraser soaked in fabric softener or a cloth or wick soaked in fabric softener might, with high enough concentration, be conductive enough to form a fairly durable and narrower tip. Be sure to let them dry before attempting to use them. Be advised, the cloth or wick would have the anti-stat soaked right into it while the eraser would only be a topical treatment that might need renewal every so often as it wears off and any of these might leave a slight soap film on your IPAD surface. Also, I have not tried this with my IPAD since my eyes aren't what they used to be and I usually just enlarge the display. 30 years ago, I was lucky enough to get to hold and try something that worked much like an IPAD but the tech was not to be made public at that time and I don't know what the surface of the device was or what the stylus was made of. Maybe they were just metal.   I hope you have success using this old tech on new tech.