About: I am passionate about anything and everything engineering and physics. I am interested in much of chemistry and biology and I enjoy most art and craft + cooking and baking. I have completed my bachelor's in ...

-the pictures are here
-the stylus can be good for pen spinning also

****UPDATE ***
-made an extend able stylus (perfect for presenting to small groups)
-pen rubber grip added with hot glue to hold it well
-looks slightly better
-remove teflon tape as it has smudge also
-aluminum tip which does not scratch the ipad
 -pictures coming up tomorrow

going back to school? you can use an ipad and save your back just put in ebooks got an ipad/ipod/iphone and want a stylus?
but the problem is...
1) the commercial ones are well...$$$$$$$$$$ get the idea...
2) some diy ones are well...??!!??#! not so "nice" tin foil sticking out all over....and it does not look that stylish..does not go with the "apple feel" *note not all diy are ugly*
 3) why stylus? just use your finger!! well..its the smudge problem and finger print all over use a stylus when possible...

so here is my solution...
materials needed
1) metal rod  (i use broken antenna)
2) some tin/aluminum foil
3) tapes (i use 2 types, masking tape and electrical  tape)                   <-need at least 1
4) a little glue
5) plumbing sealing tape (the withe one i think its called teflon tape)   <-optional
6) pen rubber grip <--optional


please rate and comment 
and vote if you like it for the "gorilla glue contest" and "back to school contest"

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: The Idea of How It Works

basically you need to conduct electric from your hands (no batteries required) to the screen
so you need to hold a piece of metal
the problem is you need the "head" which contact the ipad to be identified as a "blob" go touch a piece of glass and see 
so the blob needs to be big enough and flat enough and conduct
we also need to prevent the screen from getting scratched 

 the good news is that it can "conduct" through thin layers of other stuff like screen protectors and teflon tape

the pictures below shows the stylus half done but usable

Step 2: The Real Step 1

1)get an antenna

2)get a long strip of foil (around 15cm) 
3)wrap the strip of  foil around one end

4) wrap it untill it almost looks like a cotton bud

Step 3: First Anti Scratch Layer

1)next get a square/rectangle piece of foil

2) cover the foil bud
3) add a little glue to secure it

4) tape it up like in the picture

you can do a test now
 if it does not work pound it on a hard surface to flatten the head you want a wide circular flat tip
it is actually done now but to make it look better you can go to the next step

Step 4: Styling and Anti Scratch

take teflon tape and cover the end 
wrap it up with electrical tape and your done
you can also add a pen's rubber grip to each end to make it look even better

Back to School Contest

Participated in the
Back to School Contest

Gorilla Glue Make It Stick Contest

Participated in the
Gorilla Glue Make It Stick Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


  • CNC Contest

    CNC Contest
  • Make it Move

    Make it Move
  • Teacher Contest

    Teacher Contest

27 Discussions


3 years ago

I'm actually fairly sure it has almost nothing to do with the shape of the object touching the screen (Bought styluses have tiny tips). I know this is fairly old, but I wanted to clear this up for future viewers. Apple devices use a capacitive touchscreen, which means that the screen measures electrical current. You skin conducts only a certain amount, and the devices are tuned to that. This means that other materials that conduct too much, or not at all, won't work.


8 years ago on Introduction

You don't need to conduct electricity from your body to the iPad, that's just silly. Your finger acts as a conductor from one part of the iPad to the other. It could just as easily be a piece of rubber with a metal tip.


12 replies

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

well the ipad/ipod/iphone screens read the electric jolts that your body make everytime you move so the stylus will have to make contact with the body at some point or it will not work....or if you were using say a conductive foam you would not need to be touching it but it does need a completed circut

All you need is a conductor that has a somewhat sizable surface area. All of the "IT NEEDS TO CONNECT TO YOUR BODY" talk is f@%&ing bull s#$t. You know the best stylus ever? YOUR FU(%ING FINGERS. The apple products are designed for your fingers, stop trying to make them better. Millions are spent on designing and testing them, if a stylus would have beenn helpful, Apple would have made it already.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

hmm..good point there..
well.. actually i had a look at most people's stylus and they all said you NEED to touch the metal and conduct it to the ipad
HOWEVER after reading what you said i tested it out and you are right..
i am guessing the ipad detects a physical blob and its shape more than electrical conductivity stuff...
but all my attempts to build a stylus without metal parts dont seem to work, although a stylus with some metal works well

anyone who really knows how apple multitouch works can explain it here?


well I have tested timothymh's principal and it did not work your body is constanly putting out negative electricity which I think is how the i devices multitouch works


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

What kind of test did you give her? Unless it was a very easy one, I'm not surprised that she didn't pass the test.

...Anyway, what does my principal have to do with touch-screens? She didn't invent them, did she?

Seriously though, when I wrote that comment I didn't own an iPad. I've tried my idea with it and you are correct, it does not work—though I don't believe this "putting out negative energy" stuff. Either that would be a circuit which doesn't follow the rules of physics, or we would be constantly losing energy, which wouldn't be good for survival.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I think that what he means is if you hold the two leads of a multimter, you will find that your body gives off a faint current (Your body, after all, does run off of electrical signals), and that is what the screen is using to track your finger. To test: take a AA or AAA battery and put the negative end on the screen and move it, the i(pad, phone, touch) will respond, put the positive end on and it will not.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I think it just needs something that conducts electricity to register. Most things that are metal may be to small to register.


7 years ago on Step 4

Works great and was easy to make. Thanks!


7 years ago on Step 4

I'll try this out and see what happens.


7 years ago on Introduction

Best drawing device, that won't scratch your iPad, is just an old fashioned sponge cut into a little cone - pointy end draws nicely and a package of 4 I think are about $.99! Will keep you in stylus' for many years!


8 years ago on Introduction

A panel laminated on the glass senses your touch using electrical fields. (from the apple iphone website)