Easy Touch-Pad Stylus




There are many Instructables on how to make an Stylus. Well, I'd like to add to the pool and publish one myself. I saw how to do this from a video by Collin Cunningham from Makezine. It is his idea, not mine. I figured that it should be made into an Instructable. Enjoy!

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Step 1: Video!

Step 2: Stuff

This is pretty simple. All you need is:


-Cheap Pen
-Conductive Foam. This is the most important piece! ( if you buy a kit from the makershed, adafruit, etc that comes with a micro-controller, the foam is the stuff that protects the chip pins.)


-(Opt) Wire Strippers

Step 3: Pen Prep

The main body of the stylus is a pen. Disassemble the pen completely. Throw away everything except the tube. My back end did not come off so I had to take scissors to it.

Step 4: Conductive Foam

Now that you have your pen ready, take your conductive foam and grab an object with a touch screen. Hold one end of the foam and try using it on the touch-screen. If it's conductive it'll work like your finger. If it works, cut a piece of foam slightly thicker than your pen tube.

Step 5: Prepare the Wire

This step is pretty easy. Strip the insulation off of the last 2" of the wire.

Step 6: Foam + Wire

Now that all your pieces are ready to go, it's time to assemble:

Thread the un-insulated wire though the top of the conductive foam. After that, tightly wrap the wire around the top of the foam.

Step 7: Into the Pen

Now take the foam-wire and thread it through the front of the pen tube. Pull the foam through as well but leave about a quarter inch on the outside.

Step 8: Wire...Again

After all that, it's time to strip all the rest of the wire that comes out the back-end of the tube. What you do now is secure the wire with a small strip of tape.

Step 9: Wire Wrap

Now what you do is wrap the un-insulated wire around the tube. Next, tape the wire down near the front of the pen to secure it.

Step 10: Foam...Again

Grab your scissors and carefully cut the foam's corners in such a way that it forms a dome.

Step 11: Clean Up

It's now a good time to clean up the mess you made...if any,

Step 12: Test

You are all done! It's time to test it out.

Step 13: Done!

Great job! This is a really fun and simple project. If you do end up building this, feel free to post pictures! I'd love to see them. When using, make sure that your finger(s) are in contact with the wire. This is essential! Have Fun!

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13 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

thankyou! I've made one and it's worked really well! I used gold woven wire so it looks decent as well. I didn't have any conductive foam and couldn't order online but I went to Maplins and found some there :) Only problem now is that the rest of my family is pestering me to make them one!


7 years ago on Introduction

Hi, Do you know if this would work as mouthstick? I have a user that I work with who has a physical disability and draws using his mouth. I ma not sure about the safety/conductivity with using the mouth. Any info you can provide would be great.

This is funny, I made an almost similar one, it works a lot and you don't need work so hard. https://www.instructables.com/id/Touchscreen-Stylus/


8 years ago on Step 13

This is BRILLIANT! :D I want to try!


I was wondering where the conductive foam came from. Obviously not wondering enough to look it up. Nice 'ible.
If you used a metal pen you wouldn't need the wire on the outside. Stainless would be pretty. Just make sure you strip any varnish off the outside and where the foam touches the barrel.

2 replies

Hey thanks! Great idea for the pen. The stainless steel sounds good too. It wouldn't have to be a pen though, you could just go out and buy a small stainless steel tube. A quarter inch diameter would be perfect.

You can buy conductive foam online. If you are familiar with the makershed or adafruit industries or solarbotics, or any electronic kit-selling site, they package their micro controllers in conductive foam. I think its to be an anti-static or something.



Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Well thats odd, I was looking at this instructable, and i reminded me of a kit I ordered in 2006. I though it should have had some of that special foam in it but the electronics were only in regular foam.
I found some antistatic bags from my motherboard and i cut a piece and it works fine


9 years ago on Introduction

I don't work with electronics so I have no reason to order from the maker shed to acquire foam from it's packaging. I looked up conductive foam and I get a myriad of sites that sell that stuff but I don't know if I should be looking for a certain type of material. Could somebody link me to a site that has the stuff I need? I really want to make a few of these for myself and my family.

2 replies

Sure! Here is a link. http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=525&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Product+Search&utm_campaign=Product+Search+%28May10%29

You can get a whole sheet for just like 5bucks and it will last you years. No I'm not kidding, one of these sheets can get you a whole lot of stylii.

Have fun making these for your folks!